NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – August 26, 2012.

A KHL team targets Alexander Ovechkin, Brad Boyes hopes to regain his scoring touch with the Islanders, examining how previous NHL lockouts unfolded, and a poll of online Sun readers blame the league for current labor woes.

RIANOVOSTI: If there is another NHL lockout, GM Andrey Safronov of KHL team Dynamo acknowledged he would try to sign Washington Capitals forward Alexander Ovechkin . Safronov also noted the KHL’s rule allowing a maximum of five non-Russian players per team, saying his team was already at that limit.

If there’s a lockout, could Ovechkin play in the KHL?

SPECTOR’S NOTE: In the event of another lockout, don’t be surprised if a number of Russian players consider playing in the KHL, especially if they’re allowed to return to their NHL teams if a lockout ended during this season. What’s also notable is that rule limiting KHL teams to five non-Russian players, which could hamper efforts of non-Russian NHLers trying to sign there.

NHL.COM: Brad Boyes, who signed with the NY Islanders this summer as an unrestricted free agent, is hoping to regain his scoring touch. His offensive production has been in steady decline since potting a career-best 43 goals in 2007-08 with the St. Louis Blues.

DETROIT FREE PRESS/TORONTO SUN: The Free Press examined how previous NHL lockouts unfolded, while the Sun noted the issues which led to the previous lockout and the aftermath.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I find it interesting that, in 1994, the league proposed a luxury tax, which the PA rejected. Ten years later, the PA proposed a luxury tax, which the league rejected.

TORONTO SUN: presents “A hockey fan’s guide to the NHL lockout”. Apart from the unfortunate headline (a lockout hasn’t happened yet), it’s still a good roundup of the issues. The Sun also published the results of an online poll, in which 62 percent of more than 6, 000 online readers blamed the NHL and Commissioner Gary Bettman for the current labor woes.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: During the last two lockouts, the fans blamed the players. It’s clear at this stage the NHLPA is so far winning the PR battle. That could change,however, if a lengthy lockout occurs, and if the league tries to mount another massive PR campaign to curry public favor as it did during the last lockout. Speaking of Bettman, I’ll offer up my two cents on the commissioner on Monday, August 27, in my “Soapbox”.


  1. Can’t wait to see your take on Bettman. I can’t stand Bettman but it took me a while to realize that Bettman is basically the sum of the NHL owners and that is where my dislike should truly lie. He is doing a job. They are the ones who gave it to him and for the most part direct him how to proceed.

  2. Why does everyone focus on Bettman…..actually the fact that they do proves he is doing exactly what the owners hired him to do. He is simply the mouthpiece, the face everyone thinks of when they spout their vitrol. The idea a group of billionaires allow this one individual to make financial decisions for them without debate or discussion is ridiculous, so they get to work in anonymity while folks focus on Bettman.

    Go back and read some news articles during the last lockout. The media machine and polls were definitively against owners until about Christmas time when it became obvious that there would not be time to play even a shortened season. That is when the PR and anger shifted to the players, partly because of the persona of Goodenow. I have little doubt, right now that the same scenario will occur. The owners are the bad guys until people realize that they (the owners) arent going to back down, then it transfers to the players.

    Ref your comments on the Luxury Tax, I find it interesting that the players are willing to keep the cap when they were willing to die and kill to keep one out of the last negotiations. I find it hard to understand what either point proves other than both sides had no idea what the future would hold, and their worst case scenarios didnt come true.

    For the last 18 years, the media (as is their nature) used negative commentary to continually pronounce the end of hockey and the league as an institution due to whatever contract talk was going on at the time. The major players (Bettman, Goodenow, Eagleson etc) were put under the microscope and critiqued to the infinite degree, yet the end result in every single case, as it will be this time, the league not only continued, but grew and improved. All the fans spewing their heated comments about never watching again, bought the tickets and PPV packages, players made more money then ever before, and the league as a whole moved forward.

    The argument that the league is greedy because it has made more money than ever before, also equates to the players, who despite rollbacks and a cap, are making more money than ever before……at least the players are smart enough not to be crying poor (yet), thats when the true hypocracy will reign.