NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – August 24, 2012.

Reaction to the latest, unproductive series of NHL CBA negotiations, the Swedish Elite League won’t be a refuge to locked-out NHL players, Kristian Huselius blames Blue Jackets for injury woes, and Canada could support three more NHL teams.


Bettman simplifies NHL’s position.

THE GLOBE AND MAIL/CANADIAN PRESS: Another NHL lockout appears certain in the wake of this week’s unproductive CBA negotiations. Commissioner Gary Bettman, deputy commissioner Bill Daly, NHLPA director Donald Fehr and his brother Steve Fehr will meet next Tuesday for further discussions.  Bettman claimed the league is paying too much in salaries, and dismissed the possibility of damage from another lockout by claiming the NHL recovered from the last one “because we have the world’s greatest fans”.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I’ll have further analysis of Bettman’s remarks later today in my Soapbox. At least he’s simplified the league’s position, but his comment regarding the fans, while intended as a compliment, has been taken as anything but.

TORONTO SUN: The league currently has no alternate schedule for the upcoming season in the event of a lockout. At least, not yet.

PITTSBURGH TRIBUNE-REVIEW: Penguins player rep Craig Adams believes the league is seeking a CBA comparable to those in the NFL and NBA.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: That’s the real reason behind the NHL’s position regarding salaries. Compared to what the NFL and NBA are now paying under their new respective collective bargaining agreements, the NHL owners now want the same thing. 

NATIONAL POST: Michael Traikos cites five key points as to why Bettman is out to “make amends” to the NHL owners: Strength of the Canadian dollar, the salary cap, front-loaded contracts, entry-level deals and (of course) owners being owners.

NBC SPORTS PRO HOCKEY TALK: The Swedish Elite League won’t be a haven for locked-out NHL players, unless they’re willing to sign a one-year deal.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I suspect that would also mean no “escape clause” if the NHL were to return to action later in the season.

COLUMBUS DISPATCH: Former Blue Jackets winger Kristian Huselius blames the club for rushing him back into action last season before he was fully recovered from injury. Huselius has not yet received medical clearance to return to action from his season-ending groin injury, and the Blue Jackets are still paying his medical costs until he’s completely recovered from it. He also suggested he’d like to attempt a comeback in the Swedish Elite League.

 CBC SPORTS: A study suggests Canada could support NHL franchises in Quebec City, Toronto and Hamilton.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Quebec City, yes. Good luck battling powerful Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment to get another NHL franchise in Southern Ontario.


  1. I agree with what the Swedish Elite League is doing. Quite frankly I’m all for it. I feel every European team should do the same. It isn’t fair to those teams to lose players because of a short lockout. They are counting on them to play and not leave. A one year contract should be signed and honored by any player. Those that aren’t willing to do that won’t play hockey if in fact there is a full year.

    If not and it is short, then the NHL risks losing its players because they can’t get a CBA agreed upon. Players that want to play will start looking elsewhere com Sept. 15.

  2. Minnesota signs pair of stars for approx. $100 million each for long term contracts with front loaded incentives.
    Philadelphia’s owner offers Shea Webber over $100 million for a long term contract with front loaded incentives.
    ….This just in….Quotting a straight faced Gary Bettman, “NHL owners don’t like big dollar, long term contracts, especially those that are heavily front end loaded.”

  3. As I’ve typed before, the CBA is as much an agreement between the players and owners as it is an agreement between owners. These ridiculous contracts show up because the ones that offer them get the players. If the owners get together and make their own agreement between themselves it could be called collution (sp?) and they could get called out by the NHLPA and face charges/sanctions from the courts.

  4. blaa blaa blaa . the players need the owners(to make money).the owners need the players(to make money).bottom line they need each other.50/50 split seems good to me.so maybe somebody cant buy a third or fourth house.THIS IS STILL JUST A GAME!!!!a game i love and follow religiously,please dont take it away from us.

  5. in 2004 the players caved after a season was lost the owners got their cost certainty, the fans got screwed and still came back.
    it’s hard to understand the owners thinking, they’re hoping to relive the past but it’s a different story this time around and the players understand this even if the owners don’t. it’s clear there are teams that are struggling now and won’t be able to survive another long lockout.
    this negotiation is all about money, the owners want more and the players don’t want it to come from them. make no mistake the large market franchises are making money, they just want more. and the small market franchises would like to become profitable at some point.
    with 3.3 Billion dollars in revenue you’d think there would be enough to go around. the large market teams are reluctant to share their profits even if it leads to a stronger league from a financial standpoint and really who can blame them when the NHL seems to have committed itself to markets that don’t support their teams (at least not to the point where they’re financially viable). the small market teams need a better form of revenue sharing cause they certainly aren’t pulling their weight financially and are having problems convincing their fans to pay more for their product.
    because the NHL is such a gate driven league (their tv contract is a joke, $200 million seems like a lot of money until you have to split it 30 ways) you have to wonder why they would put up with franchises that can’t draw flies despite ticket prices that barely cover the costs of opening the building . is it really worth having a franchise in Phoenix if they’re nothing more than a financial drain to the rest of the league? why does the NHL continue to bang their head against that wall when they proved how fast relocation can happen with money loser Atlanta becoming model small market team Winnipeg?
    it would seem to the casual observer that future growth would be in hockey mad Canada rather than the Southern US which has greeted hockey with a collective yawn. to expect hockey to outdraw traditional winter sports of basketball and football in the south is ludicrous. High School football generates more coverage in their local media than the NHL in most cities. Pro football and basketball are the top of the food chain as far as the sports entertainment dollar goes, they also have college teams competing for the middle of the market and their labor costs are practically non-existent.
    if there’s going to be a swift resolution to this negotitation then one of two things is going to have to happen either the players cave again (which i don’t see happening this time) or there’s a revolt among the owners with the smaller market teams seizing control of the boardroom from traditional power brokers (Jeremy Jacobs in Boston and Ed Snider in Philadelphia are the two names that come to mind) and a new revenue sharing formula is hammered out. maybe that would be the best possible outcome as it’s clear new ideas are needed and the players have contributed a few that warrant more discussion amongst the owners than Bettman and his gang of cronies are willing to entertain.