Canadiens captain Brian Gionta probably spoke for a lot of hockey fans – and NHL players – when he tweeted on Sunday: “Let’s just play hockey!”
He followed that up with another tweet: “That–let’s play hockey was directed at Gary Bettman”
Bettman made it clear on Aug. 9 that the NHL is prepared to lock out the players when the current collective bargaining agreement expires on Sept. 15.
“I re-confirmed something that the union has been told multiple times over the last nine to 12 months,” Bettman told reporters after a two-hour meeting in New York that day. “Namely, that time is getting short and the owners are not prepared to operate under this collective bargaining agreement for another season, so we need to get to making a deal and doing it soon. And we believe there’s ample time for the parties to get together and make a deal and that’s what we’re going to be working toward.”
Donald Fehr said the NHLPA will present an “alternative view” when it makes a collective bargaining pitch to the league on Tuesday. He added that it will not be a counter-proposal to the deal the NHL presented on July 13.
“What we expect to do tomorrow is to put forth an alternative view as to what we should do next,” Fehr told reporters in Toronto on Monday. “That’s the best way I can put it.”
Player agent Allan Walsh had an interesting tweet the day after Bettman’s announcement about the hard Sept. 15 deadline: “The average NHL ticket price has increased 39% since 2004 when Gary Bettman promised fans a salary cap would lower ticket prices.”
The top Canadiens ticket for the 2012-13 season – in the Platinum section for an Optimum game – at the Bell Centre will cost $418.
For a complete list of Canadiens ticket prices, click here.
(Photo by Francois Lacasse/NHLI via Getty Images)