The labour battle between the NHL and the players’ association continued on Tuesday with the NHLPA questioning the league’s motives after news surfaced that team owners and general managers were given a 48-hour window last week to speak with players about the NHL’s latest contract offer.
“Most owners are not allowed to attend bargaining meetings,” Steve Fehr, the NHLPA’s special counsel, told The Canadian Press. “No owners are allowed to speak to the media about the bargaining. It is interesting that they are secretly unleashed to talk to the players about the meetings the players can attend, but the owners cannot.”
Since the lockout started on Sept. 15, the NHL had forbidden contact between team officials and the locked-out players. The Canadian Press reported it was unclear how many players were contacted last week.
You can read more by clicking here.
Meanwhile, the Canadiens’ Tomas Plekanec, who has eight goals and 16 points in 12 games with HC Kladno in the Czech Republic, doesn’t believe the lockout will wipe out the entire NHL season and he will be back in Montreal.
“Obviously you read some news in Canada and the States, and you hear people say ‘Oh we’re going to lose the season,’ but I don’t believe that,” Plekanec told The Canadian Press. “I can’t believe that we would lose all season. I’m sure that they will find a solution and we will start to play pretty soon.”
You can read more about Plekanec by clicking here.
The man who made a YouTube video titled NHL Lockout Kills Dreams, which was posted on HIO on the weekend (you can see it again below), is John Dick of Leduc Alta. His dad is dying of throat cancer and he wants the lockout to end so he can watch games with his ailing father.
“How do I feel about the situation in the NHL?” Dick asks in the video. “I hope that the doctors and nurses that keep my dad alive get a raise and that you guys get your asses back on the ice before it’s too late. Remember what we play this game for.”
The Last Gladiators, a movie about NHL enforcers, had its Montreal premiere on Monday night at the Starcité Cinema and opens in theatres across Canada on Friday.
While the film includes interviews with several retired NHL players, including Marty McSorley, Tony Twist and the late Bob Probert, its main focus is former Canadiens enforcer Chris Nilan, focusing on his NHL career, his descent into addiction after he retired and his subsequent recovery.
Nilan was also one of the fighters Arpon Basu focused on in his book NHL Enforcers: The Rough and Tough Guys of Hockey.
Wrote Basu: “If a Hollywood scriptwriter sat down and tried to depict the life of an NHL enforcer, he’d be hard pressed to come up with a story as compelling as that of former Montreal Canadiens tough guy Chris ‘Knuckles’ Nilan.
“Any stereotype about NHL fighters that fans believe to be true actually is in Nilan’s case; the rough neighbourhood growing up, the street fights every weekend, that me-against-the-world attitude, the fearlessness in fighting anyone and everyone to prove himself and, finally, that ticket to the big leagues that no one believed he would get.”
You can read more about Nilan by clicking here.
The Gazette’s Brenda Branswell will have a feature story on Nilan and the new movie in Thursday’s Hockey Inside/Out section of the paper and on HIO. Dave Stubbs will have a feature on former Boston Bruin Derek Sanderson, who was in town this week promoting a new book about his life and his own recovery from alcohol and drug addiction.
(Photo by Chris Young/The Canadian Press)