Two days of mediation accomplish nothing


After two days of mediation accomplished basically nothing, The Canadian Press reported that commissioner Gary Bettman proposed Thursday that the leadership from both sides step aside for the next bargaining session, leaving a group of owners and players to try and break the stalemate. The NHLPA said it would consider the offer, according to sources.

The sides were unable to bridge a gap in collective bargaining negotiations despite sitting through a series of sessions with U.S. federal mediators Scot L. Beckenbaugh and John Sweeney in Woodbridge, N.J.

“After spending several hours with both sides over two days, the presiding mediators concluded that the parties remained far apart, and that no progress toward a resolution could be made through further mediation at this point in time,” deputy commissioner Bill Daly said in a statement. “We are disappointed that the mediation process was not successful.”

You can read more by clicking here.

If you’re looking for some good hockey news, Canadiens prospect Charles Hudon, a fifth-round pick at this year’s NHL entry draft, looks like a good bet to make Team Canada for the world junior championship. Read more by clicking here.

And if you’re looking for a little humour, country-music superstar Carrie Underwood has joked that her husband, Nashville Predators forward Mike Fisher, has become a “trophy” husband during the NHL lockout. Read more by clicking here.

(Photo by Mary Altaffer/The Associated Press)


  1. Habitant in Surrey says:

    …My first drop-in in the past 7 to 10 dayz …(I really have not been counting, therefore ‘the estimate’)

    …the only thing I miss reading is Ben’s (Commandant’s) prospect updates

    …the rest of Your conversations make Me sick to My stomach 🙁

    …it’s not You, the Commentariat, personally, that make Me sick, as You are all (most ? 🙂 ) Beautiful People (after all, You are ‘Habs Fans’ )…but simply the subject matter

    …I can only take reading this shite for so long (like 10 minutes) before I need to throw My breakfast, lunch, snacks and supper up 🙁

    …though one positive I notice is that Hick’s Midnight Fantasy Series has apparently taken a hiatus …thanks be to Gawd !!!

    …or have I spoken too soon ? 🙂

    Habitant means PASSIONATE HOCKEY

    Campaign to Retire Toe Blake’s Number 6 !!!

    Bring Back Boone, and send Hickey to Hamilton !!!

    …and, last, but not least: FREE PUSSY RIOT !!!

  2. HabinBurlington says:

    So Jacobs owns Delaware North, which in turn owns/operates SportService. This company is in many baseball and football stadiums across the U.S. I wonder how many NHL teams use this company for their arena concessions? I would hope most teams would be smart enough not too, as I am sure Jacobs could use this as just one more tool in his control over the other league owners.

  3. habstrinifan says:

    Couple goes to their pastor, “Father we are having a problem in our marriage we need your help.”

    The priest listens for 5 minutes and tells them their case is hopeless.

    The couple decides to try a new tact. They go home, open all their windows and decides to shout at each other unsupervised and without any guidelines or directions.

    Sounds familiar?

    • Bripro says:

      Yes… .the old couple across the street.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      How does the couple make it through the entire morning waiting until 1pm to start yelling? And then do so just for a few minutes then go weeks without? 🙂

      Your example is a good one Trin, I just can’t believe they both want to make a deal considering over these 70+ days they have probably spent a grand total of 12 hours talking (yelling) at each other.

  4. Ian Cobb says:

    This is what the new world league is going to look like, starting in the spring of 1915.

    Consisting of 3 divisions.

    Europe 8 teams, USA 8 teams and Canada 8 teams.
    88 game season.

    Your own div. play each team 4 at home and 4 away= 56 games.
    Two other div. you play once away and once home = 32 games.
    TOTAL 88 games.
    6 teams from each div make play offs.

    3 winners of each div play a round robin, having to beat the two others by 4 games to win the cup.= 12 wins out of a possible 21 games.

    Each year the round robin cup final would shift to either, Canada, Europe, or USA.

    Each team can have outside investors and sponsors of up to only 40% of the team.

    The players own 60% the team and each team has a cap that is divided up by the players voting themselves on who gets what. The draft stays the same.

    The C captain is president with two A vice presidents.

    The commissioner and referee in chief are voted by players that have current contracts.

  5. commandant says:

    Sweden’s World Junior Team has lost 3 big pieces in the last few weeks. Who is likely to be getting a bigger role than anticipated?

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

  6. Blondie says:

    I would love to read Geoff Molson giving his honest appraisal of the lockout and the status of negotiations. Then, when Bettman levies his million dollar fine, refuse to pay. 🙂

    I mean, wtf would Bettman do then? Kick Montreal out of the league? A quarter of the leagues revenues? I don’t think so.

    Edit: Profits, not revenues.

  7. JF says:

    What would happen if a group of owners who want to play, including Geoff Molson and the owners of the Rangers, Leafs, Red Wings, and others, decided to accept the million-dollar fine and speak out against the lockout, both at next week’s board meeting and in the press? Would it have any effect?

    • Blondie says:

      I would prefer they refuse to pay the fine.

    • Habfan10912 says:

      Interesting question as you have to believe that they are speaking their mind internally. Jacob’s can’t be brow beating all of them, no?
      I’m thinking the fine is such that it just hurts, even these rich SOB’s too much or they don’t feel strong enough about the matter to pay anything. Or maybe they”re just cheap sons of guns. 🙂

  8. 24 Cups says:

    “During this lockout, two-thirds of teams are reporting zero season-ticket cancellations, with one team — Columbus — increasing its subscriber base. Teams that lost subscribers replaced them from waiting lists. And when given an option at refunds or credit for future games, teams are reporting 90-99 per cent of their subscribers are opting for the future game credit.” (Toronto Star)

    The HI/O Summiteers being a prime example of this.

    It appears that nuclear winter is here in terms of the NHL’s new CBA crisis.

    The Owners – one more kick at the can in mid December and then shut it down for the year. Try to break the union and get rid of Fehr and his brother.

    The Players – It’s the same old song which isn’t good news. Only card left to play is the threat of decertification. They need to strike first so as to have the case heard in a favourable court (California). If not, then Bettman could out flank them by applying before them to a more conservative court (New York).

  9. otisfxu says:

    Players and owners only – just a way for the big boys to get time to do some Xmas shopping, and still give impression that talks are ongoing.

    Players would be pushing for complimentary bags of Twizzlers in their rooms and owners wanting players to pay for their own skate laces.

    If Bettman and Fehr were to let these guys settle it, then what does it make them look like – a pair of unnecessary tools,,,oh wait, that ship has already sailed.
    The little guys are not going to settle this – forget that. Just stalling for time.

  10. Blondie says:


    We’re running out of room down there.

    Don’t get me wrong, I still believe that this whole fiasco is unnecessary and lay the blame squarely at the feet of the owners. But I also believe that if they had just kept hammering away at that proposal at that time then things may have been salvaged.

  11. 24 Cups says:

    Lots of baseball talk today. Good on the Jays for finally trying to get their edge back and truly contend.

    Here’s the real sports question of the day. How the hell does Bryan Colangelo keep his job with the Raptors? Seven years in and his team is still crap. Not one accomplishment in all that time.

    Talk about Garth Snow and the Islanders. Could you imagine a Hab GM going six years with no improvement or chance of making the playoffs?

  12. 24 Cups says:

    Chris – the five year/equal dollar limitation is basically a red herring for the players. It only impacts about 3% of the union population. I’m not staying out on strike because of that one issue.

    Also, when it comes to contract strips, most unions eventually bail on the new members who haven’t even been hired yet and are not directly impacted by the terms of the agreement. The mess over entry level contracts and 2nd term deals needs to be fixed.

    Owners and GMs constantly stab each other in the back, but I feel these two main issues need to change. It can only improve the health of the league. The only question left is what will the owners give back for these concessions.

    On another note, the teacher contract crisis here in Ontario is getting real ugly. It’s not really about teachers, it’s about the future wages, benefits and pensions of all public workers. That includes govt employees, medical staff, firefighters, police and transportation workers. If the teachers get beaten down, then Ontario is well on it’s way to becoming Wisconsin.

    • Chris says:

      Steve: What mess over entry level contracts and 2nd term deals?

      A hard cap that is actually a constraint (as it would be under a 50/50 revenue split) necessarily limits most teams in terms of their spending.

      How teams choose to use that spending is entirely up to them. You have X number of players that are needed and Y amount of money. So long as owners don’t exceed Y, I couldn’t care less how they do it. That is part of the business model, and as a fan it would be interesting to see how what philosophies individual teams adopt.

      I agree that some of the limitations are red herrings, but the attempts to tighten regulations on younger players (especially entry level contracts, second contracts and bumping up unrestricted free agency by a year) affect a significant number of players and are generally loathsome. What I just don’t get is that the limitations are just pointless…they are completely unnecessary. The only one that needs to be added to ensure the system works is that a signed contract counts against the cap even if the player is demoted to the AHL, retires, or is transferred to a European team (e.g. Huet).

      Regarding Ontario teachers, I’m struggling to have any sympathy. They have had it awfully good for about a decade. They had an incredibly union friendly government negotiating with them, a government that has demonstrated that they are sympathetic to teachers in general. But at the FIRST sign of austerity from that very teacher-friendly government, the teachers essentially turned on the government just as they did on Bob Rae back in the early 1990’s, demonstrating once again a stunning lack of perspective when it comes to the current economic climate.

      Pensions were a good idea in principle, but many of the public sector pensions (and teachers were amongst the most egregious) are simply not sustainable over the long term. Too many public servants can retire too young and are given credit for far too high a salary rate. Pensions are a big part of a structural deficit issue in Ontario, and the province is in really deep trouble as a result.

      When pension plans were created in the 1960’s, the retirement age of 65 years old was set based on a life expectancy of ~68-70 years old. Many public sector workers can get out on full pensions younger than 65, and life expectancies are now closer to 75-80 years old. The combination of people retiring younger and living longer was not what the pension plans were designed for, especially defined benefit plans such as those currently held by many public sector workers.

      That particular house of cards has collapsed, as it had to. The solutions to the problem are going to hurt, and I’m not sure that the teachers federation has been particularly generous in shouldering their own share of the burden.

      I teach for a living, and I am sympathetic to the job itself. It is not an easy job. But I can’t spare much sympathy for the teachers in Ontario, because they have it MUCH better than most of us who teach for a living in the university system. I’m staring at contracts for eternity…there are no full-time jobs. I’m not talking tenure-track either (another dinosaur that needs to disappear), simply full-time jobs that will allow me to commit to living in something other than a room in somebody else’s house.

      I’ve got far more education than most high school teachers and work far longer hours. I have all the responsibilities that they do, but I have some extra ones as well. The difference is that I get paid about half of what they do, if that, and I receive no benefits and can expect no pension at the end of the journey.

      THAT is the new reality for many young workers. Teachers are not immune to this. If anything, they should be blasting their own regulatory body for allowing so many teacher colleges to churn out so many teachers. If supply and demand were allowed to work here in Ontario, teacher salary and benefit packages would get absolutely decimated; we’re currently graduating 4-5 times more teachers than the system can handle each year, and have been doing so for almost a decade.

      • 24 Cups says:

        So what this is coming down to is “a race to the bottom” mentality. This is also countered by the “I’ve got mine” crowd. Add it all up and you quickly find that the animals start to look at each other differently once the watering hole gets smaller. Look at you. You’re probably the sharpest guy on this website (a person who I respect greatly) but you’re already buying into the propaganda and starting to drink the kool-aid. Know what, Chris? It doesn’t have to be that way.

        This debate could take hours (and may not be appropriate for a hockey site). All I’ll say is that I’m not buying the divide and conquer strategy that is part of today’s landscape – whether it be the corporate business world or it’s lackeys in the provincial and federal governments.

        “There must be some way out of here, said the joker to the thief”.

  13. HabinBurlington says:

    For those pumped up by the Blue Jays busy off season, Bob Elliot of the Toronto Sun provides a nice breakdown of how A.A. went about making the big trade with the Marlins.

    May have to try convince my buddies to move our spring golf trip in Myrtle Beach to Florida, catch some Grapefruit Baseball.

    • JayK-47 says:

      What a great read, I might even end my baseball strike with the Jays management being like that.

      Edit: (Imagine being able to see Bob’s Higgins-Gomez and some other guy trade or any of PG’s trades like that?)

      • HabinBurlington says:

        There is always the risk that Toronto loses Johnson after 1 season, Reyes and his legs start to breakdown (has had hamstring issues in past) and Buehrle finally wears down. The Jays did give up some good young players. Having said all that, it appears A.A. has done a good job of stocking prospects that dealing what he did, has not left the cupboard bare.

        I do like the trade alot, probably primarily because finally Rogers is spending money like the 5th largest market team in which they are. If indeed the Jays start winning, players will like being here. Many of these players will discover how great Canada is, and just as so many Latin American players loved Toronto in the 80’s it could happen all over again.

        Having a good start is key.

        And who would have thought Jeff Mathis was such a key player in that trade.

        • JayK-47 says:

          Yeah, that’s what I said.

          • HabinBurlington says:

            oops yah sorry, re-read your post and now understand what you were saying. Sorry JayK. Your right to see the background on BG’s deal for Gomez went down would be interesting. I suspect PG’s footprints would be all over it.

          • JayK-47 says:

            No apology needed, just thought I’d channel a lil Woody Allen on this beauty of a Friday mornin. :p

        • Jan_pronounced_Yan says:

          I know for a fact, straight from Anthopoulos’ mouth during a scouting seminar I attended last year, that the Jays valued Sanchez over the other two Lansing pitchers. The fact that they only gave up Nicolino and Marisnick from their prospect pool without giving up Sanchez, Syndergaard and Gose really makes this deal a huge win for the Jays. They really liked Hechevarria’s defense but he may never hit, and when you add a shortstop like Reyes, you can give up a guy like Hech.

          Anthopoulos is doing a great job in Toronto, and they seem to have a great scouting staff there as well. Andrew Tinnish and all of the guys I got to meet last year were very knowledgeable and seemed like quality people.

          That’s why I’m a Jays fan now.

    • Bripro says:

      The Blue Jays and being pumped up…. isn’t that a contradiction? an Oxymoron? No… not a moron, that’s Butthead.
      And now Gomez is in the picture? So the Habs finally managed to dump his contract?
      OK it might not be hockey, but he might be better at baseball. 😉

    • habstrinifan says:

      Thanks for the link HabinBurlington! I enjoyed it trememndously. I dont follow baseball as much as I used to and have no idea who this guy Athopolous is but HABS should have gotten him prior to the Gainey deal for Gomez et al.

      The article conveyed the excitement of deal making and also demonstrated how essential it is in today’s sports world for ’round table’ discussions where honest and open input is comfortable given to the person who makes the final decision.

      Great insight into the trade.

  14. HabinBurlington says:

    A good read from Michael Grange regarding Don Fehr and his approach to these negotiations.

    • Cal says:

      A very good read indeed. Fehr still hasn’t figured out that 57% of 0 = $0.
      Odd, eh? You’d figure a lawyer would know how to count cash.

      • Chris says:

        And the owners haven’t figured out that a hard salary cap and a 50/50 share of revenues makes it completely unnecessary to introduce contract negotiation limitations.

        Yet the morons are still trying for it because they don’t trust one another to follow the spirit of the rules they set themselves.

        • HabinBurlington says:

          Agree Chris, the most frustrating part is how Jacobs and Leipold signed all those contracts this past summer yet now essentially want a get out of jail free card.

          So frustrating to watch….

        • Cal says:

          Owners will do anything to get the edge on their competitors, just like athletes do. The owners with deep pockets don’t give a rat’s ass about the other teams or even the league rules.
          The other thing, Chris, is that once the season is lost, that player loses 100% of that money forever. The owners can hold out because collectively they will lose less and they have deeper pockets than the players. Owners dictate the market, not the players. They are going to learn a hard lesson: the wealthy rule over everyone else.

          • Chris says:

            I understand all that you say, Cal. But your whole thesis is based upon that the players have no other options.

            By continually acting like bullies, the owners are essentially ensuring that those alternatives **will** emerge. There is almost no question now that some big money is going to show up somewhere (probably Europe) and try to create a viable alternative to the NHL.

            The money won’t be the same, but a league that starts off by saying that the players have unlimited free agency once their contract expires is automatically going to earn some leeway when it comes to salary.

            Players are willing to leave money on the table for quality of life. The owners just went absolutely mental when they demanded a 7% decrease in the player’s share of revenues (just 8 years after demaning and receiving a 9% decrease in the player’s share of revenues) AND insisting on limitations to bargaining rights. The first was pretty much a given, but both sides had to so some posturing.

            I don’t think anybody saw the NHL coming into these negotiations with a hard-line stance on everything else. This is the mind-blowing part to me.

            The wealthy only rule so long as the people that are being ruled agree to the game. We’ll see if the players have the fortitude to tell the owners to stick it where the sun doesn’t shine.

            This goes for fans as well. If people are truly unhappy, stop blindly supporting the sport. I’m so tired of fans complaining about ticket prices and beer prices…nobody forces fans to go to the games. So just refuse to pay it.

            It is a supply and demand market. So long as fans blithely go along with every ticket price hike (~39% since the lockout, on average), then they will continue to be treated like the sheep they are and the owners/players will continue to be enticed into these wars over the massive amount of money being distributed.

          • Cal says:

            @ Chris-

            This is the thing. Many here say that Europe and the KHL are options. They are. They pay WAY less. Even with the new restrictions, playing in North America will see a player earn 4 or 5 times more than they pay in Europe, save for a few stars that owners have decided to take the loss on.

          • Chris says:

            Cal: The salaries that can be paid out in Europe are based on the current status of that league.

            Throw Sidney Crosby and Joe Thornton and all the other North American stars into those leagues and things suddenly become more interesting. Television deals suddenly become more lucrative because European fans get to watch the best hockey players in the world in prime time.

            So yes, right now those leagues pay less. But there is absolutely tremendous room for growth in those leagues; they have a hockey-loving market that dwarfs that of Canada, which basically drives NHL revenues.

            We don’t know if, in 2-3 years time, the salaries in the European leagues, particularly if a lucrative Champion’s League format could be set up, might start to compare to those offered in the NHL. They are already able to offer some pretty comparable after-tax contracts.

            A KHL contract is limited to 65% of its NHL counterpart (Ovechkin received $5.7 M from Dynamo Moscow, but was due $9 M from the Capitals in the NHL). The difference can at least be covered by the fact that the Russian salaries are tax-free.

        • Blondie says:

          True, but I have to agree with the author that when the owners moved the make-whole provisions to their side of the ledger there was a deal to be made.

          The contract rights limitations could have been negotiated as well as a few more bucks for the make-whole. I think Fehr made a major mistake in not negotiating off of that proposal.

          Who knows, maybe a few owners and players meeting alone will get it done, but I’m not feeling optimistic.

          • Chris says:

            There were no negotiations to be made…everything we’re hearing is that the hard-line owners are refusing to budge off of some of those contract rights limitations, which is asinine.

            The owners have wanted this lockout for two or three seasons. There was no avoiding it. And the hawks amongst them are simply unwilling to bend.

            As much as the players are feeling pressure, you can bet that some of the profitable teams are equally enraged. Ownership groups in Montreal, Toronto, Philadelphia, Detroit, Vancouver, Calgary, and New York are losing a LOT of money this year. Los Angeles must be furious, as all the good will they would have earned as Stanley Cup champions is gone. Their second big chance to really make a dent in that market just got tossed so that a few owners with an axe to grind can posture.

            Florida and Tampa Bay were finally making some inroads, with promising teams and goodwill building in the state after the disaster of the last lockout. All gone.

            With so many owners also feeling the heat, you would have to believe that there is some serious desire to get a deal done. Yet the demands from the owners remain relatively ironclad, and the posturing to make the players look bad has continued. This is not a negotiation, it is a farce.

            The players, especially those popping off about Bettman, are idiots. The hawks amongst the owners are destroying the game, and the rest of the owners are idiots for allowing it to happen.

            The NHL was poised to enter another golden era. So much goodwill from last season, with the NBA coming out of an acrimonious strike, was completely and utterly wasted.

            I have no sympathy for any of these dolts, but if I had to blame one side more than the other it would be the owners. I expect the players to have the collective IQ of a sack of hammers. But the owners are supposed to be smart businessmen.

            Smart businessmen don’t intentionally destroy their own business.

  15. Cal says:

    This one was inadvertently suggested by Blondie yesterday. It has both kinds of music: Rhythm and Blues.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Nice job as usual Cal, Weird Al Jankovic is going to be calling you soon for his Lockout Album.

    • Blondie says:

      Excellent stuff! Yep, that’s the tune I thought you were going to do yesterday. What a great way to start the morning. 🙂

    • Bripro says:

      Great work again Cal. I see you tweaked the title. Better watch it buddy. If Bettman gets a hold of it, he’ll lock-out your memories too.

      No 26 (or 27) coming soon to a blogg site near you.

    • HardHabits says:

      You guys are truly drinking friggin’ Kool-Aid if you think that is anywhere near good. Seriously. League does not rhyme with sign.

      Another major fail courtesy of Cal. Keep them coming though. Further proof you have less talent than you have a life.

      Even Bugs knew what was up. You guys? Back to the crayon board.

      Hilarious though, but more of a laughing at you and not in a laughing with you way.

      • Cal says:

        Seriously? How about you just skip it?

      • HabinBurlington says:

        Aahhhh the old HH back in all his splendor. Welcome back bud!!!

      • Bripro says:

        C’mon HH.
        You know as well as I do that it’s all in good fun. And you were the first to criticize lyrics in the first place, until you joined in.
        Like my mom used to say (so many years ago), if you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all.

        • HardHabits says:

          I’ve been doing this proper since way back. I only recently jumped in again to show you guys how it is done proper. And yet you all still haven’t figured it out. Cal’s attempts at this sort of humour are the worst yet you all continue to enable him. But then again this is a Habs oriented web site and after 20 years of sucking people here make like the team is still the best. So it doesn’t surprise me when people get all delusional over crappily strung together lyrics that have no connection whatsoever to the original.

          The only person who seems to have a handle on how to write properly here is JB. Mind you, his lyrics need work as well but that’s only because he is following the low standards that every body here (excepting yours truly) seems to be content with.

          I also miss _JD, notwithstanding he penchant for dropped g’s, because he too knew what stringing together words in a humorous fashion is all about. Bugs was another clever wordsworth, sadly he too is missed.

          Cal’s attempts are embarrassing. People must think Habs fans are idiots when they visit these pages and see that kind of tripe.

          • Cal says:

            Actually, they have to follow the link if they are so inclined. You must have quite a problem if you can’t ignore or skip my posts. It seems when I mention I am a Habs fan you go a little insane and see red. So, as I mentioned before, SKIP MY POSTS as I do yours, except when you deign to insult me over and over.

          • L Elle says:

            You know how many I’s and me’s there are in your post? 😉

  16. HabinBurlington says:

    With regards to the recent proposal by Bettman that the players and owners meet alone, this only has a chance of working if Jacobs and Leipold are not in the room. I am unsure which players reps. have become jaded as well, perhaps Campoli as he was rumoured to have had quite a blowup with the Wild owner.

    Perhaps Geoff Molson could be part of the ownership group that meets with players and see what common ground they have. Would be interesting if a smaller group of owner and players find common ground only to expose that a couple of the owners are indeed some of the biggest roadblocks in getting a deal done.

    Of course there is no way in the world Jacobs would allow such a meeting to take place without his charm at the table.

    So really this is not much of an offer from Bettman, as all we are finding out is that indeed Jacobs is playing him like a puppet.

    Pierre Lebruns take on it.

  17. The Cat says:

    To have some owners talk to some players is actually a good idea by Bettman, depending on whether if the owners arent selected by him. I mean if they are Bettman lackeys, it means nothing…again.

    [Disclaimer]: I’m a hockey fan. I care about the habs, but probably not as much as you.

  18. Habilis says:

    Owners send in Jacobs, Snider and Leipold.

    Players send in just Chara then quickly lock the doors.

    Lockout over.

  19. UK-HAB says:

    De-certification could be the best thing for the future of the NHL – particularly a stronger Canadian presence in the NHL.

    If we can get to a scenario where the league is at the mercy of “free-market” forces in a similar way to say european soccer, players will be paid their market value and there will be no artificial inflation/deflation of worth.
    Failing franchises will fold (or relocate to appropriate markets?), and links between NHL clubs and junior affiliates will strengthen as a good youth setup becomes more and more important to financial (trades for cash) and on-ice performance.

    There are negatives for sure (lack of performance ‘parity’) but I for one would love to see and follow the added dimensions needed to be successful that introducing this system would introduce.

    Another bonus – no need for lockouts, strikes or BETTMAN!

  20. HardHabits says:

    Here is how it’s done people.

    Rhyme. Rythm. Metre.

    And it’s funny. 😛

  21. Boomer says:

    I don’t normally chime in on the cba discussions here but I am curious to know if the nhlpa and the owners come to an agreement, could the players refuse to sign it until Bettman and his lackeys resign?

  22. Marc10 says:

    I wouldn’t mind seeing a few heads roll (metaphorically of course) at this point.

    The union should disband and nuke the whole process. If that can kill a few Sunbelt franchises, remove deadbeat owners, and most importantly cost Bettman his job (and by extension his entourage), I would consider that a positive step.

    Bravo to the owners. They took a hardline approach and it’s been a masterclass in how not to treat customers and destroy a brand.

    Zero sympathy.

  23. Boomer says:

    I’ve been saying it from the start… put Torts in there with a bat. No BS, no counter offers. Just broken bones and a new cba.

  24. commandant says:

    In good news,

    Brady Vail with 1g 1a tonight.

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

    • Marc10 says:

      That is good news. Timmins’ Draft Class of 2012 has all the makings of a fine vintage, eh.

      I am salivating at the prospect of landing a top 2 in this year’s draft (#pipedream)… with the help of the lottery or a shortened season with no winger for Pleks.

      As a guy who really follows this stuff commandant, whadyareckon?

      Mackinnon or Jones?
      Who would you pick based on what you’ve seen or heard?
      (Fellow posters can of course weigh in).

      • commandant says:

        MacKinnon 100%

        I like Jones, Jones is good, Jones is #2; but MacKinnon is on another level.

        I watch them and I keep hearing reports that they are neck and neck, and I really don’t see it. I wonder if the media is trying to portray this as another Taylor vs Tyler, trying to make it seem like a close race cause we have little else to talk about on the ice.

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

  25. Bozo McBozo says:

    I think the Canadian teams should just secede from the NHL and take the Stanley Cup with them. It was to be given to the champion team in the Dominion of Canada anyway. Bettman ain’t no Lincoln!

    • punkster says:

      Not nearly as quotable either.

      ***Subbang Baby!!!***

    • Chris says:

      If we do that, we’re taking some of the American teams with us. The Rangers, Blackhawks, Red Wings and Bruins have contributed far more to the NHL’s history than the Flames, Oilers or Canucks.

      The Flyers, Blues, Wild and Penguins all have a spot in any smaller league, and I think the Sharks have done a wonderful job making a niche for themselves.

      In return, we’ll give Celine Dion and Justin Bieber to the celebrity-crazed U.S. Seems like a fair trade, no?

  26. doogie says:

    I’m in the golf business and all of us feel so strongly about “growing the game” of golf. We need to introduce the game to juniors, intermediate ages and women players, for example. We worry about the future of the game!

    Makes you wonder how much the NHL and Bettman care about “growing the game”. Don’t think they care now, do they?

  27. Ian Cobb says:

    LETS HAVE TWO N.A. Leagues

    20 teams might survive with 3 more teams in Canada. Quebec, Regina and Halifax.
    10 team league in Canada and a 10 team league in the USA.

    • HabFan in Edmonton says:

      Actually I am now almost hoping the season is lost. I was looking forward a whole lot to this year but am not really interested in a 3 month season, just wouldn’t seem like a real season. The fans have suffered so might as well see the players and owners suffer for a whole year. And in a year Gomez will only have 1 year left on his contract !

  28. Ian Cobb says:

    I said long ago that this thing was going to get down right dirty before any agreement is even possible. There will be no NHL hockey this year for sure, and we might even lose part of next year. The owners are not going to budge and the players will only realize this when their careers start slipping by next year without pay.

    • Bill J says:

      The players are not starving, and the longer this goes… The more players that go to the KHL… Enjoy your empty arenas greedy owners!

      The landscape has changed since the last lockout Ian, the owners think they have the players by the cahones, but they don’t…

      It’s time the owners concede in their demands. Because the players are not asking for anything in these negotiations beyond trying to keep some of what they had to begin with.

      Go Habs Go!

      • Ian Cobb says:

        Bill, They are all in the fight to win as much as they can, both sides. I am not privy to the talks so I cannot speak to who is right or not. All I know that this sport is big business now, and is not longer played for the love of the game as much as the love of money!
        It will take two years to bring one side or the other to their knees.

        • Chris says:

          Professional hockey players have never played solely for the love of the game.

          NHL games in the 1920’s and 1930’s were played in front of huge crowds and qualified as relatively big business in that era as well.

          You are kidding yourself if you think that the business side of hockey is a new phenomenon.

          • Ian Cobb says:

            Not at all. Players had a thing called loyalty to their employer, fans and teammates.
            Not today, they hop around from team to team as they please like rabbits.
            The fans are the only ones left with the club loyalties.

          • HabinBurlington says:

            I know my buddy played for the love of the game in 70’s, don’t get me wrong he wanted to get paid, but he put in many years in the AHL for the hope he would get called up to the NHL again and again which he did. GOt to play in the Cup final against the Habs as well. He tells me to this day he played cuz he loved it and has big issues with todays players. Not trying to dismiss your point Chris, but you can’t be so dismissive of the passion some have for the game, and many are players.

          • Chris says:

            Ian, you think that today’s players are any less loyal? Give me a break.

            The players simply had very little leverage. They didn’t have loyalty, they had a lack of options. Those are two very different things.

            Ken Dryden sat out a year in the prime of his career because the Canadiens played hardball on his contract. Many players jumped to the WHA for bigger contracts in the 1970 because of the way the NHL owners treated players, a viable threat to the NHL that finally caused salaries to start keeping pace with the growth of the game.

            Players were treated like chattel in the 1960’s and earlier, not human beings. I think you’re viewing that era through rose-coloured glasses if you think the players were loyal to their employer. I would argue that many of those players detested their owners but simply had no other options. Scotty Bowman certainly didn’t earn a whole lot of loyalty…his players generally loathed him. But they couldn’t do anything about it, and they were winning.

          • Bripro says:

            Maurice Richard used to go play at the old forum then go home and have his wife clean and dress his bruises.
            Then he’d go downstairs and make fishing tackle for his little business which he needed to survive.
            You can’t say those guys didn’t play for the love of the game.

          • Chris says:

            HiB; I’m not dismissive of players’ passion for the game, quite the opposite.

            I’m merely sick and tired of hearing how little passion today’s players have for the game.

            If people would just stop and think about the unbelievably long odds to even make the NHL as a journeyman forward, and how many kids get devoured by the system for every one that we see succeed, they might be less dismissive of today’s players.

            The owners have treated the owners like complete and utter crap in this negotiation from day one. They have tried to humiliate the players at every step of the process. What they fail to realize is that the game is becoming increasingly global, and the players DO have other options.

            Let’s face it…the battle here is for the top 100 or so players. Nobody really cares about the journeymen, because you could find third and fourth line players of roughly equal calibre in pretty much every league in the world.

            I love listening to older players talk about their era. They didn’t train half as hard as today’s guys. Summers were actually summers, not off-season training programs and regimented nutrition plans and studying videotape and everything else today’s “passionless” players go through.

            In almost every possible way, today’s players work harder than players from previous generations. They are paid stupidly well, but that is true across many professions in this absolutely ridiculous economic system that we’ve created.

            Take the money out of the equation, and negative comments about today’s players are borderline inane. It is only because of an understandable jealousy of the stupid salaries paid to today’s stars that people can even remotely suggest that these guys have less passion than their predecessors. I find the whole thing comical.

          • Bripro says:

            Chris, the era of Scotty Bowman, I’ll give you. The players of the early 70s on were as you say, not nearly as well trained.
            No, they didn’t work at it as hard as today’s.
            I would argue that the money offered today is a huge incentive that players of the 50s-60s didn’t have. The owners hogged it all until the players’ union.
            I know how passionate today’s players are. Corey Crawford is a local boy and my nephew’s best friend. I see it in his eyes and what he says when he talks about Chicago, the fans, the atmosphere, and the training. He’s been at it since the spring.
            All I’m saying is I got the impression that you didn’t believe the players of yesteryear had the same passion.
            The circumstances were different.

          • Chris says:

            Bripro: I don’t diagree that Richard had a love for the game. But you don’t think that his ability to earn thousands of dollars per year playing hockey had something to do with that love of the game?

            People make it out as if playing hockey for a living was this awful thing back in the golden years. Hogwash. It was a pretty good life compared to the options that most of those guys had.

            Maurice Richard’s peak salary in a season was $25,000. Contrast that to the average Canadian’s salary in his era (~$4,000 in 1955, for example) and you see that these guys weren’t all living in hardship conditions.

            I don’t deny for a second that salaries today are completely ridiculous. I tend towards the socialist side of the political ledger, having been raised by a Dane. I actually despise people who chase wealth as I think it is abhorrent behaviour.

            But it’s not like hockey players are the only ones doing it. They’re just doing it better than most. Bankers, lawyers, doctors…there are tons of professions out there that have some pretty silly lifetime earning potential. Most of them don’t have to worry about an errant stick or puck or inopportune push ending their ability to fulfill that career earning potential.

            ALL hockey players, today’s and those of the past, had a tremendous love for the game. That is the only reason that they made it to become professional hockey players. But once they got there, it was no longer about just the love of the game, it was about making a living playing a sport. That was a crap ton better than working in the mines, factories or shipyards that many of these guys would have been facing otherwise. This isn’t an attempt to denigrate those professions…but that is hard, back-breaking work. Who wouldn’t prefer to play professional hockey instead?

      • Ozmodiar says:

        Yeah, I’m sure all the players would love to go to the KHL as an alternative….if only there wasn’t a restriction on number of NHLers the KHL teams are allowed to sign.

        Speaking of empty arenas… check out the average attendance for these European leagues.

        1. Sweden – Elitserien – 6,385
        2. Switzerland – National League A – 6,305
        3. Germany – Deutsche Eishockey Liga – 6,060
        4. Russia – Kontinental Hockey League – 5,891

        • Chris says:

          How do things change if those leagues suddenly get not only their own home-grown stars back, but also get the best Canadian and American players.

          A prolonged NHL lockout is a recipe for disaster on two fronts. One, it gives the European leagues the ammunition they need to push for more cooperation between rival leagues, perhaps with the culmination of a Champion’s League, an idea that is already in the works and would be well poised to reap some hefty broadcasting fees. The big advantage the NHL has had is that they have had a monopoly on the top players. If that is no longer the case, the NHL could suffer in a big, big way.

          Secondly, a prolonged lockout increases the chances of a rival league forming in North America. Two lockouts in 8 years and 3 in the last 20 could cause lasting harm.

          The players gave in in a rather large way in the last CBA negotiations, seeing their share of revenues slashed from ~66% before the lockout to the agreed upon 54% (subsequently growing to 57% due to the explosive growth of the league).

          Now they’re being asked to cut back from 57% to 50%.

          If you are the NHLPA, would **YOU** bet on the owners being content with this deal, or are we just going to go through the same exercise all over again?

          As for European hockey, there are a decent number of arenas with 12,000+ capacity scattered throughout Europe (Stockholm, Sochi, Moscow, St. Petersburgh, Minsk, Zagreb, Prague, Cologne, Dusseldorf, Bern, Budapest, Malmo, Manchester, London, Berlin, Munich, Hamburg, Paris, Riga, Mannheim, Gothenburg, and Amsterdam, and Helsinki). Many of those cities have a strong hockey tradition that would certainly be a much bigger draw if they were watching the superstars of the game instead of the second-rate guys that couldn’t make the NHL.

          The potential television markets in Europe are simply immense compared to what the NHL is currently pulling, and selling hockey in countries like Sweden, Finland, Switzerland, Russia, Germany, Norway, and the Czech Republic (combined population of ~260 million) is not a challenge…there is already a strong presence in most of those countries. If you can gain a beachhead in England (Manchester and London), France (Paris and Lyon) and Holland (Amsterdam), there are that many more people to tap. Grow the game in Italy as well and you’re laughing.

          People are very dismissive of Europe as a potential market, but we’ve never seen what the big European leagues can do with marketable stars. The NHL should tread carefully here, as they’re operating on the assumption that there is no competition.

          In the age of satellite, it really isn’t hard for Canadians to get their hockey fix watching games from Europe. The quality isn’t there, yet. But it very easily could get to an acceptable facsimile in a hurry.

          • Bripro says:

            I don’t pretend to know the law, but as far as a rival North American team is concerned, I’m not saying it wouldn’t happen, but where would you have them play?
            If you’re talking about current teams, I’m sure there would be legal ramifications which could put a strangle hold on any new league for years.
            If you’re talking about entirely new teams, what arenas would you have them play in? Certainly not the ones currently owned by NHL teams.

          • Chris says:


            Obviously, the arenas owned by NHL teams would be out. Some of the NBA arenas would be potential landing sites.

            There would be a significant drop in revenues, no question. But if the players have their backs up enough that they no longer deal with the NHL’s owners, it could happen over a few years.

            Many of the NHL team owners were given sweetheart deals on their arenas, with a significant number having been built using public funds and taxes being waived on them. Like you, I don’t know the legal issues, but you would have to ask whether lawmakers might step in and prevent some of those arenas from barring a rival league from renting the rink if the NHL can’t or won’t ice competitive teams to justify the tax breaks and government loans/subsidies.

          • Ozmodiar says:

            You’re over-thinking it. 🙂

            The members of the PA would rather cut a deal with the NHL than consider Europe or an upstart NA league as viable long-term solutions. Don’t forget, most members of the PA are not marketable stars.

            Mind you, in such a scenario, I’d be curious to see where Brandon Prust finds a team willing to give him 2.5 per.

            Agreed about there are good televisions markets in Europe – useful if 1/2 those countries gave a shite about hockey. 🙂

          • Chris says:

            Ozmodiar: International hockey is a pretty big deal in many European countries. That 260 million population figure was cited for countries that very much DO care about hockey.

            The television ratings in countries like Sweden, Finland, Latvia, Lithuania, the Czech Republic and Slovakia are already quite solid when they have hockey worth watching. Put NHL-calibre star-power in those markets and things become viable in a hurry.

            It hasn’t happened yet because the players have been able to thrive in the NHL. If the owners try to grab back too much, the alternatives become more feasible.

          • Ozmodiar says:

            It still doesn’t make Europe a better alternative to the NHL. The NHL is where players will make the most money.

            I find statements like this show little faith that the players will might the right business decision in the end. I think they will.
            “There would be a significant drop in revenues, no question. But if the players have their backs up enough that they no longer deal with the NHL’s owners, it could happen over a few years.”

      • sevenman says:

        Actually Bill J, the owners do have the players by the cahones. They just haven’t squeezed them quite hard enough yet. But they will.

    • Mustang says:

      Ian, I agree that this season is almost certainly toast. Hopefully they can negotiate a settlement before next season. I don’t think most of the owners really want to break the union as has been suggested many time but I do believe that they want to show the players who is the boss. If the entire season is lost, many of the players will be wanting to accept whatever the owners are offering by next summer. At the same time, my opinion of Bettman could not get much lower than it is now.

  29. Ozmodiar says:

    Ted Lindsay chimes in on recent comments made by the players towards Bettman.

    As an added bonus, the first person to give me the name of the HiO member posting in the comments section of said article wins a shiny nickle.

  30. HardHabits says:

    This will not be settled anytime soon. The thing to do is for the top money making teams and teams with the most history to form their own league. Let’s get back to 16 teams. Have the best players and create a real exciting league. Screw the Sun Belt. Screw Bettman.

    • Bill J says:

      16 is pushing it.

      22 can work, removes the dead teams… The ones that sink the league with debt the worst.

      Can still have some “developing” markets, but not as many sunbelt teams.

      Of those 22 teams though, bring in a few more Canadian franchises. Toronto#2, Quebec, Halifax, maybe even a 2nd team in the Montreal area.

      Go Habs Go!

  31. habstrinifan says:

    Who is the better actor in the P.K Boston Pizza commercial. P.K or the Boston Pizza owner. I love the owner’s interview and all the ‘double entendres’ which so accurately reflect the stupidly conflicted feelings among HABS fans (and seemingly HABS management) re P.K. The evidence on this board is overwhelming.

    It leaves one incredulous at the incredible insistence on bashing P.K. I ask you when was the last time the HABS had a young player with as much unheralded promise (prior to his draft)who has delivered the goods as well as P.K has.

    So long have so many habs fans been cloistered under the conservative hockey ecumenism of the Gaineys and the Martins and their dull mindsets which preached and implemented such a smothering formula of hockey essentialism that we have seen all existentialism, where individual talent and style take precedence over systems, exfoliated from draft pick after draft pick.

    According to Hal Gill, this acid bath of conformity has been readied for Subban some time now. All he needs do is sign a contract and fall in line.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      If what I read earlier today is “Bashing” PK, then I think it is pretty safe to say that most every Hab player up for a new contract has been bashed. Why is discussing a players strengths and weaknesses okay with other players, but when it’s PK it is bashing?

      • twilighthours says:

        Go back and read some of that stuff again, burly.

        • HabinBurlington says:

          Maybe I didn’t read carefully enough, wasn’t on much today. I will say this, I have some criticisms of PK, but most of it is the result of him being rushed into #1 role too soon by the team with the lack of a mentor around.

          I absolutely love the guy and want him around for a long time. But I don’t think it is wrong to criticize just as we do every other player on the team. Heck PK hasn’t gotten half the criticism Price has had to put up with from fans also.

          I hope a contract is signed, and I hope PK stays for a long time. However, if indeed there is a problem in the dressing room, then I hope the team recognizes and makes a trade sooner than later. Unfortunately our dressing room has been a mess for years with JM leading the parade, I am hopeful Therrien restores some order. (Can’t believe I just typed that)

          Always appreciate your input Twilight. Have a good night sir.

  32. ABHabsfan says:

    Just checked out on Mapquest where exactly Ufa, Russia is. Site of the WJHC this Christmas; holy crap, man! It’s not in the middle of nowhere, it’s like RR#99 Nowhere. Go to Nowhere, turn East and keep going till you run out of food!
    Nice place to go for Christmas. Closer to Nome Alaska than Moscow. Is there an airport or are the boys taking dogsled in?

    “man, I love winnin’; you know, it’s like better than losin’?”-
    Ebby Calvin “Nuke” Laloosh

    • Ozmodiar says:

      Yup, it’s up there all right. I expect to see Santa in the front row behind the net.

    • Haborama says:

      Hey, at least their not in Magnitagorsk (literally the most depressing place on earth, I haven’t been there, but I know a guy who has)

      Look at it this way: none of the bartenders speak English, so the boys won’t be playing any games hungover 😉

      • ABHabsfan says:

        I don’t know much Russian, but I think “vodka” will be understood.

        “man, I love winnin’; you know, it’s like better than losin’?”-
        Ebby Calvin “Nuke” Laloosh

  33. commandant says:

    So according to @pulversports (an NHL player agent) on twitter… the NHL wants to handpick both the owners and the Players who would attend this negotiation session.

    Yeah, I can’t see the PA wanting that. You have MBAs and the like negotiating with athletes directly (hand picked) and no representatives?

    If you want to get rid of the Bettman/Fehr dynamic and feel those two are toxic, why ask the players to negotiate with no representatives?

    Why not let high profile agents like Brisson or Meehan in the room.

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

  34. Bripro says:

    Oh, I thought it was new thread.
    Well, come to think about it, just apply it to their success in their so-called “negotiations”.

  35. Bill J says:

    The only chance at any hockey being played is the “quick decertification” tactic the NBPA used last year.

    With the NHL officially saying “we ain’t canceling games anytime soon”, that says to me “…next time it’s to cancel the season.”

    So decertify, and lets see what happens. May as well make this interesting for the fans.

    Go Habs Go!

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Why do I get the impression Bettman looks forward to that challenge in court?

      • Bill J says:

        I dunno, we will see. If the players decertify, it would change things for sure.

        But hockey would have to start, because the owners would be forced to pay the players.

        Go Habs Go!

    • HabFab says:

      The NHL hired the same law firm that handled the NBA and NFL lock outs…not a lawyer but the whole firm. The chance for them to go up against the master Don Fehr, bet they are not even charging the NHL.

      Sucks for us though.

  36. frontenac1 says:

    Hey Amigos. Just saw an ad on TV where the Flower is pumping this gizmo where you put your feet on it and it makes you feel like going out and playing street hockey. Anybody try this yet?

  37. Habfan10912 says:

    Anybody else sick of being lied to? Mediator says the sides are too far apart but didn’t the players say they’re only $185 million apart?
    And then we get the leagues offer to sit with player without Fehr and Bettman but only certain owners would be invited.
    Once again there are no good guys in this. And the game suffers.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      I am just grateful that both sides really really tried. Kind of like the old college try, they did it for the Gipper!

      Okay maybe not, perhaps Fehr and Bettman both need a walk with BG along the St. Lawrence and BG shows them both why the Russians thought he was the best player in the world.

      Oh did I nudge both of you in? Sorry

    • Blondie says:

      Unfortunately between politicians, business elites, cops, criminals, lawyers (no offense commandant), salespeople, corporations, banks, entertainment figures, sports figures, climate change deniers, climate change proponents, creationists, cabbies, …(you get the idea), I’ve gotten pretty used to being lied to.

      It’s just getting harder to see the truth behind the bullshit. Maybe I need glasses. It would be nice, however, if they would all stop.

  38. Habhopeful says:

    ***didnt know there was a new thread, so im re-posting***

    Hi All or however many of you are still around here.

    Long time lurker here, just wanna say even though not as much people are posting here, i still scroll down the pages and read mostly everyones posts (especially nuna, your something …)

    Secondly, ill start off by agreeing with the people who are stating Bergy should pay PK what he is worth, in any other market, he gets $5 Mill, Especially in Montreal.

    Everyone who thinks he should only be paid $3-$4 are not looking at the business side of it, which is surprising, considering the bullshite going on know and how much business means to the owners.

    PK puts ass’s (?) in seats…he also sells ALOT of jersey’s, i could only assume he is the most bought jersey in Montreal, but i could be wrong…Im sure its Gomez (couldnt resist )…

    Not too mention the taxes and scrutiny of Montreal (Hell, ill even throw in the PQ)

    He also attracts attention, be it negative or positive, which gives the Habs exposure…

    Seems simple enough, I wouldnt go over $5M, at that point, assuming the season begins, you could “hard line” on him because I believe PK wouldnt be one to sulk about it, he loves the fansm he loves the habs and im certain he likes his teammates (probably cant say that about the his teammates though lol) and he would be dying to get out there and help his team once the season starts, you’d just have to call his bluff…

    So 5M and no more,…Term is another issue altogether, I wouldnt know what term length would be best, but at that point, if your already paying him $5M i think you sign him minimum 4-6 Years because if you sign him to $5M for 2 years, than Molson would be paying out the poopshoot on his 3rd contract 2 years later ($5M would already be the benchmark)

    Anyways, thanks for hearing me rant, and excuse all the brackets, unfortunately for myself, ill be back once the NHL comes back (ya im a sucker) but i wont be going to any games…until mid or late season

  39. Propwash says:

    Well, seeing that the season is more than likely doooooooooooomed, is arbitration the next logical option? Granted, logic seems to be sorely lacking in these negotiations.

    “Access Forbidden” gettin’ ya down?
    Hold down Shift while clicking refresh.

  40. Kooch7800 says:

    First…and boo nhl

    “Keep your stick on the Ice”

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