All Forums > SimLeague Hockey > NHL > RIP.....Hockey, NHL is DEAD!!!
11/3/2012 1:40 PM
R.I.P.
11/7/2012 10:06 AM

NEW YORK (AP) -- Negotiations between the NHL and the locked-out players' association lasted deep into Tuesday night, and went well enough that the sides agreed to return to the bargaining table for more talks Wednesday.

Both sides kept details close to the vest after the meeting that lasted more than seven hours. That also could be taken as an optimistic sign that the second round of talks in four days went well.

The marathon session - on Day 52 of the lockout - was held at an undisclosed location in New York, at request of the NHL, in order for the sides to be able to talk without any potential distractions.

''Collective bargaining negotiations between the National Hockey League and representatives of the National Hockey League's Players' Association recessed tonight at 10:15 p.m.,'' NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly said in a statement. ''With meetings scheduled to resume Wednesday, the league will not characterize the substance or detail of the discussions until their conclusion.''

Not only were Daly and union special counsel Steve Fehr there, as they were for a long session by themselves Saturday. They were joined by Commissioner Gary Bettman, NHLPA executive director Donald Fehr, a handful of team owners, and 13 players including Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby, who has been an active participant in the process.

11/8/2012 10:09 AM

( ...&, new for Thursday... )

NEW YORK (AP) -- If time spent at the bargaining table indicates progress, the NHL and the locked-out players' association finally could be on their way to making a deal to get hockey back on the ice.

A second straight day of marathon negotiations took place Wednesday, when the two sides spent more than five hours hammering away at the most contentious issues separating them. Coupled with the more than seven hours they spent negotiating on Tuesday, owners and players have been together about 13 hours and are ready to get back to it on Thursday.

Neither side tipped its hand about what was discussed or if the talks were successful, and the location of the meetings is still being kept secret.

''The National Hockey League's negotiating committee met with representatives of the National Hockey League Players' Association for approximately 5 1/2 hours,'' NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly said in a statement Wednesday night. ''We do not intend to comment on the substance or subject matter of today's negotiations.''

NHLPA executive director Donald Fehr also said very little after the sides wrapped up the latest round of talks.

''The NHLPA and the NHL met to discuss many of the key issues,'' Fehr wrote in his statement. ''We look forward to resuming talks (Thursday).''

Those issues include revenue sharing between teams and the ''make-whole'' provision, which involves the payment of player contracts that are already in effect. The lockout will be entering its 54th day Thursday, and there is still much to be done to work out the differences to reach a deal that will allow the already delayed and shortened season to begin.

Thursday will mark the fourth time in six days that face-to-face negotiations have taken place after the sides both rejected proposals on Oct. 18.

Along with a handful of team owners, eight players attended Wednesday's talks, five fewer than Tuesday. Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby and others left New York to try to avoid the impending snowstorm that hit the area, the union said.

11/8/2012 12:28 PM (edited)


PRAGUE – "It might surprise some people for me to say this," Erik Christensen said, standing outside the Lev Prague dressing room the other night, leaning against a concrete wall. "The hoopla of the NHL, it kind of wears off as you get a little older and you have some experience."

Christensen wasn't ripping the NHL. It is the best league in the world – with the best talent, the best arenas, the best perks –
at least  when it isn't mired in a lockout. Even though he left for the Kontinental Hockey League, Christensen is still the same
Canadian kid from Edmonton who grew up idolizing Wayne Gretzky. He doesn't seem bitter.

It's just that the NHL isn't for everybody, and there's a larger world out there. Once you've played on the same team with Mario
Lemieux, once you've skated at Madison Square Garden, it isn't about making the NHL anymore. It's about making a living. It's
about doing what you really set out to do – play.

And so here is Christensen, living in Prague, making more money than he did in the NHL, playing a top-six role after being benched and scratched and demoted and traded last season in the NHL. He is among the expatriates taking a different path in a different league on a different continent. This isn't what he envisioned, not exactly. But in professional sports, things often don't work out as planned. He has no regrets.

"When you're a kid, you dream of playing in the NHL, especially if you're from North America," Christensen said. "But I think when this becomes a job … that's sort of what matters most to a lot of guys, especially for a guy like me who struggled a lot in my career, had some ups but mostly downs."

Europe, he said, is "definitely a viable option." Christensen actually always thought he would love to play in Europe. He figured he would play the last two or three years overseas, just for the experience of it. He just hoped he would be in his mid-30s when it happened.

He's 28 now. He started out with the Pittsburgh Penguins, right before Lemieux retired for the last time. But then he bounced to the Atlanta Thrashers, and to the Anaheim Ducks, and to the New York Rangers, and to the Minnesota Wild, never living up to his potential. Though an excellent passer, he didn't produce enough offensively, and he wasn't physical or strong defensively. Frustrated, he decided to head for Europe early.

"I spent years kind of struggling in the NHL, trying to find a niche for myself," said Christensen, a third-round pick in 2002. "I was just trying to be kind of a regular. I think a lot of people thought with my skill level, I would be a top-six or top-nine forward. But it just kind of never panned out. … "I've played for some tough coaches. They want you to perform consistently, and when I wasn't doing that, I was an easy guy to bench or scratch. That's just sort of the way it went."

Christensen went on a European tour with the Rangers at the start of last season. Sweden. Switzerland. Slovakia. The Czech Republic. Christensen played in Lev's home arena against Sparta, a member of the Czech Extraliga. He looked at the larger ice surface. He looked at the skating and the speed and the flow. He looked at the loose structure and long breakaway passes. And he starting thinking: This wasn't the stop-and-start, dump-and-chase, crash-and-bang, dirty-goal style the NHL had adopted. This was more like the Gretzky game he grew up loving.

"Don't get me wrong, the best players in the world are playing in the NHL," Christensen said. "I just kind of like the style they play here. It sort of fits the way I think and my skill set." Last season went poorly. Christensen found himself in coach John Tortorella's doghouse. He would play a few games, then sit for several. He was even sent to the minors for a conditioning stint because he was playing so little. He was traded to the Wild.

Even before that, he'd had enough.
 

11/15/2012 11:15 AM
I hope they cancel the entire season, I'll flourish in their pity
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11/18/2012 9:48 AM
One thing every work stoppage depends on is public pressure to keep the parties at the bargaining table.  Where's the public pressure on this one?  Nowhere.

No local politicians are going to Obama or Harper saying "My constituents are out of work.  We need to fix this situation."

This product is unnecessary, and is being exposed as such.

The NBA faced this situation a couple of seasons ago, where the league was probably in danger of folding if it made no business sense to continue, but the ownership explicitly stated that to its players union, and the union had to eat it.

IMO because of the typical high handed paternalistic attitude of NHL ownership to the players and the fans, they want the same thing the NBA got but they have been too prideful and unwilling to paint the picture of going out of business.  The players don't see that fact yet.  So these people are arguing over money they're never going to see again.

Plus there's an unspoken dynamic here; I also feel the rich owners (NY, Phil, Tor, etc.) may (or must) be using this whole thing as a mechanism to eventually force contraction on the league and the union.  This will be a good way to kill off the attendance-poor teams (Nas, Car, Ana, etc.)  Which means less jobs for players, but they don't see that either.

11/23/2012 7:31 PM
Next move for the PLAYERS is the decertification of the NHLPA.  Even the threat of decertification should scare the crap out of Bettman and the owners.  The league would be in CHAOS.  The lockout would be illegal.  The owners would have to pay the players who are under contract their full money.  Salary cap would be gone.  The draft would be gone.  Players would loose pentions and medical benefits BUT big deal.  The owners would continue to overpay the players and player agents will work benefits into players individule deals.  Best move for the NHLPA is to decertify and do it now=hockey before X-mas.
11/23/2012 10:55 PM
Posted by juskay on 11/23/2012 7:31:00 PM (view original):
Next move for the PLAYERS is the decertification of the NHLPA.  Even the threat of decertification should scare the crap out of Bettman and the owners.  The league would be in CHAOS.  The lockout would be illegal.  The owners would have to pay the players who are under contract their full money.  Salary cap would be gone.  The draft would be gone.  Players would loose pentions and medical benefits BUT big deal.  The owners would continue to overpay the players and player agents will work benefits into players individule deals.  Best move for the NHLPA is to decertify and do it now=hockey before X-mas.
...& do it now = hockey before X-Mas...

Too bad John LeClair ain't around to skate just
1 more season... Just his type, the '48'-gamer...

Pretty insightful,  juskay...
11/23/2012 11:12 PM
Decertification is good for the top 10% of players, bad for all other players.  Decertification is good for the wealthy big market teams, and bad for every other team.  Disparity would be huge between teams.  Contraction would be likely.  Fewer teams means fewer players overall.  Fewer players in the NHL means more professional hockey players look elsewhere to play, making the NHL less relevant on the world hockey stage.  If I am a player I am not voting for decertification just so I can play this season and stand to lose in the long run.
11/23/2012 11:13 PM
And if there is decertification and the league starts now, the season will be shortened and the players salaries will be prorated to the shortened season.
11/24/2012 1:44 AM
Posted by paul71 on 11/23/2012 11:12:00 PM (view original):
Decertification is good for the top 10% of players, bad for all other players.  Decertification is good for the wealthy big market teams, and bad for every other team.  Disparity would be huge between teams.  Contraction would be likely.  Fewer teams means fewer players overall.  Fewer players in the NHL means more professional hockey players look elsewhere to play, making the NHL less relevant on the world hockey stage.  If I am a player I am not voting for decertification just so I can play this season and stand to lose in the long run.
It would be CHAOS......Contraction would happen, players would lose jobs,  but the NHL would thrive in the markets that the NHL has always thrived in.........Think of how great a 6 team NHL would be today.  The original six teams would be stacked with talent,  Owners would pay 20 mil + to some players.........The AHL would be stacked as well.  PRO hockey would be relevent again and not the JOKE it is today.  No strikes, no lock-outs......just hockey.  Decertify boys....
11/24/2012 2:16 AM
The best players in the world will line up to play in the best league in the world?  If you don't think the NHL is the best league in the world....THEN WHY are you not watching the other leagues??  The reason you and I don't watch the SEL or the KHL is we don't give a crap about those leagues.  Even if our favorite players go to these leagues WE STILL WON't watch OR CARE.  We (you and I) only truly care about the NHL.  I for one want the NHL back..........No union, no NHLPA, just NHL HOCKEY....
11/24/2012 11:04 AM
As I said in my earlier post, forced contraction may have been the end game here all along.  Doesn't matter how you get there.  The Leafs, the Rangers, and the top players don't care because they know they'll still get theirs.  The NHL will be smaller, which it should be because fan interest and potential revenue bleeds away by the day.

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