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.
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.