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.
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.