Habs players make holiday hospital visit


A handful of current and former Canadiens players stopped by the Montreal Children’s Hospital on Friday, visiting with kids and signing photos, hats and mini-sticks for them.

It’s an annual holiday season ritual for Canadiens players, only this year they organized a visit on their own because of the NHL lockout.

The players have been skating together and agreed that if the dispute dragged on they still wanted to do the hospital visit, Canadiens captain Brian Gionta said. Mathieu Darche, an unsigned former Canadien, contacted the Children’s “and obviously we were all on board,” Gionta said.

“A lot of the kids, especially around here, are huge hockey fans.”

“You want to come in and maybe brighten their day and take their mind off of some things that are going on in their life … For us, that’s why we’re here is to make them smile and to hopefully give them a little relief from what they’re going through.”

Gionta and Darche were joined by Habs Erik Cole, Josh Gorges, Francis Bouillon and former Canadiens forward Steve Bégin.

More hospital visits will follow on Monday when the Canadiens organization stages its annual event for the 48th consecutive year. Instead of players, members of the Canadiens management, coaching staff, alumni and RDS personalities will visit patients at the Children’s and Sainte-Justine hospitals along with furry orange mascot Youppi!

You can read The Gazette’s story about the hospital visit and watch a video of it by clicking here

You can read Gazette sports editor Stu Cowan’s column on why we shouldn’t call Sidney Crosby Sid the Kid anymore and give him a round of applause by clicking here.

Pat Hickey writes that like it or not, the NHL owners are going to have to deal with Donald Fehr. Read that column by clicking here.

And you can read about the latest roadblock in the NHL labour talks, which appears to be massive, by clicking here.


  1. ed lopaz says:

    next thread

  2. Mr. Biter says:

    Difference between gate driven league and league with great T.V. deal. Yankee’s 2012 salary (198M) and Dodgers next private cable deal with Fox West rumored to be 4B for 20 years.
    Yankee game day ticket prices $12.00-$275.00

    Mr. Biter
    No Guts No Glory

  3. Chris says:

    The Belleville Bulls are 17-9-3-1, first place in their division, despite scoring the fewest goals in the Ontario Hockey League thus far and having a goal differential of only +3.

    That’s insane…they should thanks their lucky stars that they are in the same division as the inept Peterborough Petes, rebuilding Ottawa 67’s and the perennially clueless Kingston Frontenacs (although the Fronts are actually half-decent this season).

    Kitchener is in fourth in their division with a record of 18-9-1-2 and a goal differential of +13. Unfortunately for them, they are saddled with London (25-5-0-2, +51 GD), Owen Sound (22-6-1-2, +33 GD), and Guelph (19-9-0-3, +22 GD).

  4. HabFab says:

    Today is the 32nd anniversary of John Lennon’s assassination .


  5. Bripro says:

    Doesn’t anyone feel sorry for me?
    I ranted before…. shopping! And no hockey!
    Boy, some support group!

    • ZepFan2 says:


      There, feel better? 🙂

      Ka is a wheel.

      Fans Theme: “You’re Breaking my heart, You’re tearin’ it apart” – Harry Nilsson

      You’re breaking my heart

    • Mr. Biter says:

      Just think you beat the Christmas rush. Smart move.
      I’ll watch the UND game (before the UFC) and report on the boys progress.
      Last night Kristo to MacMillian in last 6 minutes but unbelievable stop by Denver goalie. Would have been game winner.

      Mr. Biter
      No Guts No Glory

  6. wjc says:

    Hey, Its Saturday night, hockey is supposed to be on.

    Guess what? I don’t care, I don’t miss it. I don’t need it.

    I can’t be alone, was sitting here and it dawned on me this is Saturday night…..whats missing? Nothing.


  7. HabinBurlington says:

    So Donald Fehr says the ball is in the owners court to resume talks. Oh Don your love of hockey is undying! 🙂

    • JF says:

      I hope he doesn’t stick to that, because I don’t think the owners will come calling any time soon. They’ll wait until the last minute, which, if 48 games are needed for the season to have any integrity, would be the beginning of January. So the players would lose two more paycheques – seven in all, more than half their salary. I think it’s up to the players to push Fehr to go back to the owners and request that they put their last proposal back on the table. In fact, they should push him to simply accept that proposal, or maybe haggle about contract-length. They should accept the rest; it’s far better than any proposal the owners have made so far. If they don’t, the deal eventually reached will be worse than that; and the players will lose more paycheques.

    • Mr. Biter says:

      Don Fehr is to Hockey what Rich ” Jabba The Hutt” Trumka was to Hostess Brands.

      Mr. Biter
      No Guts No Glory

  8. Mr. Biter says:

    Does anyone actually know for sure what the owners offered, and what the players came back with? Was flying back all that day and heard Bettman was furious. Also heard next offer will be a step backwards. Golf season comes early.

    Mr. Biter
    No Guts No Glory

    • Mike D says:

      I believe it was something like this, Biter:

      Owners offer:
      – Increase in Make Whole from $211mil to $300mil ($50mil of which is designated for the pension, which I think actually comes from the player’s share of HRR)
      – 10 year CBA with opt-out option after 8 years (either side can opt out)
      – 5 year limit on individual players contracts. 7 year limit if it’s the team’s own player.
      – 5% variance limit year-over-year on player’s contract

      Players Counter Offer:
      – Agreed to Owners Make Whole (as listed above)
      – 8 year CBA with opt-out option after 6 years (either side can opt out)
      – 8 year limit on individual player’s contracts
      – RE Salary variance: the lowest paying year of a player’s contract can’t be more than 25% off the highest paying year. Not sure if I worded this right but if a player gets 10mil as the highest paying year on his contract, then his lowest paying year must be at least 7.5mil. Something like that anyway.
      – Bettman is a douche.

      *Okay, I may have made up that last one, but let’s be honest……everybody’s thinking it.

      – Honestly yours
      Twitter: @de_benny

      • twilighthours says:

        I hope the Douche Clause makes it in to the final version of the CBA.

      • Mr. Biter says:

        Thanks Mike.
        Actually I don’t see the 25% benefit being in the players best interest. If someone made $4M and had 2 shitty years he can only be re-signed for $3M at worst? Is that right? Could put some highly paid players careers in jepordy. Can the player waive this or would it be set in stone?

        Mr. Biter
        No Guts No Glory

        • commandant says:

          a player can be resigned at any amount.

          The 25% is that if you are getting a 4 year deal and the highest year pays you 10 million, the lowest year can’t be below 2.5 million.

          Also one more clause was the cap “recapture” clause which means that if you saved on cap hits because a contract was front loaded and that player retires, you have to payback those cap hits that you saved.

          Go Habs Go!
          Check out Top Shelf Prospects, my Team by Team prospect reports

      • habstrinifan says:

        See that last clause was all it took to get Jacobs to scuttle the deal. Jacobs needs to be the ONLY douche on the league’s side. He would have agreed if all the players wanted was ‘twit’ status for Bettman.

    • Sean Bonjovi says:

      The owners didn’t offer anything. The League got some players in a room for three days without legal representation in an attempt to convince them to negotiate a new CBA without legal representation.

      *”I don’t mind if you disagree with me (it seems the thing to do!) But for the love of all that is right in the world please at least don’t take the words from one horses mouth (or the other end) as what is true…”*
      – SmartDog

      • HabFab says:

        Home grown, right?
        Hope you’re not in the watershed of the “Agent Orange” spraying, could be affecting your weed 🙂

        • Sean Bonjovi says:

          I grew up way at the other end of Queens county, so no agent orange concerns here. : )

          “I don’t mind if you disagree with me (it seems the thing to do!) But for the love of all that is right in the world please at least don’t take the words from one horses mouth (or the other end) as what is true…”
          – SmartDog

  9. Bripro says:

    @mavid. I read your post. As much fun as the kids were, the grand kids are even more so. I’m envious.

  10. Mustang says:

    Listen………………. I think that I can hear some fat lady warming up her pipes.

    I hope that I am wrong but this does not look good.

  11. Mavid says:

    the kids heard the baby’s heartbeat on Thursday…my grandbaby’s heartbeat…thrilled beyond words…Christmas is coming and I have done no shopping that should keep me busy, the world juniors are coming soon…I may be able to do this…I may be able to move on..

    • Mattyleg says:

      Good on ya Mavid.

      —Hope Springs Eternal—

    • Habfan10912 says:

      Grandchildren are the greatest. Congrats!


    • HabFab says:

      Twice the pleasure for hardly any work. My youngest one turns 5 in January (to kids, come on you deadbeats need more. Two of you haven’t done a darn thing). Sorry but had a moment of jealousy 😉

    • habstrinifan says:

      Wait till you have to explain no habs hockey to grandkid. It’s easy explaining away Santa Claus but when a kid with your habs DNA looks around he/she will know something’s amiss. Congrats and good luck/health to everyone. But I hope there’s hockey when that kid pops out else you’ll have some xplaaaaaneeen to do.

  12. Mike D says:

    Don Fehr speaking live right now on Sportsnet.

    – Honestly yours
    Twitter: @de_benny

  13. Mark C says:

    Good news. According to Dalton Thrower’s twitter, he’s back in the lineup tonight.

  14. commandant says:

    What longtime NHLers (and mostly HOFers) might have played their last game due to this lockout?


    Go Habs Go!
    Check out Top Shelf Prospects, my Team by Team prospect reports

  15. Bripro says:

    Here I sit, in the car….waiting. My wife is in Old Navy. “That’s the only store we’re going to. Don’t worry”. No mention of the 25 minutes of Traffic at the exit or the lunatics cutting us off. And I guess I must have cut someone off but the man lowered his window and said that he was Going to chew me out until he saw the CH in my back window. Everyone wants hockey. It makes everything better.

  16. Strummer says:

    This is the BEST comment I have seen so far during this lockout.
    Cathal Kelly in the Toronto Sar hits the nail right on the head.
    The players were doomed from the start :



    • HabFan in Edmonton says:

      Agreed, excellent article, the owners have all the leverage here. I have no doubt the players will give in as they have by far the most to lose, the owners can think long term as they know the fans (especially in Canada and most US cities) will come back.

    • Sean Bonjovi says:

      The thesis of the article is assumed, and not sufficiently supported.

      *”I don’t mind if you disagree with me (it seems the thing to do!) But for the love of all that is right in the world please at least don’t take the words from one horses mouth (or the other end) as what is true…”*
      – SmartDog

    • habstrinifan says:

      WOW! I totally agree with his take. If readers here remember, I posted many weeks ago that the owners saw this stoppage as one time to make a serious restructuring of their labour costs. And I also state dthat in many cases the costs of losing the season were less or only marginally more than operating. My post also stated the observation that the owners do not fear ‘fans backlash’. In Canada and original six teams it would be minimal and short lasting and in the other markets the fans dont care enough to be upset.

  17. SmartDog says:

    QUESTION: I say the lock-out ends before Dec. 20


    Listen to the Smart Dog. He knows his poop!

  18. commandant says:

    Stephen Brunt’s take is pretty good.


    Go Habs Go!
    Check out Top Shelf Prospects, my Team by Team prospect reports

  19. frontenac1 says:

    @zepfan2. Got home from a party late last night pretty hammered,turned on the tv and there was Robert Plante with some new band . Man that guy still has the pipes eh? Keep rockin in the Point Amigo!

    • ZepFan2 says:

      Hammered at your age. 🙂

      He has the pipes, I just don’t think he could do a Zep tour and maintain those pipes. That’s why playing with Allison Krauss suits him now.

      The Point doesn’t rock like it once did, my friend. But we try.

      Ka is a wheel.

      Fans Theme: “You’re Breaking my heart, You’re tearin’ it apart” – Harry Nilsson

      You’re breaking my heart

  20. ed lopaz says:

    if the last offer the players were asked to consider, the one when they returned with a `counter offer“, was actually sent out to a full NHLPA vote, does anyone doubt that way more then 50% of the players would have grabbed that deal and gone back to their teams this weekend.

    it is ridiculous that the players did not at least consider a vote at that time.

    Fehr stepped in and ruined 2 days of talks that had produced some excellent results for the players.

    The Make Whole number was back up to 300 million for example.

    Labour unions are a strange lot. They claim to be `standing up`for their members, but the leadership still gets to “decide“ when and if a free and democratic vote actually takes place.

    We would have a deal right now if that vote had taken place Thursday and Friday of this past week.

  21. Ian Cobb says:

    JohnBellyFull, is that you playing below.? Either way it was very nice.

  22. HabFab says:

    Twitter alert;

    – JR and everybody’s fav agent Allan Walsh going at it…
    – Elliott taking it from both player and owner supporters for his Hainsey article…

  23. PatMac says:

    I read Stu’s column with interest but I must say I have a different opinion. Crosby is a talented hockey player, but I don’t belive that he belongs in tough labour negotiations such as these. Nor do I agree that Hamirlik’s comments were negative. They were simply honest and likely shared by many other in the NHLPA membership.

  24. HabFab says:

    I had praised Hainsey yesterday for his TSN video interview and here is more of the rumored behind the scenes happenings from the CBA talks from Elliott;

  25. Mike D says:

    A good, and different, take on the lockout:


    – Honestly yours
    Twitter: @de_benny

  26. HabFab says:

    Hockey Futures has finally released their updated Team Prospect Rankings for 2012-13. The Habs were ranked in the 20’s last season;

  27. HabFab says:

    In regards to the present poll, it is all in perspective.
    If you are a player, then Fehr is the best guy to lead the NHLPA.
    If you’re a fan, not so much!

    • ZepFan2 says:

      As a fan, I blame Bettman and Jacobs. Fehr, not so much.

      • HabFab says:

        Don’t understand how such a bright lad like yourself from NDG could be so wrong… “sigh”!

        Wasn’t the question of the poll though 🙂

        • ZepFan2 says:

          For one, I’m not from NDG (lived there for awhile), I’m from the Point.

          Second, I like Fehr for the NHLPA because he doesn’t take Bettman and Jacobs BS.

          If the players didn’t think Fehr has their best interests at heart they would have most likely held a vote by now. Bettman can’t be the bully anymore, the players have their own bully now.

          Ka is a wheel.

          Fans Theme: “You’re Breaking my heart, You’re tearin’ it apart” – Harry Nilsson

          You’re breaking my heart

          • HabFab says:

            Zep old buddy, pretty much what I said. Fehr is the best option for the players. But because they have him, this will drag on a lot longer then if they didn’t IMHO. So “no hockey for us fans”.
            And Bettman will always be the bully, that is his job for the owners. I have stated several times in the past, I could really enjoy Fehr messing up Bettman if it wasn’t costing me hockey games.

            And I was trying to be funny, which of course can quickly turn you to becoming “snot” when you’re not.

          • ZepFan2 says:

            What’s that old saying…”You have to break a few eggs to make an omelette”. Something like that.

            That’s how I look at this “lock-out” (you can thank Bettman and the owners for that). If it makes the game better, I’ll bite the bullet and watch something else for now.

            I guess I’m not missing hockey as much as others. Afterall, Zeppelin is all the rage again. 🙂

          • HabFab says:

            The boys looked their ages last week at the Kennedy Center. Not sure if you listen to Satellite Radio but my favorite Classic Vinyl plays a lot of Zep.

          • ZepFan2 says:

            Did you see them on Letterman? I never knew how funny John Paul Jones is.
            Zep on Letterman

            I think we’re all starting to show our age. 🙂

            Btw, the Kennedy Center honours will be shown on Dec. 26 on CBS. Look for Jack White, Lenny Kravitz, Kid Rock and Ann and Nacy Wilson with Jason Bonham all doing Zep songs.
            Ka is a wheel.

            Fans Theme: “You’re Breaking my heart, You’re tearin’ it apart” – Harry Nilsson

            You’re breaking my heart

      • SmartDog says:

        I’m with you Zep. Fehr is just a foil to Bettman. And he wouldn’t be there at all if Bettman wasn’t such a fascist a-hole.

        Listen to the Smart Dog. He knows his poop!

        • ZepFan2 says:

          Exactly SD, he (Fehr) wont take any BS from Bettman. It’s not fun when you can’t push people around. Bettman and Jacobs are finding that out the hard way.

          Ka is a wheel.

          Fans Theme: “You’re Breaking my heart, You’re tearin’ it apart” – Harry Nilsson

          You’re breaking my heart

    • kempie says:

      So true. You can bet that Goodenow or anybody else likely would have games being played by now. I think the players brought in Fehr for two reasons. 1. They hadn’t had any success finding a leader they were 100% comfortable with and 2. To break this 5 year lockout cycle once & for all.

      Maybe those reasons are in the wrong order the way I wrote them. I believe that breaking the cycle is their main goal at this point. I also believe that Fehr is the best guy to get that done but it won’t be pretty.

      I know that there are two sides in this and, yes on one side it’s 25 year old cocky, testosterone bloated millionaires for sure. But on the other side has always, since the beginning been a money-grubbing mismanaged bunch of out-of-touch jackholes running a bumbling classic old boys club as a hobby and to hell with the game.

      I take the players side pretty much completely. These guys are the 700 best hockey players in the cosmos. They’re not easily replaceable. The owners sell tickets to see them play. It’s really that simple in the end.

      Bettman only needs 8 votes. If 51% carries the vote (it may not) then Fehr will need about 16 teams full of players on board. I wouldn’t be too surprised if this carries over into next fall or beyond.

      At some point soon, I say screw it, decertify and just let this thing bleed to death. Let guys like Balsillie & Péladeau come out of the woodwork to bring back the WHA.

      • HabFab says:

        I believe the NHL has planned for the “de-certification factor”, in fact Bettman got excited but then quickly put on his stone face at it being mentioned during his press conference.
        Since Fehr was hired,IMO, the NHL has spent millions on lawyers working to prepare for and counter his moves…call it the Fehr factor if you will. So the owners which are normally hard nose individuals became even more so.

        Oh, by the way “damn anarchist” 🙂

      • wjc says:

        Boy, could we have an interesting conversation over a cup of coffee.

        Whata ya say, up for it …..Kempie.


  28. habstrinifan says:

    HIO was a tough read today. Not because the writing was weak or silly. Each argument for one side or the other prompted even more questions. However, one central issue seems to be a no brainer and should NOT BE the apparent stumbling block that it is. If you follow the details on this issue (as laid out by pundits and posters here on the board) the conclusion has to be that ONLY a FEW players are running the ship on this issue. Can you then draw the conclsion that those few players are mistakenly and misguidedly dominating the thought process for the players on all other issues.

    The issue is contract limit.

    The facts seem to be:

    1)NHL will HONOUR to some substantial manner ALL existing contracts.

    2)New CBA will establish 5 year limit for any NEW contract.

    3)That limit WILL EXCLUDE team ‘owned players’ (those drafted or signed to first contract by THAT TEAM) from this 5 year limit. All teams can sign ANY and AS MANY of their ‘OWNED’ players to 7 year contracts.

    Historical observations:

    Only a very few players have historically been signed for contracts of longer than 5 years.
    Many of those contracts have proven to be a ‘mistake’ economically’ (very very important) and have contributed to a salary structure where teams are focussing on ‘up and coming younger players’ and re-tooling their rosters accordingly.. one can say almost to the point OF ‘EXPLOITING’ the younger player. And yes I use that term advisedly considering the dollar amounts for all players. But my point is valid.

    Going forward:
    Any player who at the end of 5 years is still a ‘super star performer’ will get a free agent type contract dollar wise for another 5 years or 7 years if he stays with his’original’ team.

    Any player at the end of 5 years (like DiPietro or YASHIN for instance) whose performance has suffered for whatever reason will still be compensated at a level matching what I shall describe as ‘non elite player’ dollars and length.

    A beneficially levelling effect on contracts… More monies availble to build a sound team around ‘stars’
    Incentive to stay with your original team… but no real IMPEDIMENT to ply your wares elsewhere.. you presumably can still sign for 5 years or less AT greater dollars.

    A more structured and errant-prone financial framework on which to develop your team…especially in areas where depressed interest now prevails.

    I strongly disagree with the sentiments expressed by some posters that this provides less ‘security’ for players. It does remove the opportunity to sign what has proven to be unmanageable and ‘unfulfillable’ contracts in instances of injuries or of precipitous performance decline. But it will also work in favour of the players (and I am sure there are many… I think Crosby was one) who signed a long term contract at then prevailing rates and found themselves the team’s best performer not making the team’s highest dollars.

    To me this is absolutely a misguided and SELFISH and USELESS (based on the percentage of clientele) fight for the NHLPA. And I think it a righteous hill to stand on for the owners.

    Way I see it anyways.

    • SmartDog says:

      I’m whichoo.,

      I think the players (guided by Fehr) were just trying a bit of push-back. Of all the things to fight over, these are not things that I think the players should be so bothered by. Both because they won’t affect the majority of players and because they are actually (gasp!) helpful to the game. A longer term for this agreement means the game, the players, and the fans won’t have to go through this BS anytime soon. And contract limits means that teams will have to stick more to the cap and that some teams will be less likely to make stupid long-term blunders (here’s looking at you NYI).

      I do however agree with Fehr’s comments that Bettman behaves in an unusual (read childish) way when he keeps pulling deals off the table. There didn’t have to be that much drama. All the NHL needed to do was to say “no deal” and then make it clear to the NHLPA that they were stuck in on these things.

      Listen to the Smart Dog. He knows his poop!

      • wjc says:

        Smart dog?…why does unusual become “childish”.
        So “push back” my phrase by the way was “over reaching”.

        Bettman pulls deals off the table when they are not accepted. He could add more and more, but then that would be…….stupid.

        NHL did say “no deal”….no deal, nooooooo deal, not a deal here.

        How many ways can they say it and then before pulling the damn thing off the table……swish……gone….you had your chance……

    • commandant says:

      Just because a player may not be offered a six year contract, doesn’t mean he’s not effected by the fact that there are 5 year maxes.

      We have to look at net effect here….

      Guys like Crosby, Malkin, etc… they are going to get paid, and they are going to get big dollars. With a five year limit they are going to be bigger cap hits than they were under the previous CBA. This will mean less room on a team for the guys who make 4 or 5 million, and that big group of players will be pushed down to the 2-3 million range.

      The 5 year deals don’t hurt a guy like Crosby or Toews, or any superstars. They hurt the next group. Look at the NBA and how the superstars get paid, but the middle group gets way less to see the net effect of the rule.

      Go Habs Go!
      Check out Top Shelf Prospects, my Team by Team prospect reports

    • Mark C says:

      Two quick points:

      There are at least over 50 current contracts of 5 years or more. Is that really historically few players?

      How can this be a righteous hill for the owners to stand on, when they just handed out another slew of 5+ year contracts this summer?

      In the end, I get the sense that this is just a negotiation ploy, the NHLPA agree to the 5/7 year contract limit.

  29. SmartDog says:

    Gotta say I’m impressed with Crosby. His simple and direct comments in response to last week are bang on.


    Listen to the Smart Dog. He knows his poop!

    • habstrinifan says:

      Gotta say SmartDog, you had me on this one. I ran excitedly to read the article expecting pearls from Crosby. Sorry nothing in THIS article to draw such heavy praise for Crosby. I am gonna read i agin just to make sure… you are usually bang-on.

      • SmartDog says:

        LOL. No, it’s not genius. But I don’t think there are any genius comments to make. If you look at it in the context of what others are saying, you might see why I singled it out.

        While everyone else was taking shots at each other, he first called out the whole process without pointing fingers or being mean-spirited finishing with “I’m just a hockey player”. And second, in the wake of last weeks implosion he finished on an up note saying that the work that was done wasn’t wasted – that the sides are now closer.

        In a frustrating week full of BS and spin, his were the most honest and maybe the only STILL positive comments I’ve read. There’s not much more I could ask. It strikes me as both classy and wise (again, who else could you say that about).

        When Gretzky was the league ‘hero’ he would speak up every now and then and while it was often heartfelt and honest, it never struck me as that insightful. Crosby seems like quite a savvy and smart guy. He knows his power and I think he used it well here. As well as anyone could.

        Listen to the Smart Dog. He knows his poop!

        • habstrinifan says:

          “It strikes me as both classy and wise (again, who else could you say that about)”

          A good description of Crosby’s ‘presence’ and I am very inclined to applaud it as what we need more of. But I just read the piece on Hainsey and some other pieces which described the dirty work in the trenches. I really dont know at this point whose ‘services’ are more important. While Crosby’s temperate tone placates me, I feel compelled to give the ‘investment’ of people like Hainsey its due, even if it leaves me less optimistic.

        • wjc says:

          Smartdog, you are right Crosby is a saint.

          I love you crosby, oh yes I do, playing hockey is not important, just quoting Crosby. I could quote Crosby saying nothing all day.


  30. Hobie Hansen says:

    In regards to the poll question, I think Fehr is absolutely the right man to represent the NHLPA. His job is to get his client the best deal possible, and up to now he has been able to get the NHL to sweeten each offer they’ve presented.

    Fehr tried one last attempt to squeeze a bit more from the owners and the NHL made their stand an said enough is enough. You have to think the NHL will extend their original offer from several days ago one more time and Fehr will have one more chance to agree or destroy the season if he requests to play with the numbers.

    Fehr doesn’t care about the fans, reporters or even hockey. All he cares about is winning his case for his client and making some serious coin to doing so.

    Both Fehrs, Bettman and Daily are very good at what they do. Unfortunately that means no hockey for us.

    • HabFab says:

      The FehrButt Nazis says “No hockey for you”.

      Good post, you are correct and unfortunately we all get caught up in our passions sometimes.

      • SmartDog says:

        Hear, hear! Good post Hobie.

        The soup Nazi – haha. Funny. I can’t get past how much Bettman looks like Peewee Herman. And Fehr could play a good Grinch. Hopefully it doesn’t turn out that way for real.
        Listen to the Smart Dog. He knows his poop!

        • Hobie Hansen says:

          One thing about Bettman. We all know he didn’t grow up in Canada playing hockey on an outdoor rink. We all know he puts the finances way before his love for hockey and the fans.

          But you can’t say that he doesn’t put his heart and soul into growing the game and putting together the best product possible. The league was in brutal shape when he took over 20 years ago and by the end of lat season it was at it’s most popular point in many decades if not ever.

          We may have lost Quebec and Winnipeg on his watch but Edmonton and Calgary were saved. And last year Winnipeg returned and Quebec will be back shortly. If he hadn’t taken over all four of those teams would probably be extinct today.

          I gained a bit of respect for Bettman and Daily after their press conference the other night when they just laid everything on the table and didn’t flinch for a second when being hammered with questions from the reporters. They made a pretty fair offer.

          • SmartDog says:

            Hey Hobie. You’re not going to win me over to being positive on Bettman, but I respect your points and that there is something to them. Good post.

            Listen to the Smart Dog. He knows his poop!

        • wjc says:

          Getting rather silly and personal…..this is just like a kids playground.

          I don’t understand what is going on so I will call him hilarious names.


          • wjc says:

            Yes Hobie, you will not win Smart Dog? over with him (Bettman) doing/saying anything positive. My mind is totally closed…closed, closed. Smart dog? has made up his mind and you can never change it…….woof woof.


  31. JohnBellyful says:

    ‘Tis the season (it just ain’t hockey)

  32. habsfan0 says:

    I know there’s a lockout, but whatever happened to Mike Boone?

    He seems to be AWOL.

    • HabFab says:

      He has retired so not writing for the Gazette anymore BUT has accepted a gig for doing his “Live-blog” and “About Last Night” here at HIO. In the meantime, unfortunately he is just another victim of this SNAFU!

      Clink on the Boone tab up above.

    • wjc says:

      He writes under an Alias, fairly obvious if you think about it. He went nowhere, skulking around here.

      Many people have alias’s on here nothing new there.


    • New says:

      I love links that support my POV, thanks:-). I have seen many group efforts painstakingly crafted only to be derailed by an a****** at the last minute. It is difficult enough to negotiate by committee but when you have hotheads making pronouncements all you do is foul up the deal. Anyone with any sense knows that phrases like “Everything that was on the table is off the table.” are by their nature insane so are not true. Given that, what can be thought true if many of the pronouncements from Bettman are obviously untrue? Drop dead dates that slide? Final offer that is changed? Yeah right.

      Nope Don Fehr isn’t the ideal guy to get hockey back on the ice but the impediment to a deal is the commissioner. Until the owners get a grip on his theatrics and histrionics nothing will get solved, and with a couple hardliner owners running the show that won’t happen.

    • wjc says:

      Don’t trust blogs to many people write them and put them out as insider information and are actually based on biased opinions. Like some sell on here, there blog is supposed to right up on latest amateur players and they dig them out of the internet, that anyone could do.


  33. Cal says:

    Happy Saturday, everyone!
    This one is the quiet after the storm.


  34. JF says:

    Despite the dramatic breakdown of talks on Thursday, I’m trying to remain optimistic. Several sports analysts, including Pierre LeBrun and Renaud Lavoie, still feel that a deal is near, that the elements of a deal are on the table and it only remains for the two sides to overcome their mutual lack of trust and take the final step. It is preposterous that a season could be lost over the duration of the new CBA or the length of players’ contracts, and it is difficult to understand the two sides’ obduracy on these points.

    On the first, a ten-year CBA seems to be in the players’ interest. Fehr’s objection to it is that we can’t know what the economic landscape will look like in five years, let alone ten. But players’ salaries have always increased, and short of a worldwide economic crash, this will continue to be the case. So why not sign for ten years? Most of today’s players will be near the end of their careers by that time; many will have stopped playing. Where’s the problem in knowing what your working and contractual conditions will be for the next ten years? By what logic can anyone imagine that the players will be able to extract more from the owners in another negotiation in five years, when each new CBA in recent years has been an opportunity for the owners to claw back more from the players? And above all, why would anyone want to go through this ridiculous and costly mess again five years down the road?

    As for the five-year limit on contracts, it is absurd that that has become the hill the owners will die on. Its purpose is to protect themselves from irresponsible spending and attempts to circumvent the cap by handing out ludicrously long, front-loaded contracts; but, as Chris and others have pointed out, that is already taken care of in their rules about salary variation from year to year. As for the players, only the stars would ever be offered contracts of more than five years; and the owners have agreed to seven years for a team’s own player. Are the rank-and-file prepared to sacrifice their season (and in many cases, their careers) so a few can have contracts of eight years or more? It makes no sense.

    The players should recognize that this negotiation was always about the owners clawing back money and acquired rights, and that the current position of the two parties represents the least the owners are prepared to accept in claw-backs. Don Fehr seems to have gambled on the players getting a little more, but I think he overplayed his hand. I doubt the owners will be contacting the players in the next few days, so it will be up to the players to push Fehr to go back to the owners and request that the latest offer be put back on the table. With time ticking away on the season and the League’s credibility on the line, it is difficult to see them refusing. If the players refuse to budge, the deal they eventually accept will be worse than what the owners offered last week.

    • HabFab says:

      Good points! I’m still trying to figure how the two sides had such different perspectives in their press conferences the other day…obviously still not speaking the same language. And as this writer points out, the players win even when they lose;


      • JF says:

        From what I’ve read, Don Fehr was being deliberately disingenuous when he faced the media on Thursday. Apparently the last thing Bill Daly said to him before he left the room was, “I don’t know where we go from here.” So Fehr knew the players’ proposal was not going to be accepted, yet he told everyone he thought the two sides were so close as to be almost on top of each other. This is why Bettman was so livid, and perhaps even why he immediately pulled the owners’ offer off the table.

        • HabFab says:

          I can understand Fehr and even expect such, but the players reaction seemed to back his OR perhaps that is why they listened to Bettmans presser from the back of the hall.

    • Cal says:

      I believe all this is about the players feeling they need to “win” this negotiation. No one is telling them that by playing in the league and getting the best pay and hotels and chartered flights that they already have.

      • Bill J says:

        I’m sorry, but this makes no sense.

        In order for the players “to win” at minimum one or more of the below would HAVE to happen:

        – HRR share INCREASES for the players to anything above 57.1%
        – RFA and UFA removed, all players free to do what they want when they want.
        – Salary Cap removed

        It seems many people forget, the players have done ALL the conceding. All the players want in return from the owners in return? Not to be greedy, fair… But not greedy.

        Why can’t the NHL govern teams, and not players on the “Daly deal breakers”

        For example, why doesn’t the league ala ShanaBan penalize teams for signing a contract with a duration of 6+ years.

        Why must the players be burdened with the responsibility of governing the leagues GM’s?

        Go Habs Go!

        • HabFab says:

          Because they can’t change the “playing field” without the PA’s approval.
          The CBA creates the economic market or playing field for contracts. If the CBA says you can’t do this, then it can’t be done. If the CBA doesn’t say you can’t, then you can. The only way for the NHL to penalize or change the contract playing field during the CBA term is with the approval of the NHLPA. So if it isn’t mentioned in the CBA, then it goes. The player agents and GM’s are always going to be looking for an edge in their competition for free agents. So when the next CBA expires, then the NHL will be trying again to close some loophole that a smart agent or GM has discovered.

          And I’m surprised how many people don’t understand this including players and reporters.

          • Bill J says:

            That’s what I’m suggesting though…. Just saying, instead of saying “not allowed to have contracts 5 years or longer” say “any contract offered will have a penalty linked to it for contracts of 5 years or more.”

            My suggestion?
            1million per year above 5, sign a 17 year deal? Team owner must pay 12Million “signing” penalty fee to the “revenue sharing” fund. Thereby releasing the same revenue sharing burden on other team owners.


            Go Habs Go!

          • HabinBurlington says:

            That’s not a bad suggestion Bill, I believe the NBA had this type of luxury tax written into their previous CBA (unsure if in the most recent one), it was my recollection that virtually no team did exceed the cap as the dollar penalty was so great they didn’t believe it to be worth it.

            I would have no issues with some kind of extra cap room available if x % is then paid to rev. sharing.

          • HabFab says:

            The owners view that as an attempt to get a higher “player share” out of the HRR. The PA recommends that owners not be penalized for contract buy outs against the Cap but the owners respond with, that means they are just increasing the share of the HRR to the players (Salary Cap + buys outs). And thus their arguments against the PA’s proposals along these lines. Mathematically they have a point. If only it was so easy buddy 🙂

        • Cal says:

          Know something? I don’t feel any sympathy for the players at all. They make a great living and many make enough to keep their families wealthy during the worst recession since the Great Depression.
          The league wants a few more restrictions on contracts to prevent the ludicrous crap that happened with Shea Weber this past summer. 90% of players don’t sign anything for more than three seasons, anyway. If the Crosbys and Webers and Brad Richards of the world don’t like it, why don’t they sue the league or walk away from their bonus clauses that have been paid EVEN THOUGH THEY AREN’T PLAYING?

          EDIT- Apologies, Bill. I’m just a little too worked up over the Fehr’s “We’ll get more” bs.

        • HabinBurlington says:

          If we ignore the % for a minute, and if players salaries increase beyond the present salaries, is this considered a win?

          I am not privvy to the exact financial numbers of the company I work for. However, if I am able to make more money than the previous year I consider that to be a better year for me (yes a simplistic view, I realize other conditions exist) and for me that is a win.

          If a player makes more money in the future than the present, and this goes across the board for all players I fail to understand why this is not a win for the players.

          If indeed they are stuck on what % they make of the league revenues versus whether or not their personal incomes and playing conditions are improving, then to me the solution is obvious. Start their own league, evidently they are so deserving of better treatment that they would then have the ability to run a league and play in it. Good on them if they can pull that off.

        • wjc says:

          I want the Players association to make an offer to the NHL owners.

          An offer that they could not refuse.

          Then take over the NHL give the players 100% of revenue’s less cost of course. They could add teams , subtract teams as they see fit.

          There now sit back and enjoy…..only need players now for sure.

          Owners are gone, the dog is the tail and the dog working together in perfect harmony… Boston players would be owner/players and Montreal players would be owner/players.

          No caps…rich would rule, the poorer teams could toil with never a chance…..and everyone would live happily ever after.


    • HabinBurlington says:

      Good Post JF, you make some very good points (as usual). When it comes to contract term, I can understand the players perspective for wanting more than 5, particularly when the current club can offer 7 under the owners present offer. When a player gets to UFA this is their lottery period as a player, and I am not sure it is fair to the player that only the club that perhaps drafted them, can provide the security of 7 years versus others offering a max of 5. I am not personally in favour of a 7 year term, but I am not sure it is fair to have only the current club offer a longer term.

      As for why Fehr is so hell bent on 5 years, perhaps it is as simple as he would love to be able to justify his (or a replacements) presence every 5 years to earn the large paycheque he/she receives. The role of NHLPA Commander in Chief is diminished somewhat if the CBA is much longer.

      End of day, both sides lose by not playing and this undermining factor should be first and foremost in both sides mind!

      • JF says:

        Good point about it being unfair for only a player’s own team to be able to offer him seven years. I don’t see why the two sides can’t agree on six years as a maximum. Only a handful of players even have that long; and the real point of the contract-limit is to prevent ten or fifteen-year deals.

  35. Habfan10912 says:

    Anybody else think the moderate owners were allowed to take their best shot and now the hardliners are back in the drivers seat? If so,this probably means good bye season and very likely into next.
    I don’t believe that Fehr blew this up over contract term. I think he saw another nickle there somewhere and told the players that they’d get it by holding out longer.


  36. HabFab says:

    Berkie with some words of advise;

    We all love to hate the little shite and in truth that is his role (which he does well) but all you haters got to pull your heads out of those dark orifices. Be them your own or Fehrs or the players and get some fresh oxygen into those starving brain cells…good morning HIO!!

  37. HabinBurlington says:

    Want a reason to dislike the owners and their legal representation during this current lockout? Read the attached description of the Lawyers the NHL has hired.
    This isn’t a new report, but an interesting read.

    At the bottom of the report it is of interest to learn where David Stern and Gary Bettman got their start. 😉

    • HabFab says:

      The players are engaged against Corporate America here, a Don Quixote misadventure and mismatch if you will. And the owners have the resources to fight or wait this out. Most of the players are A types but they are going up against triple A types.

  38. HabinBurlington says:

    Interesting to hear Mike Komisarek say how much the players have given. Perhaps he would like to review his play in light of a No Trade Clause a No Movement Clause and evidently a Not Play Well Clause, all the while cashing cheques.

    In the same vain, owners like Jacobs and Leipold shouldn’t open their yaps either in light of the contracts they handed out this summer which now they feel are unjust.

    Both sides continue to refuse to see the big picture…..

  39. commandant says:

    A National Hero was fired today


    Go Habs Go!
    Check out Top Shelf Prospects, my Team by Team prospect reports

  40. Habsrule76 says:

    The Leafs players didn’t show up……go habs go

    The Price is RIGHT!

  41. Habitant in Surrey says:

    …anyOne besides Me unable to listen to the Players’ audios in ‘the Audio exclusive: Habs’ Gionta, Cole, Gorges on talks breakdown’ thread ?

    …nothing wrong with My speakers as I can hear other media and music, but those audio clips nothin’ but dead silence 🙂

  42. Habitant in Surrey says:

    …trying times, and nice to see the better side
    …humans are prey to few beasts, …except Ourselves

  43. Bripro says:

    Just a liiiiiiiiiiitle smidgen of good news. That’s all I want. Just a teeeeeeeny weeeeeeeny….you know.

  44. Fake says:

    No points for Gally tonight, game’s in a shootout now Gally has a tally for the Sting.

  45. HabinBurlington says:

    Despite the current mess between PA and NHL, I am sure the patients at the hospital appreciated the visit from the various players. Good on them!

  46. Ron says:

    Still 3-1 Crunch at end of 2nd. Bulldogs being out shot 32-12

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