Day One of the NHL 2012 lockout features plenty of analysis over how the league reached this point, the potential consequences, plus the plans for several notable NHL stars.
TSN.CA: The expiration of the NHL CBA occurred last night with little fanfare as the league officially locked out its players.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Remember, it’s not a “strike”. The players are not on strike, they’ve been locked out by the team owners.
TORONTO SUN: NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly and NHLPA special council Steve Fehr met yesterday and will continue to keep lines of communication open between their respective sides.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Ultimately it is NHL commissioner Gary Bettman and NHLPA director Donald Fehr who control the show, but having their second-in-commands chatting could help to bridge the gap between the two sides.
SPORTSNET.CA: Michael Grange explains the mistakes and flaws in the current CBA which led to the current lockout.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Bettman and the team owners have been incredibly short-sighted with the last two CBAs, which were trumpeted as working in their favor but ultimately working out well for the players. The reason is quite simple: the owners are competitive as hell, and once the ink is dry on a new CBA, they have their respective team managements looking for loopholes to exploit. New Jersey Devils GM Lou Lamoriello was among the league’s negotiators during the last lockout and was the first to exploit loopholes by burying overpaid players in the minors to free up cap space. Bettman’s looking for a fool-proof CBA, but he’s not going to find it, because the people he represents are their own worst enemies.
THE TENNESSEAN: Josh Cooper on how this lockout could hurt the current growth of the NHL, just as the 1994-95 lockout stemmed the rise in the league’s popularity.
CSNNE.COM: A brief biography of Boston Bruins owner Jeremy Jacobs, one of the league’s most influential owners.
NEW YORK DAILY NEWS: Pat Leonard suggests it could take an influential big market team, like the NY Rangers, to break ranks in order to bring a swift end to this lockout.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: If a rich, big market club like the Rangers, or Toronto Maple Leafs, or Montreal Canadiens, were to publicly break ranks, it would certainly bring about a quick end to this lockout, as well as potentially threaten Bettman’s tenure as NHL commissioner. That being said, I’m not anticipating such a move at this point, but it’ll be interesting to see how the resolve of both sides is tested as this lockout goes on, especially if we reach the New Year without a resolution.
THE NEW YORK TIMES: The Swedish Elitserien is the only European pro league to ban NHL players from temporarily playing in their league, but it could face pressure to change its position.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The opportunity to have top Swedish NHL stars playing for its teams, even for only a few weeks, could prove too strong a temptation for teams in the Swedish Elite League to resist.
KUKLA’S KORNER: cited a series of tweets from Sovetsky Sports Pavel Lysenkov noting a number of Russian NHL stars, including Evgeni Malkin, Ilya Kovalchuk, Sergei Gonchar, and Ilya Bryzgalov, along with 2012 NHL first overall pick Nail Yakupov, have contracts with KHL teams, or are about to sign deals. Washington Capitals star Alexander Ovechkin will not play for Moscow Dynamo, and it doesn’t appear Sidney Crosby will be joining Malkin with Mettalurg Magnitogorsk.
DENVER POST: Ryan O’Reilly and the Colorado Avalanche will wait until a new CBA is in place to resume contract negotiations.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Without a CBA, there will be no trades or free agent signings. I’m sure we’ll hear from anonymous insiders claiming teams are still talking trade or talking contract with agents during a lockout, but don’t take any of it seriously. Nothing will take place until a new CBA is in place.
ESPN NEW YORK: The NY Islanders made the last signing under the previous CBA, inking Matt Martin to a four year deal worth $4 million.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Congratulations, Matt Martin, not only did you get a new contract, you’re now the answer to a trivia question.