In this morning’s collection of NHL lockout headlines: No CBA talks planned for remainder of this week, NHL & NHLPA to meet with Alberta Labour Relations Board today, making sense of HRR, updates on Crosby, Miller and Pronger, and Luc Robitaille brings the Stanley Cup home to his cancer-stricken mother.
TSN.CA: The NHL and NHLPA have no plans for CBA meetings this week as they prepare for a meeting today with the Alberta Labour Relations Board to determine if the lockout is legal in that province.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Don’t look for any announcement from either side regarding possible meetings from now until Sunday. Enjoy your weekend, go watch a minor hockey game, play in a rec league game, or road hockey, or find another sport to enjoy over this weekend and just put all this CBA crap out of your mind. Maybe next week, both sides will get off their respective asses and start working toward a meaningful solution.
CBC.CA: Elliotte Friedman takes on the daunting task of making sense of hockey-related revenue, so you don’t have to. Seriously, though, spare a few minutes and read this article by Friedman, it’ll help explain how HRR is broken down and why it’s such a contentious issue for both sides in this CBA pissing contest.
TSN.CA: Eric Macramalla breaks down the recent NHLPA memo released by Donald Fehr to the PA membership explaining the details on the PA’s latest CBA offer.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: In this proposal, the PA would receive revenue share of 54.3, 52.5 and 52 percent in the first three seasons, but it increases back to 54 percent for years four and five. The PA is inching toward the 50-5o split the NHL ultimately seeks, but it’s current proposal still won’t fly with the league. Still, as Macramalla points out, it clearly and concisely breaks things down for the PA membership, further evidence of how well Fehr is keeping the players informed.
TAMPA BAY TIMES: For the second time in eight years, an NHL lockout is costing the Tampa Bay Lightning a significant marketing opportunity.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: In 2004, they were coming off their Stanley Cup championship and poised to bolster their fan base in the Tampa Bay area but that lockout stifled that momentum. With the club improving around superstar Steven Stamkos, this lockout is again hampering the club’s efforts to build up fan support.
THE GLOBE AND MAIL: James Mirtle interviewed Buffalo Sabres goalie Ryan Miller, who explains why the players mistrust of the NHL owners runs so deep.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: There’s a perception among some fans and pundits the players are “seeking revenge” against the league for shutting them out for a year and forcing them to capitulate to a CBA they didn’t want. That might be true for some of the roughly 220 NHL players who endured the last lockout, but most of the current PA membership didn’t go through that, nor did PA director Donald Fehr.
The fact is, the players see the owners as trying to squeeze them for more without offering up viable solutions for helping the truly struggling franchises, and don’t want to see the money they would give up going to the big market teams as it did under the previous CBA, with little going back to the teams which truly need it. They also believe the big market teams, not the players, should carry the freight on this.
SPORTING NEWS: Sidney Crosby intends to wait to see how long the lockout lasts before making plans to potentially play in Europe.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The high insurances costs for Crosby (up to $400K/month) likely factored into that decision.
THE GLOBE AND MAIL: Bruce Dowbiggin explains how the NHL has been losing the lockout PR war on social media.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Social media will have little impact upon the CBA negotiations, but it’s clear the league’s PR machine isn’t working as well as it did at the start of the previous lockout. That could also be because this time, the league owners might consider it a waste of time, since the fans came flocking back after the last lockout.
SPORTSNET.CA: Michael Grange explains the KHL isn’t the equivalent of the old WHA, but it could be if the NHL persists in squeezing the players for more of their share of HRR.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: That’s especially true if the league succeeds in extending entry-level contracts to five years. Top NHL European prospects could decide to put off their NHL debuts and opt to spend the formative years of their professional careers in the KHL, where they could earn more than they would on NHL entry-level contracts. Honestly, I believe the NHL is being dangerously short-sighted here.
PHILLY.COM: Flyers defenseman Chris Pronger is showing some improvement in his recovery from post-concussion symptoms, but still isn’t ready to skate.
RDS.CA: A hockey tour of Quebec of NHL players spearheaded by Max Talbot and Bruno Gervais is slated to begin next week.
LA TIMES: Kings executive and Hall of Famer Luc Robitaille brought the Stanley Cup home for his mother, who is battling cancer.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Best wishes to Madeleine Robitaille in her battle with liver cancer.