Would you watch NHL replacement players?


Would you watch NHL replacement players during the lockout?

That question was being asked in hockey circles after former Toronto Maple Leafs GM and player agent Bill Watters told a Toronto radio station recently that he believes commissioner Gary Bettman will use replacement players in November to try to break the union. Watters added there are plenty of available players in the AHL and ECHL as well as free agents.

Damian Cristodero of the Tampa Bay Times responded with a column this weekend under the headline: “The best chuckle of the lockout”.

“It gave us a chance to laugh,” Cristodero wrote about the comments, “as Lightning captain Vinny Lecavalier did last week when asked to contemplate the scenario.”

Lecavalier told Cristodero: “I don’t even know what to say about that. Obviously, if (the NHL) wants the best league, taking 700 players and replacing them, it’s probably not going to be the best league.”

Wrote Cristodero: “Forget for a moment the hard feelings if NHL teams raided their affiliates for players. The replacement act has been tried before, with disastrous results.”

You can read Cristodero’s entire column by clicking here.

Among the NHL lockout wagers posted on the betting website Bodog.ca is: Will replacement players be used at any point in the 2012-2013 season?

The odds were posted as 15/1 for Yes.

Meanwhile, Andrew Roth of the New York Times, who is in Moscow, wrote a good feature on how the NHL work stoppage has been a boon for the KHL, which is enjoying its most high-profile season since its inception in 2008. You can read that feature by clicking here.

Jack Todd’s Monday Morning QB column in The Gazette focused on the impact lockouts have had on Montreal sports teams and their fans. You can read that column by clicking here.

And you can find out which two NHL players made SI.com’s Tweets of the Week list and also learn how new Canadien Colby Armstrong and some of his teammates spent Thanksgiving by clicking here.

(Photo by Graham Hughes/The Associated Press)


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  2. TheKarl says:

    Without having any knowledge on the matter….. I would LOVE replacement players for the following reasons:

    1. Something in a Habs jersey is better than nothing
    2. Would give let’s say maybe 300-400 guys the chance to fulfill their dream of playing in the NHL
    3. The real players would sulk because it would make them look greedy
    4. The replacements would play their friggin hearts out, which is always fun to see
    5. It would make the greedy owners look like absolute morons since the quality of play would be hilarious
    6. The attempt would create more exposure towards the current lockout which is always good – the more people think about how idiotic this lockout is, the better. Most people are slowly slipping into a “I don’t want to talk about it” mode.
    7. See point 1

    Bring in the replacements…. They won’t of course, but one can dream. I want a Shane Falco story!

  3. otisfxu says:

    If I don’t watch ECHLand AHL players now, why would I watch them dressed up as NHL players. That is a crazy idea,,,what a fiasco that would be. If anyone is that desparate to watch a hockey game, they have issues.

    Just shut the league down…….and leave it that way until all these clowns figure out what they want.
    I don’t think either side knows exactly how to fix every issue,,,especially before signing on for the next 7 years.

  4. mark-ID says:

    Someone correct my french if I am wrong…..but I believe TVA will be televising Bulldog games this year. Says first telecast will be on October 20th. Here is the link.

    I hope my french is up to snuff….cause that would be great news.


    “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

  5. kempie says:

    Maybe it’s just me but every photo I see of Colby Armstrong he looks like he’s about 160 lbs. soaking wet. Wasn’t he touted at one time in FLA to be this big, physical bag of truculence or something? All I see is a skinny guy who carries his elbows a bit too high.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Do you remember him playing with Crosby in Pittsburgh Kempie? He is an agitator with a long reach, not afraid to throw the body. Granted he isn’t bulky, but a taller frame than many people and doesn’t shy away from trouble. No he won’t be punching Lucic in the face, but he will be in Lucic’s face bugging the crap out of him.

      When Toronto first got him, it was a good pickup, the crowd loved him and so did his teammates. He was victim of the infamous High Ankle sprain, concussion, broken fingers etc… I have to believe with him not playing much of last year, the extended break this season, his injury bugs will hopefully be behind him.

      Granted Crosby helped his numbers, but he can be helpful on a line.

      For a million bucks in todays (okay yesterdays) NHL that still seem like a pittance. Proven NHL player who needs a restart.

      • commandant says:

        Agreed I think he’ll be really valuable on the third line, if we ever play.

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

      • kempie says:

        Yeah, I get all that and I agree that for $1M it’s a good idea. He just seems really scrawny I guess is the word compared to other guys. I just saw a picture of him & Gorges together and it looked like the Loony Tunes cartoon of Spike, the big dog with his tiny sidekick.

        He’s had terrible luck with injuries (so he should fit right in with Montreal) but he’s got history with Therrien and was just bought out so he’ll have a lot to prove. I just wish he’d have some steak & eggs then hit the gym.

    • twilighthours says:

      So what’s your beef, Kempie? Is it that he’s not big? Because he certainly plays big.

  6. nunacanadien says:

    Hey Gary Bettman, how about you wealthy NHL owners just buy out the KHL and rename it the NHL? Or the Swedish leagues…..or go european.

  7. BrianSkrudland says:

    Banana liqueur and Jack Daniels shots make for a tired and unproductive Brian Skrudland. Is it bedtime yet?!

  8. HabinBurlington says:

    Okay this NHL season is going nowhere. How about a poll to pick a year we get to relive in past Habs Glory. Then every day when turn on HI/O we get game summaries, Red’s stories etc.. fromt the game the night before. We can skip off days and maybe get two seasons into one here.

    My vote for the two seasons is 76 and 86.

  9. JohnBellyful says:

    Lockout – Day 26

    Professional sports is big business, pulling in billions of dollars. Team owners can’t afford to see their seasons shut down for very long.
    Clu’s Replacement Warehouse will make sure that never happens.
    When baseball and football were having their problems, who did they call to set things right, to get things going again? Clu’s Replacement Warehouse.
    They needed players, we gave them players.
    And now we’re expanding into the National Hockey League.
    Got a leaky defence, a goalie who’s a sieve, an offence that’s misfiring – don’t panic, we can help! Clu’s Replacement Warehouse can find you a body to plug a hole in your lineup by plugging into our massive human resources database.
    We’ll have the answer to your woes in a cab, on a train or aboard a plane within hours of your call. He’ll be easy to spot when he shows up at the rink, wearing the stylish, ultramarine Clu’s Replacement Warehouse T-shirt and jogging pants
    What’s that you say, you want to replace not just one player but the entire league? Not a problem. Clu’s Replacement Warehouse has thousands of quasi-, semi- and pseudo-athletes ready to fill your vacant rosters – recruited from university, college, high school, industrial and recreational non-contact hockey leagues across North America.
    Looking for offence?
    “Jody Rickman, how many goals did you score in peewee? 218! Fantastic! You’ve kept in shape, right? Good stuff.”
    What about a defenceman who knows what to do in front of the net?
    “Eric Blomber, do you have what it takes to shut down the other team’s forwards? Okay. What about within the rules? You’re willing to learn? Let’s hear it for Eric.”
    Goaltending – the foundation of any good team. What does Clu’s Replacement Warehouse have to offer?
    “Pete Noodle, you’ve been playing net for how many years? Wow. You don’t look over 50. What, you play THREE times a week! Impressive! Now here’s a guy who’s in demand! And, yes, Pete, you play in the NHL, you don’t have to chip in $5 for ice time there either.”
    Jody Rickman, Eric Blomber, Pete Noodle – just three of the many unheralded players fans will come to know and love when these regular folks just like you and me – okay, like you – start playing for our favourite teams in the weeks ahead.
    They might be unknown now but in a few weeks they’ll be less unknown, we guarantee it.
    In fact, they’re the reason why Clu’s Replacement Warehouse is number one in its field. It gets its players from the ranks of the common man. And their living the dream keeps alive the dreams of countless others yearning to do the same thing.
    It’s a connection between fan and player no other temporary athlete placement agency can duplicate.
    They’re real replacements, not players in the AHL, the ECHL and other leagues who are paid for their services and are nothing more than mercenaries for hire. Just like the players at the top of the chain.
    Owners, is that what you want, more of the same?
    No, don’t accept substitute replacements. Go with real replacements, guys who would love to take to the ice wearing the uniform of a Crosby or a Price or a Stamkos (which they can do because, owners, remember, they’re your uniforms – and your lettering. You can do what you want with them. Why spend money getting names changed. And it will add to the fans’ enjoyment of the games, seeing their favourite superstars back in action).
    And they’ll do it for nothing! You can’t put a price tag on love. Love of the game.
    (Clu’s Replacement Warehouse does charge a small handling and shipping charge that covers administrative, recruitment, travelling and police escort costs.)
    So, owners, look for the men from Clu’s Replacement Warehouse in their distinctive ultramarine outfits when you make your replacement selections.
    If they’re not wearing blue, you haven’t a Clu.


    Jim, have you noticed all our words end up as Older Comments? Yes, it could be worse (Senile Comments comes to mind) but it still rankles me we’re being shunted off into the bins of history because of our advanced years. Ageism at its worst, I tell you, and I’m not going to stand for it any longer. I just changed my profile to read Habs fan since: 2007. And I’m going to dye the hair on my avatar to jet black. This black.


    Being a customer service representative for the Acme Corporation, I’m often called out to distant locales to assist clients who are having issues with our products. Unfortunately, one of my clients is especially problematic. I’m routinely summoned to his home to do some troubleshooting; since he’s the real problem I’d have no trouble shooting him – most of our clients know better than to strap themselves to an Acme rocket – but because he’s our biggest customer by far I have to play nice.
    This is a roundabout way of saying I won’t be around a computer tomorrow so there will be no lockout diary entries from this end (although I’m sure Cal will keep everyone entertained with a ditty. Maybe even a doo-wah-ditty-ditty-dum-dee-dee-doo).

    • Habfan10912 says:

      Good Morning JB! Great idea about changing the HIO profile. I do have one problem with the hair coloring change though. Not enough to change. 🙂 Please excuse me. I have to go take my pills. Where did I put those bottles…….. CHeers


    • Cal says:

      Great fun as always, JB! 😀

      In honour of the subject matter:

      Time for Gloria to strut her stuff:

      At first we were afraid;
      We were petrified
      Kept thinking we could never live
      without the NHL on our side.
      But then we spent so many nights
      thinking how Bettman did us wrong
      And we grew strong
      And we learned how to get along.
      So when you’re back
      from lockout land,
      We’ll just pretend that you gave the game a hand.
      But that sad look upon your face
      We should have changed that cable pack
      We should have learned how to like tv reality
      If we’d known for just one second
      you’d be back on our tv.

      Go on now, walk off that screen
      ’cause you’re not welcome anymore
      weren’t you the one who tried to hurt us with that stupid lockout call
      Did you think we’d crumble
      Did you think we’d lay down and die
      Oh no, not we
      We will survive
      oh as long as there’s junior hockey
      We know we’ll stay alive
      We’ve got all our lives to live
      We’ve got all our dollars to give
      and we’ll survive
      We will survive (hey hey)

      • Habfan10912 says:

        Tremendous Cal. I sure hope you will be around tomorrow as JB is taking the day off. I’d have withdrawals without you two. Have a good one friend. 🙂


  10. English is not a Crime says:

    I’m sure season ticket holders would love being charged full price to watch replacement players, since they wouldn’t have the option. The rest of the tickets would likely go unsold as these would be the same players that one could pay 20bucks a pop to go see in any local AHL, or CHL arena, only they’d have to pay NHL prices like 10-20 times that much in certain (Toronto) arenas to watch them instead. I could see a whack of VERY unhappy season ticket holders and that’s not a very good move for an owner claiming to be going broke as it is.

    • neumann103 says:

      this is a good point. The alienation of season ticket holders in all but the top 8 or so markets would be a huge step backwards. In Montreal or Toronto there is a long list of people who could snap those up even if it meant burning a year on nothing. But the season ticket holder in Nashville or Carolina is a different story.

      “Et le but!”

  11. 100HABS says:

    Anyone just feel an earthquake?

  12. HabinBurlington says:

    What a catch by Coco Crisp!

  13. Hotsauce says:

    soooo, the Bulldogs have been really sucking lately 🙁

    I wonder if the future is as bright as they say it is……

  14. Propwash says:


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

  15. HabinBurlington says:

    So Mr. Fehr I see you would like to take the salary cap off the table, okay no problem, excuse me while I table non-guaranteed contracts.


  16. L Elle says:

    Check link above. Can’t seem to post them together. 🙂

    Lockout is here again Bettman lord,
    Haven’t seen a game in months or more
    I hope we can hold on a little longer

    Dreamed of hockey on a long summer day
    Fehr killed our Expos, to our dismay
    I’ve been going down this lockout road

    The Wheels of the NHL keep on turnin’
    I don’t if there’ll be hockey tomorrow
    The Wheels of the NHL keep on turnin’

    I’ve been trying to make a game at home
    Got to make it before too long
    I can’t take this very much longer
    I’m strangled by arrogance into pain
    Don’t think I’m ever gonna make it to summit again
    The mornin’ meetings are disturbing
    It’s pissing the day

    The Wheels of the NHL keep on turnin’
    I don’t if there’ll be hockey tomorrow

    Oh my my my my no hockey tomorrow.


  17. HabinBurlington says:

    Good classic NL game going on between Reds and Giants. I still like National League ball over AL ball. Every hit means something.

  18. HabinBurlington says:

    So when the NHL presents an offer which asks for a huge change in revenue split they are considered morons. But when Fehr considers an offer of removing the cap, this is considered negotiating?

    Again, I must repeat myself, I currently hate both sides. But this constant players good, owners bad rhetoric is weird to me.

  19. Toe Blake says:

    A friend of mine in Montreal just IM’d me that Club Super Sex is trying to offset the impact of the strike with an ad campaign entitled “More Suck for the Buck!” I was intrigued until I saw that they intended to show Scott Gomez Habs’ videos every Saturday night beginning in mid October.

  20. HabFab says:

    Patches didn’t dress for today’s game. Did anyone hear why?

  21. Mr. Biter says:

    Yeah I’d watch the Replacements as it would probably bring a faster end to the current standoff. Also there will be some players probably not many who will make an impact and help themselves get NHL contracts much to the dismay to the strikers. Once College Football in the States ends got no idea what to watch on Saturdays beginning in December (till the endless Bowl games begin anyway).
    BTW to HabsinBurlington I believe you also went to U of Winnipeg and wonder if you know they are planning to change the team name from the “Wesmen” as it is not policically correct as per Lloyd Axworthy.I think it sucks. Your comments?

    Mr. Biter
    No Guts No Glory

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Really! No I didn’t attend, but my brother did (played on a few National Championship Volleyball teams in the 80’s). I will reserve comment on my views towards Lloyd Axworthy, but can’t believe how that is politically iincorrect. I had family attend both U of M and U of W, so appreciate both schools.

      I still can’t believe UND caved on the “Fighting Sioux”, I always thought that name was respectful and thought it showed great honour. But perhaps I don’t think well.

      Baseball playoffs, NFL and College Football are keeping me occupied for now, but if we don’t have hockey by January, this winter will suck!

      • Mr. Biter says:

        Could not remember if you or your brother went there but knew someone from your family went. There is a facebook site to save the name. If you want I’ll post it.
        BTW UND had no choice. Drop the name or all teams unable to go to any college post season championships as per NCAA.

        Mr. Biter
        No Guts No Glory

        • HabinBurlington says:

          I am already on the horn with my brother, he is far more patient and kind than I and he can’t believe it. I am not on facebook so I probably can’t do much with it. I see Lloyd is as busy as ever with pertinent issues, good to see the man still knows how to put a hard days work in.

          • Mr. Biter says:

            If you brother still lives in Winnipeg have him go to the winnipeg sun website. The article is still up and prehaps he will pass it on to others who still respect and want the name to continue on.

            Mr. Biter
            No Guts No Glory

  22. Toe Blake says:

    You guys just have to stop bitchin’ and sign up for KHL Centre Ice on DirecTV!

  23. Toe Blake says:

    I’m OK with replacements as long as they come with cheerleaders: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TEXF78SREnM

  24. KLear says:

    Yes – I would absolutely watch replacement players from the AHL.

    What does Vinny think ? That only washed up NHL players (who rode other players coat tails to a cup) are the only ones who can connect a pass ?

    I live in an AHL city, watch live AHL games regularly, and have watched numerous NHL games live- and I can’t tell the difference.

    • Mattyleg says:

      …then why not watch the AHL, rather than watching AHLers masquerading as NHLers?

      —Hope Springs Eternal—

      • KLear says:

        I do – which is why I am not on here complaining about the lockout.

        Food for thought – At least 25% of the players in the NHL are on 2 way contracts (fourth liners), and some of the 1 way contract players are crap. So about one third of what you are watching is at AHL quality or lower but you’re just paying more for it.

        • commandant says:

          Using the same logic

          And at least 25% of the players in the AHL are on two way minor league contracts AHL/ECHL… and some of the AHL players are crap. SO you are paying for ECHL quality on fourth lines in the AHL.

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

  25. Habitant in Surrey says:

    …I have been traveling in the states for a few days, so that’s the last place to learn of progress, one way or other, in NHL CBA negotiations
    …when I left Friday , It was reported Little Caesar (I mean Lord Gary) and his follicle challenged sidekick Daley had stealthily arrived at the NHLPA head office in Turdranna for ‘secret’ meetings …said ‘secret’ meetings we were told would continue because they were determined to be resolved in the best interest of all parties

    …okay, we’ll, it’s Tuesday afternoon where I’m at at the moment …after such a promising story Friday, WHY ??? are We now talking about restarting the schedule with replacement players, and what’s this about Our Little Caesar Nero wanting to ‘break the union’ ???
    …WHAT ??? Have I missed ???

    …is the Little Bugger still in Turdranna, or not, negotiating ?
    …please help this old’ Guy get back to speed will Ya ?

    • commandant says:

      Bill Watters floated this “replacement player” garbage like 2 or 3 weeks ago…. not sure why H I/O is just picking it up now.

      As for the secret meetings… they didn’t seem to go anywhere.

      We are basically back in the same spot as before you left.

      Nothing to see here.

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

      • Bripro says:

        And it took them 3 days off to determine to meet in…..
        3 days!
        BTW, I liked your writeup on the NCAA vs CHL.
        Thanks for that, Ben.

        “I’m here to tell you: Gary Bettman hasn’t felt this alive since he killed Harry Potter’s parents.”

    • HabFab says:

      Fehr said no deal until the unconditional surrender of the owners and the end of the salary cap. The NHLPA will run the league with the owners providing the money but keeping their mouths shut.

      • Bripro says:

        But…but…. the salary cap was settled during the last CBA.
        Ah crap! Here we go again.
        Say goodbye to the season!

        “I’m here to tell you: Gary Bettman hasn’t felt this alive since he killed Harry Potter’s parents.”

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Ahhh I see Fehr is still without any scorn from you, he is such a perfect man afterall, he was sooo so kind to the Expos and only has mankinds best interest in mind. Bettman is a tool and a moron, but Fehr can sidle up right with him.

      • boing007 says:

        When I read that Fehr was hired by the NHLPA I immediately thought that another lockout was just around the corner. Hands up all those who thought the same.

        Richard R
        Price is an oyster. Unfortunately not all oysters produce pearls.

    • AssInTOheartInTheForum says:

      One of the appealing things about this site is the level of discourse. “Turdtranna” comments just don’t cut it.

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