NHL Lockout Morning Coffee Headlines (Day 80 Edition) – December 4, 2012.

Pessimism reigns over today’s meeting between NHL owners & players as a means of ending the NHL lockout.

THE GLOBE AND MAIL: David Ebner suggests today’s meeting between NHL owners & players might be the last chance to end the lockout and save the season. Though some sources hope the addition of new voices and perspective might help move the stalled CBA negotiations along, there’s also a feeling the two sides are so deeply entrenched compromise might not be possible.

Will Crosby & Toews speak with NHL owners today?

TSN.CA: Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby and Chicago Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews will be among a group of players in New York for the talks, but it remains to be seen if they’ll be among the six to be selected to participate in today’s discussion with the owners.

THE BUFFALO NEWS: Sabres goaltender Ryan Miller will also be among the group of players in New York for the talks, and hopes he gets a chance to speak directly to them. Miller has been a vocal critic of the owners during this lockout, suggesting they’re unwilling to negotiate a fair deal. “I can’t make sense of what the owners truly need because they want everything,” the Buffalo Sabres’ goaltender wrote today during an exchange of text messages. “That is why it seems like the finish line is moving.”

NORTH JERSEY.COM: Andrew Gross explains why NY Rangers owner James Dolan was too “anti-Gary Bettman” to earn an invite to today’s talks.

CBC.CA: Dan Oldfield lists seven steps to end the NHL lockout. It remains to be seen if the NHL & NHLPA will consider any of them.

TORONTO STAR: Buzz Hargrove, former head of the Canadian Autoworkers Union and former NHLPA ombudsman, considers it a mistake by the players to meet with the owners today.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: If you interested in my take on today’s meeting you can find it in my latest Soapbox update. I truly hope this meeting will result in movement toward a swift resolution of this labor standoff, but like most observers, I don’t believe it will.

CSNNE.COM: A report by WBZ-TV in Boston last night suggesting the NHL lockout could be over by Wednesday was denied by several sources, including NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The report created a brief buzz on Twitter last night before it was eventually dismissed by Daly and others. 

ESPN.COM: Scott Burnside and Craig Custance offer up their views on decertification, which could be the next step by the NHLPA if there’s no progress soon in NHL CBA negotiations.

SBA.GOV: The US Small Business Administration is prepared to counsel small businesses currently on ice because of the NHL lockout.


  1. Buzz Hargrove nailed it. I completely agree: “It’s lopsided in terms of power and experience of the people who are meeting.”

    I seriously doubt that the players have anything to say that could convince the owners. But I think the owners may be able to sway the players.

  2. The only thin that can truly come from this meeting is more hard feelings. Lets be honest, yes we love the players when the game is being played, but putting this group in a boardroom against seasoned businessmen and expecting any kind of negotiation is ridiculous. I am pretty sure the members of the CAW would be crapping their drawers if the Union put a dozen assembly line workers in the boardroom to negotiate.

    As far as the season, I dont think many really believe that there will be one, though many players seem to think there is still a chance, and that is the danger. The next step? The players will probably explore the decertification route…..which at this point is a complete waste of time. Just the process alone would take up so much time that there couldnt be a season if it was eventually successful.

    And about decertification….Most legal experts I have read the past little while have expressed that they believe that the player’s threat to decertify is a bluff, just as it was the past year in the NFL and NBA, but the players need to be careful of threatening it.

    What hasn’t been spoken about and what a lot of people don’t know is that the NHL has its own NUCLEAR weapon which would completely neutralize any thoughts of Decertification. All the NHL has to do to nullify any lawsuits or claims against them is to “Suspend Operations” of the league itself for whatever period they choose until they decide there is someone they are more willing to negotiate with and “resume operations”. The players have no recourse if that happens, none at all, so as the cliché goes, don’t bring a knife to a gunfight.