NHL Lockout (Day 97) Morning Coffee Headlines – December 21, 2012.

With the NHL canceling games to mid-January and no formal CBA talks in sight, expectation is growing the 2012-13 season may be toast.

ESPN.COM: Pierre LeBrun reports, amid speculation the NHL has a mid-January deadline for either a new CBA or cancelling the remainder of the 2012-13 season, the league yesterday cancelled the first two weeks of the January 2013 schedule. NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly said he didn’t want to characterize the meaning of that cancellation. Meanwhile, the results of the player vote on giving the NHLPA executive board permission to file dismissal of interest is expected today. If, as expected, the players approve it, the PA has until January 2 to file a dismissal of interest.

CBC.CA: Tim Wharnsby believes the NHL’s next cancellation will be the remainder of the season if no new agreement is in place by mid-January.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Everyone expects the next cancellation will be the rest of the season. Those who remain optimistic are growing fewer.

TSN.CA: A court summons was filed yesterday in New York stating the NHLPA has until January 7 to respond to a class action complaint filed last week by the NHL. NHLPA executive director Donald Fehr, meanwhile, expressed his wish the upcoming holidays won’t be an impediment toward negotiating a new CBA. Fehr also admitted there had been “conversations” between the offices in hopes of re-starting talks.

THE GLOBE AND MAIL David Shoalts reports the players are now “contemplating a leap into the unknown” with their vote on disclaimer of interest, which is expected to pass today. The move, however, is still seen as more of a bargaining tactic by the PA.

OTTAWA SUN: In an interview yesterday, Bill Daly clarified his remarks to Hockey Night in Canada radio on Wednesday where he answered “yes” to a direct question about whether or not there will be a season. “I only had two choices: Of course, I was going to answer ‘Yes’. Yes, I do (have optimism). That’s more my nature. I don’t understand to a large extent why we’re where we’re at. I still think at the end of the day we should be able to get deal.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Daly certainly wasn’t going to answer “no” to that question, as the NHLPA would’ve used it against him, claiming the league having no intention of negotiating a season-saving deal. 

USATODAY: Kevin Allen suggests if the NHL gets its way and imposes a five-year term limit on player contracts (or 7-years for teams re-signing their own players), it might result in more “sign-and-trade” deals, and even fewer stars entering the free agent market.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Good point raised by Allen. It’ll be interesting to see how things shake out regarding free agents during the next CBA.

THE TENNESSEAN: Nashville Predators defenseman Shea Weber declined to comment on his plans if the NHL were to void all existing player contracts should the NLRB recognize the PA’s disclaimer of interest.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The possibility of voiding all existing contracts raises the specter of superstars like Weber forsaking their current teams to sign with the highest bidders. While I have my doubts it’ll get that far, things would certainly get interesting if they did.

Thomas makes rare appearance at NHLPA meeting.

Thomas makes rare appearance at NHLPA meeting.

CSNNE.COM: Erstwhile Boston Bruins goalie Tim Thomas recently sat in on one of the NHLPA conference calls.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Thomas has been laying low with his family in Colorado since last spring. He reportedly didn’t contribute anything to the conference call.

DALLAS MORNING NEWS: Stars winger Brenden Morrow talks about what he’s been doing to stay in shape and what he’s been doing during the lockout.

TORONTO STAR: Philadelphia Flyers winger Wayne Simmonds talks about his time playing in the Czech Republic earlier this autumn, including the occasional racism he encountered playing there. Simmonds makes it clear those incidents didn’t ruin his time there. He returned to Canada to deal with a family matter.

CSNPHILLY.COM: The Philadelphia Flyers received some good news, as defenseman Andrej Meszaros is progressing in his recovery from a torn Achilles tendon and is expected to be cleared to play in January, while blueliner Andreas Lilja has recovered from a hip injury and has been cleared to play.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: For teams with several players who were sidelined by lengthy injuries this fall, the lockout has been a godsend, allowing times for those players to recover, hopefully in time for a shortened season.

COLUMBUS DISPATCH: Blue Jackets players Derick Brassard and Derek Dorsett have cut short their tenure with Austria’s EC Salzburg Red Bull. While Dorsett had a mutual “out clause” in his contract, EC Salsburg is accusing Brassard of breaching his contract.

KUKLA’S KORNER: cited a tweet by Sportsnet’s Daren Millard confirming the NHLPA is planning an outdoor game on Lake Louise in February if there’s no new CBA in place by then.


  1. If there is still players heading to Europe this can only mean no season.

  2. I kinda like the idea of 5 yrs for a new contact for an FA or renew for 7 yrs… Even if it means sign and trade. This way it really can curb the outlandish FA prices we see. After all we are talking about plays that you would sign to a contract of this length is usually over the $5M mark and not the sub $3-4M players that usually sign three or four years max.
    Another benefit is that even if a player does want to move on he can look like a hero by signing a 7 year extension and then get traded, either immediately or whenever at an affordable price for some good pieces to the team trading him helping them not only on the ice but also in the books of smaller market teams that typically have a hard time holding onto or getting anything of value when their FA become available.
    Plus every resigning will be a sign and trade rumor for all you rumor mongers out there. 😉

  3. The idea of sign-and-trade is actually a good thing. This means that a team losing a free agent can get something in return. This is one of the greatest facets of the NHL. You can actually rebuild and become competitive. This is in part due to a massive farm system but also because teams can parlay players of value into draft picks and prospects. A team willing to be patient can rebuild and win the cup. The Kings, Blackhawks, Ducks, and Penguins are proof of that.

    Now compare that to the NFL. Brandon Marshall (WR for the Bears) is one of the best receivers in the league. He was traded to Chicago from Miami in the last off-season for a 3rd round pick.

    I would like to see the league add an extra condition that teams can re-sign their own free agents that they drafted to a 9-year deal. This would increase the likeliness that players would remain with the teams that drafted them and would also created added value if the team couldn’t sign them.