NHL Lockout Morning Coffee Headlines – October 3, 2012.

In today’s roundup of notable NHL headlines: talks between NHL and NHLPA break off again, league poised to cancel opening games of 2012-13 season, ESPN3 to televise KHL games, and updates on Bobby Ryan and Marian Hossa.

TSN.CA; CBA talks between the NHL and NHLPA ended yesterday with the two sides no closer to a resolution to end their current labor dispute. Deputy commissioner Bill Daly blamed the PA by claiming their unwillingness to compromise, while PA director Donald Fehr blamed the league for implementing the lockout, which cost the league $100 million from cancelled pre-season games.

TORONTO SUN: The NHL is now poised to cancel the opening games of the 2012-13 regular season. An announcement could come as early as today.

 NBC SPORTS PRO HOCKEY TALK: Daly didn’t fully dismiss the notion of the two sides bringing in a mediator to resolve the dispute. Fehr and league commissioner Gary Bettman have reportedly discuss the possibility.

NEW YORK TIMES: Jeff Z. Klein breaks down the three NHL lockouts.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Fehr and Bettman are reportedly expected to talk later this week, keeping alive the possibility more discussions could be in the offing. For now, it’s clear the league isn’t budging, and expects the PA to make an new proposal, one closer to a 50-50 split. Until the PA makes another proposal, talks aren’t likely to make much progress. Bringing in a mediator is possible, but it certainly doesn’t appear as though that will happen anytime soon.

FORBES.COM: Chris Smith doesn’t believe ESPN’s recent agreement to air KHL games on ESPN3 will do much to grow the game.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Perhaps not, but it’s a good way for ESPN to get a dig in at the NHL, while providing the KHL some measure of North American exposure.

TORONTO SUN: Steve Simmons indulges one of his fantasies by dreaming of a more affordable NHL.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I  assume in this fantasy the Toronto Maple Leafs are perennial Stanley Cup champions…;)

Ryan hanging out with Flyers during the lockout.

COURIER POST ONLINE: Anaheim Ducks winger Bobby Ryan, a native of Cherry Hill, has been spending his spare time during the lockout hanging out with members of the Philadelphia Flyers.

SPECTOR’S NOTE; That should provide some fodder for bored rumormongers lacking stuff to write about during the lockout.

CHICAGO TRIBUNE: Good news for Blackhawks fans, as Marian Hossa took to the ice for the first time since suffering a concussion during this spring’s playoffs.


  1. Gary Bettman is E-ville, as Mike Myers would say.

    Having negotiated research contracts for the government and taken 2 courses in negotiation, this is all wrong. Bettman clearly wants a win-lose negotiation, which is doomed to fail. You always want to negotiate a win-win situation, with each side bargaining and compromising to reach an position agreeable to both sides.

    Having a mediator would be a big help, but the league must realize that they can’t expect the players to pay the entire burden of keeping the struggling teams financially viable.

  2. The most deceitful statement that is continually made by Fehr and constantly rehashed by the players is the “If owners really care about fans all they have to do is lift the lockout and let the games begin while negotiations continue” mantra.

    Yes the players would love to continue playing while negotiations go on……..drawing their old salaries with no incentive to actually negotiate and then when they get their last paycheck in April, they stage a strike, which is exactly what they did in 1992, threatening the playoffs and winning huge concessions in free agency and playoff bonus’s. And, which is exactly what Fehr did in 1994 in MLB, his negotiations in that case was based on one offer presented to the owners (sound familiar?) and then when the owners said no, he did not present another proposal even when ordered by President Clinton to restart negotiations in Feb 1995. In fact, under Fehr, the MLB players union did not participate in “meaningful” negotiations after their initial proposal and only returned to play after a Supreme Court Justice agreed to an injunction against MLB for unfair labor practices, and MLB agreed to go back to its old CBA.

    Yes the owners staged a lockout, but there is no doubt that if the players had the prime opportunity to strike (April), they would do so in a heartbeat so neither side is an innocent victim in this situation. The only difference between the two parties is that the NHL got the opportunity to act first and get leverage.
    Fehr is no fool, his history has always had him in the position of power in negotiations, and he knows the league grabbed that before he had the chance. So with very little leverage in these negotiations there is simply only one tactic he can take……..a staring contest, yep, a simple old game of who blinks first. And this is why I personally believe that this lockout may be worse than the last one is that without leverage, Fehr is going to stand his ground and not move off his proposal unless forced to by the membership. He has no choice, if he truly wants to achieve what he has stated, there is no other option. And on the other side of the table, there is no way the owners are going to move off their position, especially as they lose more and more money, if you are going to negotiate and it costs you hundred(s) of millions of dollars, then you can’t let those negotiations be for naught.

    So who does that leave, and no not the fans, they are customers and in they become relevant again when the league starts back up, it leaves the players. The owners will only become more entrenched the longer this goes and the more money they lose, and Fehr is not a man famous for backing down, so it will be up to the players to decide when this “sacrifice” they are making is becoming intolerable and they are more receptive to the owners proposals. It’s a script that has played out in every sport, and every negotiation, the side with the “control” will end up the eventually winner, whether it’s right or wrong, it’s a fact , when players strike and playoffs are in jeopardy, they win, when the owners’ lockout the players and they lose a year’s salary, the owners win.