NHLPA still discussing possibility of meeting players-owners meeting, Rangers owner Dolan wants to be part of that meeting, and more.

OTTAWA SUN/: Bruce Garrioch reports the NHL and NHLPA spoke Saturday regarding league commissioner Gary Bettman’s suggestion of an owners-players meeting without the respective brass of both sides, exchanging ideas on what the ground rules for such a meeting would be. A source told Garrioch the players would want input as to which owners would attend, but didn’t want the league to make requests of which players should attend. The PA would also prefer the meeting not be a negotiating session but rather an exchange of ideas as to how to end the lockout. Garrioch also believes the players would prefer NY Rangers owners James Dolan and Montreal Canadiens owner Geoff Molson to attend, as they’re considered moderates among the league owners.

Rangers owner James Dolan hopes to meet with NHL players.

NEW YORK POST: Larry Brooks reports Dolan would also prefer to attend such a meeting, though it is unknown if he has officially volunteered his services to Bettman. The Rangers stand to lose around $60 million if this NHL season is cancelled due to the lockout. Brooks claims Dolan’s distant relationship with Bettman hasn’t limited the respect he has among the Board of Governors.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’s a safe bet the players wouldn’t want Bruins owner Jeremy Jacobs, Capitals owner Ted Leonsis, Flames owner Murray Edwards or Wild owner Craig Leipold attending this meeting. The foursome have been part of the league’s negotiating committee and considered the hawks setting the league’s agenda in this lockout. That being said, I don’t believe it is fair for the players to demand which owners they want in attendance but not allow the league to pick the players they want to attend. If the players stick to that line, I doubt we’ll see this meeting come off. For that matter, I don’t hold out much hope such a meeting would change anything.

Unless either a majority of players vote to accept the league’s current offer, or there’s a very public palace coup among the NHL ownership which ousts Bettman and his hardline supporters, I don’t believe a player-owner meeting will accomplish anything. If this meeting does happen, I hope I’m proven wrong.  Bettman, however, needs only the support of eight members to continue the lockout, and if the players feel the hardliners are out to crush them, they could dig in their heels and go for decertification, which could be their next move if the upcoming NHL Board of Governors meeting forces their hand.

TAMPA BAY TIMES: Veteran Lightning players aren’t holding team owner Jeff Vinik responsible for this lockout.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Vinik hasn’t been an NHL owner for long, and thus he wield little power or influence among his fellow owners. It’s also believed, as the report notes, he’s among the moderates.

TSN.CA: The executive board of the NHL Players’ Association authorized a $10,000 stipend to every player on Saturday as the lockout continues.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The players can no longer rely upon any more escrow cheques, as the last ones were issued in November.

COLUMBUS DISPATCH: Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown is looking for ways to help businesses in and around Columbus directly affected by the NHL lockout, and hopes to work with local leaders to petition the NHL for a future All-Star game. The NHL cancelled the January 2013 All-Star Game, which was to be held in Columbus.

SPORTSNET.CA: Three sports marketing experts discuss the potential impact of the lockout upon the NHL.

THE GLOBE & MAIL: The increasingly high cost of playing hockey in Canada is making it more difficult for working class families to pay for their children to play the sport.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: That could have serious long-term consequences for the sport’s ongoing success in Canada. If working class kids turn to more affordable sports, it will shrink the Canadian talent pool. It could also result in a decline in the sport’s long-term popularity among Canadians.

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4 Responses to NHL Lockout Morning Coffee Headlines – December 2, 2012.

  1. mort says:

    season is gone people. get used to it. both sides are stubborn. oh yes i say next year will not be a complete season also.

  2. Captain Ahab says:

    I have done a fair bit of checking, and while I stand to be corrected, I have yet to encounter any other board where a minority (8 plus Bettman) is able to set the standard for the majority when it comes to areas concerning all the major players. However Bettman was able to push this through, and credit must be given to him, it just seems as though the owners had heir heads up their proverbial butts when this motion was tabled and was passed.
    If the owners want the players to capitulate in so many areas then the players should make a point of wanting this standard changed so that it takes a majority of 50% plus one, which at this time would be 16 owners, to vote on offers presented by the PA. If Bettman raises a stink about it then that could be a tip off that he didn’t have the support of the majority and was indeed letting the Hawks rule the Doves.
    Seeing as Bettman enjoys getting the players involved in infighting then it would only seem fair if Fehr could get the owners quarreling amongst themselves.

    On the subject of how expensive it is to play minor all the way to major junior hockey, I heard some of the figures bandied about and I can see why those in the know are worried about kids turning to more affordable sports. When Kraft, after the cancellation of Kraft Hockeyville donated the million dollars to Hockey Canada I initially thought that it was a nice jesture but after some serious second though I could see where it would be better to donate $100,000 to each province so that they could assist families without the finances to allow their children to play organized hockey. I don’t believe that Hockey Canada puts very much money into getting working class families children equipped so that they can play hockey. At least if each province directed it to those in need there would not be any administration fees or any of it going to pay salaries, at least there shouldn’t be in my mind.

  3. Murph says:

    Captain Ahab,

    On target as usual!

    I was not surprised to see Jacobs and Edwards listed as two of the owners for this round of meetings with the players, the Hawks, or Vultures if you will. I was also not surprised to see Geoff Molson and James Dolan not on the list of owners for this round of meetings with the players. I think Vinick and Tanenbaum are good choices. Molson and Dolan have interests beyond hockey regarding this lockout, namely beer sales and media content, so i can see why Bettman would not want them in the room. Vinick is a new owner, and while he did not buy the lightning necessarily to make money, as a businessman he cannot like a zero return so far. As for Tanenbaum, this is interesting. He is a part owner of the Leafs, but his partners are Bell and Rogers. While teams like Phoenix are better off financially by not playing, the Leafs actually lose money, big-time, during a lockout. Sure they have less expenses, but also no revenue, which last year helped generate an 80 million dollar profit. Tanenbaum personally, is set to lose a lot of money. Add in Bell and Rogers, two of Canada’s largest media conglomerates, with no NHL content for their various media applications. Lots of money down the drain. The biggest surprise to me in all of this is why the various media companies who have ownership interests in the league, and the major sponsors with signed contracts and commitments ( for example Molson’s) and no exposure due to lockout, have not pressured the leagues hand to get a deal done. What I know is this. One party writes the cheques, and the other one cashes them. In labour relations, the ones cashing the cheques either settle and get less than what they wanted, or lose their jobs because the company “shut down”. The players have made inroads on the percentages, and will still be well looked after, because revenue continues to grow. They are now fighting for 300 million that they will lose, just by extending the lockout and fighting for it. “We are doing this for future generations of players.” Oh really? Apply the numbers. That is the rich guys pleasure ( Crosby, Parise, etc.) Not the majority of the guys making 1 to 2.5 million per year for the next 2-3 years who will have to start a career as a restaurant / bar owner or salesman of some sort when their careers are over. The Crosby’s and Parise’s, and the new, young superstars and their well paid agents, will take care of them, I guarantee it.

    As for Minor Hockey, in my experience most Associations have a Presidents fund or other method of ensuring that all kids, regardless of financial situation, are allowed to play. Perhaps the real issue is public relations and parents knowing how and where to access help locally.

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