NHL Lockout Morning Coffee Headlines – November 16, 2012.

NHL seeks a two week “time out” from CBA talks with NHLPA, assessing the lockout damage thus far, former NHL players weigh in on the lockout, and more.


Less talk, more rhetoric between NHL & NHLPA.

SPORTSNET.CA/CANADIAN PRESS: NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman suggested a two-week moratorium on CBA talks to NHLPA director Donald Fehr “after Bettman received a phone call from Donald Fehr on Wednesday in which the NHLPA executive director said he didn’t know how the sides could proceed from their current stalemate.” Fehr told Bettman he needed to bounce that off his membership before responding.. NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly, meanwhile, claimed “I’m more discouraged now than I have been at any point in the process”

STARTRIBUNE.COM: The rhetoric between the two sides has increased. Daly claimed the PA “continue to request a “guaranteed” Players Share as part of the next agreement and we repeatedly tell them maybe they should get a reality check. And in the mean time, maybe they can make their position clear to us on 50-50, on the make-whole and on Player Contracting issues.”

NHLPA special counsel Steve Fehr responded, “The players have offered the owners concessions worth about a billion dollars. What exactly have the owners offered the players? We believe that it is more likely that we will make progress if we meet than if we don’t. So we are ready to meet. If indeed they do not want to meet, it will be at least the third time in the last three months that they have shut down the dialogue, saying they will not meet unless the players meet their preconditions. What does that tell you about their interest in resolving this?”

NEW YORK DAILY NEWS: Pat Leonard noted a recent tweet by TSN’s Darren Dreger where players keep telling him “they’re optimistic a deal will get done, while owners tell me they have no confidence in that.” Leonard suggests the reason is  “the players, in a sense, are winning”.

He believes the league has mishandled several  pivotal junctures of the negotiations, the PA called the league’s bluff on a September 16 “take it or leave it” deadline on a CBA proposal, only to see the league make another offer a month later.  Leonard cited off-the-record accounts claiming last week’s negotiations went south after Boston Bruins owner Jeremy Jacobs (perhaps the most hawkish of the owners) joined the talks on Tuesday and Friday.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The pessimistic tone from the league could be genuine, but most analysis I’ve read and heard of late suggests it is merely a negotiation tactic, as is Bettman’s suggestion of a two-week moratorium on CBA talks. It’s believed the league is hoping the two weeks of silence might put more pressure upon the players – and consequently, upon the Fehr brothers – to cut a deal, lest they risk more cancellations and the eventual loss of the season. While both sides fiddle, the 2012-13 schedule continues to burn away. 

USATODAY/ESPN.COM: Kevin Allen tracks the damage of the two-month old NHL lockout, while Pierre LeBrun suggests the damage incurred by the league and the industry could be permanent.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: If this lockout is ended in December, there will be enough time to recoup most of the losses from this season, woo back the fans, and begin  assuring fans and sponsors future labor unrest can be avoided. If another season is lost, however, it will leave a permanent scar upon the league’s brand. How big and how deep remains to be seen.

WINNIPEG SUN/TORONTO STAR: Opinions from some former NHL players (Eric Lindros, Wendel Clark, Curtis Joseph and Paul Coffey), while a couple of former NHL players (Mark Recchi, Chris Therrien) question the direction of the NHLPA leadership.

THE GLOBE AND MAIL: Hockey Night in Canada personality Don Cherry may have lost his regular Saturday night “Coach’s Corner” pulpit during this lockout, but that hasn’t prevented him from speaking out.

CHICAGO TRIBUNE: The lockout has allowed Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews to shake the lingering effects of post-concussion symptoms.

 NEW YORK POST: Locked-out Rangers and Flyers will joined other locked-out NHLers in staging a charity game to benefit victims of Hurricane Sandy.


  1. Why would EX NHL players have a say. This don’t effect them and they most likely don’t know what’s going on. If they get back to hockey the owners will most likely raise the prices on most everything to get some of there money back. If this happens and sell outs happen then it’s the fans

  2. The group that really wants to keep the player contracting rights untouched is the player AGENTS. They are the ones that negotiate the contracts, not the actual players. I believe the owners and the GM’s are absolutely fed up with having to deal with these agents…..the agents are like sharks….doing whatever they can to get the absolute best, or should I say outrageous, deal for their client. If one owner doesn’t give in to the foolish demands of the agent then he simply plays one team against another team….until he finds one who will give in. By demanding all those changes to the contract rights….he is essentially elimination the power of the player agents and protecting the owners and GMs from these barracudas.

  3. I would like the PA to itemize the ‘billion dollars’ they gave to the NHL… I don’t believe that for a second…

    I don’t believe there will be a season. Neither side will budge. But they are taking their “meal tickets” (aka the Fans) for granted. How many will come back? If the season is lost expect another 200 or so players to have no job to come back to.. I wonder if Donald Fehr mentioned that.

    Fehr was brought in to ‘win’ the CBA. He doesn’t know hockey… doesn’t care about hockey… and is not concerned with the damage he and Bettman are doing to this once great sport.

    Tactics such as the PA being late for every meeting. Be professional for once. It’s just showing antagonism against the Owners. You may not like Bettman… but this is for the health of the NHL.

    Seems both sides are hell bent on destroying the game that has made them wealthy…. You get what you deserve.

    I’m beginning to lose respect for these players.. I will never again look upon some of them in the same way.

  4. Both sides say they are where they can be. That makes it very easy to settle. There should already be an arbitrator agreed to by both sides in the matter. Agree to arbitration and let it be settled there. There will be mandated give and take on both sides but the deal will also be closer to what is on the table now. IMO there will be irreversible damage due to the amount and number of times there have been stoppages associated with contract strife between the owners and players. If they do end this thing and have a season I really wish the fans would completely boycott the games for about a month to show both sides who really does matter most.