Among today’s roundup of notable NHL morning headlines: NHL & NHLPA to meet today to discuss HRR definition, Wayne Gretzky hopeful lockout will be over by January 1, Rick Nash’s recent injury highlights an issue for the NHL, and speculation the NHL could use replacement players.
NEW YORK DAILY NEWS: Pat Leonard reports the NHL & NHLPA will meet in New York today to continue Saturday’s discussions on the definitions and interpretations of hockey-related revenue. It’s also anticipated the NHL could start cancelling some early regular season games later this week. The regular season was set to begin October 11.
NEW YORK POST: Larry Brooks cited sources claiming the NHL sought to “introduce clarifications” to HRR which would be favorable to the owners. While the league wasn’t insistent on it, one player informed of the situation saw it as the owners wanting to “put more peanuts in their pockets”.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: At least the two sides have begun their slow dance toward addressing the main sticking point of HRR. I doubt this’ll result in any resolution to the issue anytime soon, but it’s a start.
CBC.CA: Hockey legend Wayne Gretzky is optimistic the current NHL lockout can be resolved by January 1.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Here’s hoping his optimism is justified.
NJ.COM: Two New Jersey Senators have sent a letter to the NHL and the NHLPA urging them to reach a settlement, citing the economic impact a prolonged lockout would have in their state.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Perhaps if more politicians in the United States and Canada put more pressure upon the league, it may speed a resolution to this labor dispute? Maybe not, but it couldn’t hurt.
NORTHJERSEY.COM: Andrew Gross suggests Rick Nash’s recent shoulder injury playing for HC Davos (though not serious) nevertheless raises the issue of what could happen if an NHL player suffered a long-term or career-threatening injury playing overseas during a lockout. The PA might say the player was merely honoring his NHL contract by remaining in game shape, while the league could seek to nullify the contract.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Gross noted there’s no precedent for this but he does raise an interesting point on the subject. Hopefully, we won’t have to find out.
SPORTSBUSINESS DAILY: Chris Botta on how a Facebook chat turned into an expensive headache for Detroit Red Wings VP Jimmy Devellano.
KUKLA’S KORNER: linked to Josh Rimer’s “tweets” last night, in which former Toronto Maple Leafs executive Bill Watters believes NHL commissioner Gary Bettman will bring in replacement players in November to crack the NHLPA’s resolve. Watters also believes ageing NHL players would cross the picket line to cash in on that last paycheque before they retire.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: This is merely Watters opinion. The NHL didn’t go the replacement players route during the last two lockouts, but if it were inclined to try it again, I certainly don’t expect that ploy this early in the lockout. Such a move wouldn’t break the PA’s resolve; if anything, the PA would quickly file a challenge with the US National Labor Relations Board and the provincial labor relations boards in the Canadian province where NHL clubs are located.