The NHL has cancelled the opening two weeks of its 2012-13 regular season schedule. Read on for reaction and analysis.
TSN.CA; As expected, the NHL yesterday cancelled the opening two weeks of its 2012-13 schedule as its lockout with the players drags on with seemingly no end in sight, as both sides blame each other for the current labor standoff.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Daly and Fehr also bemoaned how they don’t have a willing negotiating partner. If both sides feel that way, NHL fans, hunker down for what could be another long, cold, boring winter, akin to what we faced eight years ago. Doesn’t matter which side you support in this pissing contest, it’s just pathetic it’s already reached this point for the third time in eighteen years.
OTTAWA SUN: Daly accused the PA of only making one proposal throughout this current standoff, adding it’s up to the PA to make the next move.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: I am sympathetic toward the PA, but Daly is right, they haven’t really moved off what they originally proposed, while the league has made at least two.
ESPN.COM: Pierre LeBrun reports both sides are a little wary of making the next offer “for fear that the other side will simply pocket whatever compromise is included in that new offer and then use it as part of a future offer.” LeBrun cited how the NHLPA in 2004 offered a 24 percent salary rollback, which the league merely pocketed and then had included as part of the eventual CBA agreement of 2005. That accounts for the trepidation on the PA to make the next move. Craig Custance, meanwhile, reports if an agreement is reached on a new deal, the league should be careful about trying to go with a condensed schedule, as it raises concerns over player safety.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: TSN’s Darren Dreger last night said he believed the NHLPA was working on a new proposal, but the question now was about timing, fearful making it too soon would be considered “a sign of weakness” by the league. I realize that timing the next proposal is a negotiating tactic and part of the process, but that’s not going to play well for NHL fans, bloggers and pundits who just want this lockout to end and the NHL to return to action, regardless of which side employs that tactic. If the PA has a new proposal, make it now, or following this long weekend, and take it from there. At the very least, they’ll garner more sympathy in the court of public opinion, as they’ll look to be willing to negotiate, thus putting more pressure on the league to negotiate in good faith.
THE GLOBE & MAIL: The NHLPA membership are better prepared financially for this lockout compared to the previous one, thanks to months of preparation by their financial advisers.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: That’s why the rhetoric coming from the players this time around is to be taken more seriously than last time. They’re better prepared financially to ride out a potentially season-killing lockout.
PITTSBURGH TRIBUNE-REVIEW: Penguins player rep Craig Adams suggested the salary cap could be put on the negotiating table if the league and the PA remain far apart in labor talks.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: If the PA attempts to abolish the salary cap, that’s an automatic show-stopper from the league’s viewpoint. For the owners, the cap is non-negotiable.
CBC.CA: Five things hockey fans will miss because the NHL season is postponed.