Among this morning’s notable NHL lockout headlines: NHL & NHLPA to resume CBA talks today, ALRB ruling due today on NHLPA attempt to block lockout in Alberta, the Winter Classic may be in jeopardy, and longtime Red Wings PA announcer Budd Lynch has passed away.
CBC.CA: The NHL and NHLPA will resume CBA negotiations today in New York, but while the two sides agree talks are being carried on in good faith, they also believe they’re a long way toward reaching agreement on a new CBA.
TORONTO STAR: NHLPA director Donald Fehr warns a prolonged lockout could result in player unhappiness over continuing to perform under a salary cap.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: If the PA tried to put the salary cap up for negotiation, kiss this season goodbye. That’s non-negotiable for the owners. If the PA insists, the league can counter with non-guaranteed contracts, and this situation only worsens. I feel this is just empty rhetoric by Fehr, part of the jawing back and forth between the two sides.
THE TENNESSEAN: NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly claimed the league is trying to look out for the best interests of non-traditional hockey markets like the Nashville Predators in the next CBA.
THE GLOBE AND MAIL: David Shoalts ponders over the unwillingness of NHL owners to engage in more lucrative revenue-sharing to help struggling teams in non-traditional hockey markets.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: If the NHL were truly serious about helping struggling clubs, it would engage in more lucrative revenue sharing. Granted, it won’t make incompetent management smarter, but at least it provides those teams with a fighting chance. What the league is currently proposing is just a cash grab from the players, which benefits the bigger market clubs but does little to assist struggling franchises. Remember, cost certainty was supposed to save those teams, but it failed in part because the revenue-sharing system was a joke.
Many of the bigger market owners, including the hawkish ones driving this current lockout, don’t want to significantly share more revenue. Call it greed, call it their belief that revenue sharing is akin to socialism (which works quite well for the NFL), whatever the reason, it’s apparent those big market owners aren’t really interested in assisting their struggling peers. What the league is offering now merely kicks this problem down the road a few years, in hopes it’ll go away. If it doesn’t, squeeze the players for more and kick it down the road again. At some point, however, the NHL will have to get serious about this, or face the reality of relocating or contracting franchises.
EDMONTON SUN: The Alberta Labour Relations Board is expected to rule today on the NHLPA’s application to rule the NHL lockout illegal in Alberta.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: I’m not expecting the ALRB to rule against the lockout.
USA TODAY: More concern over the fate of this season’s Winter Classic, as the NHL has no plans to visit the game’s Ann Arbor, Michigan site this month.
NBC SPORTS PRO HOCKEY TALK: Sports legal analyst Eric Macramalla explains the unlikelihood the NHLPA could try to decertify to end the lockout.
MLIVE.com: Budd Lynch, long time PA announcer and former broadcaster for the Detroit Red Wings, passed away yesterday at the age of 95.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: My condolences to his family, friends, and the Red Wings organization.