NHL Lockout Morning Coffee Headlines – October 5, 2012.

The NHL has cancelled the opening two weeks of its 2012-13 regular season schedule. Read on for reaction and analysis.


Due to the current NHL lockout, the league cancelled its opening two weeks of this season.

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.

THE BUFFALO NEWS: NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly and NHLPA director Donald Fehr issued statements yesterday regarding the aforementioned cancellations.

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.


  1. What has really solidified me as being on the players side this time is that the league (owners) want to take the contracts that the players negotiated and signed in good faith and give them less money than they agreed upon. How would any one of you who are reading this feel if when you went to work the next time you found out that the amount of money your boss agreed to pay you has been cut back? I have read numbers on the clawback being anywhere from 18% to 28% and if that was equated in to real working people wages it would be akin to someone making $50,000 a year having their wages reduced to somewhere around $41,000 to $36,000 per year. While I realize that when we look at hockey players making millions and in some cases close to a hundred million for the duration of their contract losing a few million doesn’t appear to hinder their lifestyle much, but think about the lower salaried players and how much they would lose on their $500,000 – 6 – 7 – 8 and even $900,000 dollar salaries. Again these are earning dollars that most of us can only dream about but he average career of a hockey player is somewhere around five years and after that he will not be earning anywhere close to that kind of money.
    I believe that for owners not to honour contracts already signed, sealed and delivered is catamount to theft and they should be made to stand accountable for what they had agreed upon.
    Personally, I miss hockey but if me being deprived of a few games, or maybe even a whole season of hockey is what it takes to get the Betteman and the owners to stand tall (oops, sorry Betteman) and understand that once you sign a contract it is legal and binding. I’m sure if the shoe was on the other foot the owners would be demanding that p,ayers honour their agreements.

  2. It’s only been 3 weeks and already I am repeating myself. This PR war is getting more annoying than the U.S. presidential race, does anyone in the media fact check anymore???? Everyday someone repeats some ridiculous statement and it seems the more they repeat it, the more it must be true. What happened to the media stop picking sides, and actually pick apart both sides forcing them to be open, honest and negotiate in good faith. I truly believe that if the media was less interested in “twitter wars” and causing controversy that the two sides would be forced to look in the mirror and end this. I am just a broke down old soldier who types with 2 fingers and with the magic weapon of Google, I have been able to fact-check and I find it hard to believe the media cant.

    The absolutely most incredibly ridiculous statement is anyone in the public, the media and the players who blame Bettman for the lockout. To me, whenever some player mentions that, all I think is “Coward”. When Parise says he blames Bettman, why isn’t he calling out his owner, you know the guy who gave you that ridiculous contract???? That’s like blaming your wife’s lawyer for the divorce.

    The next ridiculous statement “the players lost the last CBA”, if that was true, then the total amount of income for players would have dropped over the span of the CBA and in fact it more than doubled, I am sure a lot of folks would like to “lose” in that fashion having their salary double in 8 years.

    Next ridiculous statement, “The owners are greedy”. This is so obviously ridiculous that it shocks me the amount of people who buy it, before the last lockout (2004) the owners were paying 76% of gross revenue to player salaries, after the 2004 CBA that dropped to 52% and then back up to 57%. So this CBA is the FIRST time, the very first time the owners are seeking to keep more than 50% of the revenues. How can you call someone “greedy” who has never gotten half the revenue of the organization he OWNS?

    Next ridiculous statement “a player’s career is short and therefore he deserves more”. The average player in his NHL career makes $6 million after taxes in his career…..that is not including his pension, and that is not including any time he spends in lesser or European leagues. The average Canadian would take 96 years to make that, so I apologize if that argument makes me a little nauseous.

    Another ridiculous statement, a favorite of Fehrs “We want to play while we negotiate and the lockout was the owner’s idea”. The only accurate part of that statement is the owners initiated the lockout. What Mr, Fehr and his minions don’t say publicly is that they refused to negotiate for the last year while they were drawing paychecks, and if they were drawing paychecks there is no doubt in my mind they would go on strike in April the minute they got their last paycheck. All that means is the owners got the first punch in, and anyone who thinks the players wouldn’t have screwed the league in the spring needs to look back at Fehr’s negotiations and the players strike in 1992.

    Another ridiculous statement is something Barch brought up “no one knows how much we sacrifice to be here”. OMG, is there a single Canadian who hasn’t been in a coma for the last 20 years to know that hockey, especially minor hockey is an elitist sport. The kids who make pro now, go to special schools where hockey is in the curriculum, their parents fork over about $10,000 a year for AAA leagues, summer hockey schools, power skating, tutors…..etc…..don’t play the poor kid from the ghetto who found a pair of left over skates and married Cinderella, and lived happily ever after.

    And lastly for now, the statement “the rich teams should support the poor teams”. Hmmm so why aren’t the rich players supporting the poor players????? Pool all their moneys so everyone does well???? Because they don’t have to……same as the owners. There is no legal, moral or ethical rational where a businessman has to share his good fortune with others, and anyone who suggested that in a board room would be laughed out of the business.

    The only statement worth repeating, “the players are overpaid”

    and how do I define overpaid

    when your lowest paid peer can afford to buy a new house for cash every year..

    that is overpaid