The latest morning updates on the NHL lockout, plus updates on Valtteri Filppula, Brandon Dubinsky, Ryan Malone, Wayne Simmonds and more.
TSN.CA/ASSOCIATED PRESS: Communication between the NHL and NHLPA have seemingly ground to a halt, with no clear sign of what the next step will be or when it will take place. Deputy commissioner Bill Daly said there’s been no talks between the two sides and none scheduled. NHLPA special counsel Steve Fehr said his side is prepared to resume negotiations at any time.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: After nearly a week of intense negotiations last week, it seems both sides are taking a bit of a break from each other before renewing negotiations. I suspect by some point next week they’ll be at least informally speaking with each other again.
TSN.CA: Sports legal analyst Eric Macramalla explains why NHL players will lose an entire year from their existing contracts if this NHL season is lost to lockout. Essentially, they sign for years, not for seasons.
ESPN.COM: Katie Strang reports renowned US mediator Judge Arthur Boylen (who’s also a hockey fan) would love to get involved in NHL CBA talks to help bring about a resolution. So far, the league has shown no interest in bringing in a mediator. Craig Custance, meanwhile, reports on how a shortened training camp could have an adverse effect upon prospects and fringe players.
SPORTS BUSINESS JOURNAL’s Chris Botta last night reported via Twitter a source said “if there isn’t a deal in place in next 7days, NHL will cancel games thru Dec. 15. Next cancellation could be the season.”
SPECTOR’S NOTE: That sounds about right. The league would need time from the ratification of a new CBA to when it can officially drop the puck on a new season, including a brief 7-10 day training camp for its teams. If there’s to be a deal allowing the season to open on December 1, it would have to be agreed up by next Thursday (American Thanksgiving). To facilitate a mid-December opening, it would have to be agreed upon by December 5. I still think they would cancel games up to January 1st if no new deal by then, but after that, cancellation of the season becomes a strong possibility.
TORONTO SUN: Wayne Gretzky still believes a new CBA could be done by January.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: If there’s no agreement by January 1, I start the doomsday clock, as I expect the season will be cancelled by some point in January if there’s no deal.
ARIZONA REPUBLIC: The reality of the NHL lockout is hitting home for Paul Bissonnette of the Phoenix Coyotes, forcing him to consider his options once his NHL career is over.
DETROIT NEWS: Red Wings forward Valtteri Filppula has been sidelined 6-8 weeks by a sprained MCL.
COLUMBUS DISPATCH: Blue Jackets forward Brandon Dubinsky suffered a broken finger on his right hand and is expected to miss three weeks.
TAMPA BAY TIMES: Lightning forward Ryan Malone suffered five stitches and a black eye after being struck by an inadvertent high stick by teammate Martin St. Louis during practice yesterday.
USA TODAY: Wayne Simmonds has left the Czech Extraliga and returned to North America citing “family reasons”, at the same time eight fans accused of hurling racial taunts at Simmonds during a recent game “will be charged with disorderly conduct and defamation of nation, race or ethnic group. The charge carries a maximum of three years in prison.”
TORONTO SUN: Former NHL player Stan Jonathan has been charged with criminal negligence causing death after a 29-year-old Hamilton man was killed while hunting on the Six Nations Reserve Sunday morning.