Little to report from first day of NHL mediation


The NHL and the players’ association began mediation on Wednesday, but there wasn’t much to report.

The Canadian Press reports that the sides met separately with mediators Scot L. Beckenbaugh and John Sweeney at an undisclosed location. The non-binding sessions are intended to try and help the sides find some common ground, and will continue Thursday.

The NHLPA released the following statement from executive director Don Fehr following the meeting:

“A small group of NHLPA staff and players met today with two experienced FMCS mediators.  We expect that these discussions will resume on Thursday.”

You can read more by clicking here.’s Stu Hackel wrote a good column on fan anger rising during the lockout “with the NHL on road to brand suicide.” You can read the column by clicking here.

And Pierre LeBrun reports on that Sidney Crosby is getting closer to playing in Europe. You can read that column by clicking here.

(Photo by Chris Young/The Canadian Press)


  1. FANHABULOUS says:

    It’s been interesting reading about fans’ reactions in different cities, and what they would do when the season starts again. I saw something about a guy (in Philly I think?) who started a Facebook page to help organize a first day boycott of games across the league.

    I’m not one of these guys with the “never going back to watching NHL hockey anymore” attitudes… but I do think there is a smart, simple way for fans to stick it to both the players and the owners, without missing out on hockey.

    Just don’t go to live games… simple! We can all still watch our favorite teams on TV, every game is televised in some form. Just boycott the live games for a few months… the reduced revenue will decrease HRR overall, which will mean less pie to be divided by both players and owners… so they both lose.

    It’s the only way fans can make their voices heard, without having to get all psycho with a “never watching the NHL again!” mentality.

  2. mark-ID says:

    PK just tweeted that he was in a barber shop in Toronto, talking Habs/Leafs to the guy next to him……and the guy asked him what he thought of Subban. Lol.
    I wonder if he told him the truth or pretended to not be him.

    “I think I may have found a way for us to get Griffey and Bonds, and we really won’t have to give up much” -Costanza

  3. Ian_Habs4life says:

    I wish this lockout could just be over so that we can get back to doing what we love and thats drinking a couple of pints and watching our great Habs.

  4. Mattyleg says:

    Know what I realised yesterday?
    If the NHL started tomorrow, or in two months’ time, or whatever, I wouldn’t be that excited.

    I’m not one of these “I’m never going back” or “I can live without the NHL, just watch me!” types, but I guaged my anticipation-o-meter yesterday, and realised that I wasn’t that crazy about watching hockey (if and) when it comes back.

    I’ll watch it, for sure, and I might even watch all the games, but right now, when I imagine myself seeing the teams skate back out onto the ice… I don’t feel anything.

    I waited all summer for the season to start; waited with excitement to see our new players, to see how our old players have come along, to see the new coach… and I read all the off-season articles, the silly and banal alongside the interesting and informative.

    Now, I’m not so thrilled at the prospect of seeing them play.

    When I was 18, I fell in love with a girl I was in CEGEP with. She was the most perfect girl in the world, without flaws -only ‘quirks’- beautiful, funny, fun, smart, ideal. She was unassailable perfection.

    We spent loads of time together in the winter semester, and she went away to Europe for 6 weeks on a trip with her family. I wrote her letters, she wrote to me, she even called me a couple of times. As her return date neared, I thought my heart was going to explode.

    When she got back, she said she couldn’t meet up with me. That was fine. I’d waited six weeks, a day or two wouldn’t hurt. She put me off. And put me off. At first I was confused. Then angry. Then… then a week later she called and said she wanted to meet up. She sounded excited. I wasn’t. It’s not that I was seeing anyone else, I just didn’t feel the same *zing* I’d felt when I’d heard her voice before. I said I’d meet her, and looked forward to it as one would look forward to their little sister’s piano recital; it might be nice, but… meh.

    I met her and we chatted. It was pleasant enough, and I even felt stirrings of the same emotion I’d felt with her before, but it had changed. The spark was dead, and I saw her for who she was. She wasn’t perfect. Her ‘quirks’ were a bit more annoying. I had trouble following what she was saying because it wasn’t very interesting.

    We left each other at the café, I tried to kiss her cheek, she kissed my lips, and she knew it was over. She cried a bit when we parted, but I walked out the door feeling fine.

    —Hope Springs Eternal—

    • HabinBurlington says:

      You cold hearted bugger, 😉

      Okay, I still don’t see the warts of the game of hockey to that extent, and would be excited to watch.

      However, I might be more excited if they threw Fehr and Bettman into a den with hungry wolves and let me watch!

      Have a good day Matty.

    • Gerry H says:

      You nailed my sentiments precisely, Matty. And I think the metaphor
      you used works, too. It’s easy to shatter an unrealistic illusion. Just as the illusion of “unassailable perfection” fell apart when she proved to be a flawed human (as she must), the illusion of the “oneness” between the Habs brand and the 23 guys that wear la sainte flanelle vaporizes pretty quickly when you realize it’s all just business.

    • New says:

      The last strike/lockout, the season lost, I took as an anomaly. But now it seems to be a way of business. That I don’t understand. It is like a transit strike. Everyone agrees there will be transit, but not while negotiations are going on. So what exactly is the point of leaving thousands of riders stranded? To me they could all be making money, going to arbitration, and getting it settled — last year. Then no hard feelings over scam contracts set for reduction, lowered caps, none of that. To me the real money for the owners is in flipping the business so as long as they aren’t looking to sell today — which is a good bet considering no one is seriously looking to buy — the a lockout means nothing. Another write off, even shareholders take the loss for you, and you sell high in 2016.

      So yeah, the NHL is what it is. A monopoly that controls the highest level of play. I am at the point now where I agree, something is gone, and I think it is gone for good. I would actually laugh if the values of each franchise ran Phoenix like from now on. They brought it on themselves.

    • Bripro says:

      Dear Abby,
      I’m forwarding a letter from a friend whom I chat with online on occasion. As you will notice, he’s having a hard time handling his emotions and offering any long-term commitment.
      He feels alienated by the NHL, as do most of us. But it’s obvious that he’s not a very patient man, since an extra few days was enough for him to fall out of love.
      I worry about him since one day, he may have to commit to marriage or a long-term relationship, and he’s clearly not ready.
      I believe this hockey lock-out is the perfect grooming ground for him to develop the badly needed sense of patience in order to handle years and years of rejection. As you know, in a marriage, rejection is the norm.
      Could you consult with your sister Anne, and get back to me on this. My friend needs help, and I don’t want to read where he was the next Jacques Cartier Bridge climber.
      Sincerely, Bri

    • Hobie Hansen says:

      Too funny Mattyleg!

    • Trisomy 21 says:

      For some reason i quite enjoyed that story. Maybe because it’s so real and many can relate too. Maybe you just described your emotions from a time passed in a way that put words to the emotions that I have felt but couldn’t really describe as well as that. Maybe I just didn’t get enough sleep, but none the less thanks for sharing.

  5. Kooch7800 says:

    Just read Stubbs piece on Subban:

    Interesting read. I really like Subban and he is well spoken but it sounds to me from his comments that he already thinks he is a superstar and deserves huge bucks….I disagree. I think he must forget about the first half of the season in the last two years.

    • Cal says:

      Ditto. He needs a dose of humble pie. He will not get Price numbers (the latest contract) for his second contract. He isn’t bigger than the team.

      • Kooch7800 says:

        He will be an awesome D but I think he def loves himself quite a bit already. Hopefully his head doesn’t get too big

        “Keep your stick on the Ice”

        • HabinBurlington says:

          It is my only concern with PK, which is why I was so hopeful Markov could come back and be a leader on the ice with his presence, not necessarily with words.

          Hard not blame PK, like many players he has been told everywhere he goes how great he is, just normally doesn’t happen when you get called up in your rookie year in AHL and lead a team in the playoffs for 3 rounds as he did.

          • Kooch7800 says:

            He is good and there is no doubt there. But his confidence is his biggest asset and weakness. He does need a mentor in the NHL like you alluded with Markov. I am worried about Markov’s health as well. It is too bad we are not playing we could have been up for another high draft pick!

            “Keep your stick on the Ice”

    • Jan_pronounced_Yan says:

      I disagree. First of all, I don’t think PK is looking for an outrageous contract. At MOST, he’s probably looking for $5 million a year on a long-term deal. If you look at his numbers from last year, I would say it isn’t farfetched to think that he deserves that based on what his peers are making.

      In the entire NHL last year, there were only 10 other defensemen besides PK who put up 30 or more points, a plus rating and averaged over 24 minutes of ice-time per game. Those defensemen were:

      Erik Karlsson
      Zdeno Chara
      Alex Pietrangelo
      Shea Weber
      Dan Boyle
      Ryan Suter
      Kris Letang
      Duncan Keith
      Brent Seabrook
      Ryan McDonagh

      From that list, nobody played on a non-playoff team (let alone a bottom-3 team). Pietrangelo and McDonagh are on the last years of their entry-level contract, so they come in as steals for the next year. The lowest cap hit of the other players is Kris Letang at 3.5 million. However, he signed a 4-year deal that started in 2010-11 before the market was what it is now and before he put up the numbers stated above. The next lowest cap hit is Duncan Keith at 5.538 million.

      PK deserves his money. If management were smart, they would lock him up long-term to a cap hit of 4.5 million. He would be a steal in the later years of the contract.

    • Timo says:

      It’s hard to think that you don’t deserve big bucks when you play next to Gomez, Scott.

  6. Luke says:

    I wish these two sides could sort this out so they could get back to sabotaging, undermining and headshotting each other.

  7. Blondie says:

    Good article on fan anger.

    I get the impression that there is more of a will to do something to show the league and players that we’re really pissed off this time.

    I could see it lasting long enough for arenas to be half empty for the first game back – that would be awesome!

  8. Cal says:

    Hmmm, no HIO pages or articles today (yet). Could this be another bad sign?

  9. Cal says:

    Hi everyone. It was a great concert last night, but this morning my alarm did not work.
    Could that be a bad sign?

    • Blondie says:

      Good stuff Cal, great tune.

      I must admit I was expecting Clapton from your intro. 🙂

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Evidently both sides of the CBA use the same alarm clock as you Cal. Yesterday they managed to get up early enough to meet at 1pm, and today it appears they are really chomping at the bit and are meeting at 11am. Great to see the folks putting in huge efforts again to avert a season lost.

      • Blondie says:

        Lol – and they didn’t even meet each other yesterday, just with the mediators. Are they going to be in the same room today at least?

      • Cal says:

        I haven’t been happy with the piss-poor attitude both sides have displayed. If they really wanted to get a deal done, they’d stop dicking around. Of course, we are talking about two major a-holes, right?

    • Bripro says:

      Great tune selection Cal. I love Steevie!

      Sorry I didn’t comment earlier, but I just got up.
      What did I miss?

  10. 24 Cups says:

    I miss Mike Boone’s daily ramblings, his sense of humour and his take on the Habs and the game of hockey in general.

    During these dark lockout days, the headmaster is missed more than he’ll ever know.

    • JF says:

      Likewise, Steve. I also miss the heated discussions about actual hockey – almost as much as the games themselves. This site is just not the same.

      • 24 Cups says:

        Hi Jane – I think a lot of sports sites and daily papers are hurting – all the way up to TSN. It’s one thing to fill a few days but totally another to fill months on end.

        I have personally met Dave Stubbs and Pat Hickey. They are both devoted Hab reporters who I hold in high regard. I don’t know Stu Cowan but I believe he was born in Montreal and has worked his way up through the ranks at the Gazette to become sports editor. He might even be pushing the 25 year mark with the paper. It’s a pretty tough gig taking over a hockey site that begins with a three month lockout.

        Having to fill space on a daily basis (when there is no real hockey news) is a job that I don’t envy. I think all HI/O posters need to cut these three guys some slack.

        • Cal says:

          Agreed. However, a temp assignment to cover the Bulldogs more closely and another to cover Galchenyuk would be appropriate. I don’t bother reading the fantasy season report, but it is interesting to read the old coverage from 92/93 again.

          I bet the budgets at the Gazoo have dropped like a stone since the takeover by WordPress, making a poor situation almost untenable. The next couple months will tell the tale.

        • JF says:

          Steve – My remark wasn’t intended as a criticism of the site or of the work of Dave Stubbs, Pat Hickey or Stu Cowan. I realize they’re doing their best to stir some interest in a landscape that is all but devoid of hockey. Same goes for the sports networks with their Team Canada Rewinds and Rencontres Marquantes. It’s a tough job. I was just lamenting the absence of hockey and of everything hockey-related – no games, no About Last Night, no discussions about line combinations, how to fix the power play, or anything else. Hell, I even miss the Price-Halak debate!

          • 24 Cups says:

            None taken, Jane. I was just making a general statement, not really inferring anything from your post.

            Line combos. Now there’s something I don’t miss!!!

  11. HabinBurlington says:

    In other past HI/O debates, I noticed Jaro Halak made the TSN Top 10 today, but Price didn’t!

    (Granted it was for goals scored on your own net by the wrong team 🙂 )

  12. The Dude says:

    Hey Donald fur ball…..that was the same face I made when you helped kill the Expo’s! gfys……..

  13. commandant says:

    Max Vasilyev checks in with 5 ways to solve the lockout if mediation fails (humor)

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

  14. Cal says:

    Just back from the Bell Centre where there was plenty of action. LC at 78 is spry and full-voiced. I’m 52 and he’s how I’d like to be 26 years from now. Amazing, just like his band and his three “backing” vocalists.
    From the moment he asked us to Dance to the End of Love all the way to Closing Time more than three hours later (with a twenty minute break in between), Leonard had us well in hand. He chose songs from his most recent Old Ideas all the way back to Suzanne and even surprised with The Partisan.
    All in all, a splendid concert. By the way, Myron, you are correct. How the hell can a guy sing better as he approaches eighty? Cohen does.
    For those who are interested, this is the link for The Partisan:

  15. HammerHab says:

    video of Sheahan getting arrested


    It’ll always be Habs Inside/Out to me

  16. HardHabits says:

    Some food for thought. Radio-Canada reports:


    A study released Wednesday by Forbes magazine shows that even if the total profits of the NHL doubled during the 2011-2012 season, almost half of the teams remain in deficit.

    The figure reached $250 million last season. However, 83% of this revenue comes from three teams: the Toronto Maple Leafs (81.9 million), New York Rangers (74 million) and Canadiens (51.6 million).

    In contrast, 13 of the 30 teams posted a deficit.


    The NHL should contract to no more than 24 teams and should probably be whittled down to 20. I long for the day that Bettman is turfed. Until then the NHL and NBC can go to hell.

  17. Bill J says:


    Edit: WTH happened to the fireworks, free booze and unilateral life changing feelings from being first???


    Go Habs Go!

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