NHL Lockout Morning Coffee Headlines – October 29, 2012.

The NHL in jeopardy of losing the entire season, a suggestion for Gary Bettman and Donald Fehr to turn the talks over to their lieutenants, Ryan Suter walks back his critical comments of Wild owner Craig Leipold, and Jack Johnson lashes out against NHL owners on the Blue Jackets website.

STARTRIBUNE.COM: Minnesota Wild defenseman Ryan Suter walked back last week’s critical comments of Wild owner Craig Leipold, saying he wanted to make it clear he doesn’t believe Leipold negotiated his or Zach Parise’s contracts in bad faith, adding he’s merely frustrated by the lack of progress in CBA talks.

Johnson lashes out at NHL owners on Blue Jackets website.

JACKJOHNSON3.COM: The Columbus Blue Jackets took to his blog to lash out at NHL owners and question their honor. One little problem: Johnson’s blog is hosted on the Blue Jackets official website.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Better check the above out soon, as it might not be on the Jackets website for much longer!

CSNPHILLY.COM: Tim Panaccio believes the NHL is on the verge of losing the entire 2012-13 campaign unless there’s progress soon in CBA talks. Panaccio asked NHLPA director Donald Fehr if he believed the league has underestimated him. “I don’t know, I certainly hope not,” Fehr told CSNPhilly.com when asked last week if the league had discounted his resolve.

CSNNE.COM: Joe Haggerty suggests perhaps it’s time for Fehr and NHL commissioner Gary Bettman to step back from talks and allow their deputies to conduct talks.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Probably not a bad idea at this stage, though Bettman and Fehr would of course have final say. Remains to be seen if both sides have reached that point. So far, no further talks have been scheduled, and there’s genuine concern the Winter Classic and the All-Star Game could both be cancelled by the end of this week.

If the Winter Classic goes, that’ll either spark both sides to negotiate in earnest to salvage a 60-game schedule, or it’ll put talks into a deep freeze. I still expect a resolution by the end of November, but if there’s nothing by December, my doubts about a season-saving deal will increase. If we reach January without a deal, turn out the lights, the party’s over.


  1. Presenting ultimatums is not negotiating. I’m not hopeful that the season can be saved, unless the owners decided they are willing to negotiate an agreeement.

  2. You mean the only side that has presented multiple agreements so far?

  3. it is over…… both sides will not move. it is too bad because we lost fans last time. they never came back. this will happen this time also. hockey was not a real high team sport on the list of sports. i think it was way towards the bottom. now i think it will be the bottom. so so sad when two sides play the greed card.

  4. An interesting weekend, Parise and Suter flapping their gums about their owner Leopold and when it hit the airwaves did they ever back pedal fast……I wonder if Leopold told them if they are unhappy with their contracts they can always void them, give the bonus money back and then go back on the market. I doubt that happened but the insiders have said they have heard that Leopold is pissed.

    Something else the insiders brought up that I hadn’t heard is that there are 240 contracts that up after this season, both UFA and RFA. So let’s just imagine 300 some players making less than the league average, 240 players who don’t have a contract after this year, and the NHLPA asking them to give up a year’s pay in order for the Big Boys to save some coin. Still think the union is united?

    Mr Johnson, Para 8b of Standard Players Contract states “All obligations and rights set forth in paragraph 8(a) shall be subject to modification from time to time by the provisions of the CBA. Article 8(a) deals with player obligations to the Club, and the Clubs obligations to the player, including salary. Para 18 of SPC states “The Club and the Player severally and mutually promise and agree to be legally bound by the League Rules and by “ANY” CBA that has been “OR MAY BE” entered between the member clubs of the League and the NHLPA, and by all the terms and provisions thereof.” If an illiterate old soldier can find, read and understand this, why can’t you? Time to hire that agent after all.

  5. Lyle, let me throw something at you. If the Winter Classic is cancelled, what would the benefit be to the owners to negotiate from that point on? They will have lost a half seasons revenue, and if you are willing to do that to achieve what they believe they need to fix in the next CBA, why back down now? I think it might be a more telling statement to issue the simple statement that if the Winter Classic is cancelled the league will cancel any and all future games.

    I believe that its more that the players bought into the hype of hiring Fehr and thinking just on name recognition alone he would be able to defeat the owners. The players have no cards, and as I said, if the owners are willing to lose a season, we all know who will wind up with the lions share of input on the CBA.

    • They won’t have lost half a season’s revenue if the Winter Classic goes, and if they start the season in early-December, could still play a 60-game schedule, plus the playoffs. It’s the latter half of the schedule and post-season where the NHL makes the bulk of its money. The Winter Classic accounts for a good chunk, but not as much as the aforementioned.