Former Canadiens goalie Ken Dryden has weighed in on the NHL lockout with the Hall of Famer writing an article that appeared in Friday’s Globe & Mail.
Dryden writes that the 2004-05 lockout and the settlement after that set the stage for what is happening now and the battle between the NHL and the players is now about more than just money.
“So, 2004 set the table for 2012. Most of the present issues emerged out of the effects of the unanticipated consequences of 2004.
“But beneath the issues, far more central to the present stalemate and far harder to resolve is the relationship. Last time, the owners won and the players lost. In Watergate, to help Woodward and Bernstein make sense of a confusing story, Deep Throat advised them to ‘follow the money.’ The owner-player dispute this time may seems to be about the money, but it’s not. To understand it you have to ‘follow the pride.'”
You can read Dryden’s entire article by clicking here.
Bruce Arthur of Postmedia News writes that optimism for the season is fleeting. Read that column by clicking here.
Cam Cole of Postmedia News writes “let the conspiracy theories begin”. Read that column by clicking here.
While some NHL teams have laid off employees or cut back on schedules and pay (including the Canadiens), Buffalo Sabres owner Terry Pegula had kept everyone on board during the lockout and started what is being called “Sabres University” with the team’s 100-or-so employees going back to school. Read more about that by clicking here.
Canadiens prospect Brendan Gallagher is playing with the AHL’s Hamilton Bulldogs during the lockout and has six goals and five assists in 18 games while getting under the skin of his opponents. Read more about him by clicking here.
During the last lockout, the NHL didn’t cancel the season until Feb. 16, 2005. Below is what Red Fisher wrote about that lockout in December 2004.
(Photo by Denis Brodeur/NHLI via Getty Images)
No cap, no deal: that’s the bottom line
PUBLISHED IN THE GAZETTE ON DEC. 4, 2004
Are you still among those who feel there’s going to be an NHL season, particularly now that the players have blinked first and will meet with the NHL next Thursday and, perhaps, Friday in Toronto?
If you are, then you weren’t listening when commissioner Gary Bettman reiterated the league’s position: that it won’t consider a luxury tax from the players. “Guesswork” is what the commish, who had lunch with union chief Bob Goodenow yesterday in New York, called the tax. So if a sweetened luxury tax is all the players have to offer, the league has to turn it down.
Colorado Avalanche defenceman Bob Boughner, who’s on the executive committee, and is playing in a charity game tonight in Aspen, had this to say to Denver Post writer Adrian Dater: “We believe this new one will be fair to everyone involved, and will benefit everyone involved. We feel it’s a great proposal that solves everyone’s concerns.”
Dallas Morning News columnist Mike Heika talked to Stars forward Bill Guerin, one of six vice-presidents with the union: “I think there’s a very good chance it could save the season,” Guerin said. “I believe we are going to be fair to the NHL, fair to the union and offer a system that will work.”
You’d expect union executives to say these things, but I agree with San Jose defenceman Scott Hannan when he says: “I don’t know if you get excited about this or not. Every player wants to get this done and get back playing, but I’m not going to hold my breath.”
Furthermore, when a Steve Yzerman says, as he did on Thursday, that “it’s doubtful a salary cap is in the proposal,” why is everyone getting twisted out of shape with optimism that part of the season will be saved?
Common sense dictates that anything short of a salary cap won’t interest the NHL. That’s been Bettman’s message from the start, and since he’s the man who’ll be held accountable, he can’t change the lyrics to his sour music. And I don’t have to remind you that the players can’t change their “no salary cap” tune, either.
You can be sure Bettman delivered the same message to the general managers at Thursday’s dinner meeting, and it’s also what Bettman will tell any of the owners who might be thinking enough’s enough and that any kind of a shortened season is better than no season at all.
Bettman wants no part of a luxury tax. He felt that way when the league officially rejected the union’s luxury-tax-based proposal when they last met on Sept. 9. He still feels that way, and make no mistake about it: Bettman is driving this bus with an authority far greater than any of the people who preceded him.
The owners are his passengers and they’ll ride with him – no matter how long it takes.