The latest collection of notable NHL lockout headlines.
ESPN.COM: Pierre LeBrun reports the next 7-10 days could be a crucial period in NHL CBA negotiations, which will determine if some traction can be gained in the talks, or if there could be a “freezing-out” period similar to that of the previous lockout eight years ago.
NATIONAL POST: An overview of the NHL economy, including the “three glaring structural problems” (burying bad contracts in the minors, calculating the salary cap based upon league-wide revenues, salary cap floor is too high) of the just-expired CBA.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Remember, this was the CBA the owners killed a season to get. This is one reason I believe the NHLPA should agree to a 50-50 split with the league and negotiate off that, since the owners – past and present – are historically short-sighted in collective bargaining, meaning it’ll probably work to the players advantage again.
THE GLOBE AND MAIL: David Shoalts suggests the moderate and smaller-revenue owners could be key toward pushing the “rich hawks” among them toward a new CBA. Sean Gordon, meanwhile, reports Flyers Maxime Talbot and Bruno Gervais are looking into a plan which would see some locked-out NHL players team up to barnstorm around Quebec for charity.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The problem with that is league commissioner Gary Bettman needs the approval of only eight owners to maintain or lift the lockout. If 22 owners were to revolt and demand an end to the lockout, that won’t be enough, because some of those eight would include influential “hawks” like Boston’s Jeremy Jacobs, Philadelphia’s Ed Snider, Minnesota’s Craig Leipold, and Ottawa’s Eugene Melnyk
EDMONTON JOURNAL: The NHL lockout has left its on-ice officials in limbo.
USATODAY: the NHLPA is working toward restoring the players insurance after it was cancelled by the league.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The league did the same thing the last two lockouts, and the PA picked up the cost.
ESPN.COM: Former NHL star Mike Modano, speaking from his personal experience of the previous lockout, doesn’t believe the current one is worth it for NHL players, noting they’ll never get back the time and money lost to a lengthy lockout.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: He’s not the only former NHL star (Dave Andreychuk, Bill Guerin) to speak out against the futility of the PA trying to win a battle of attrition against the owners. A cynic would suggest it’s fine for them to have that opinion since they earned their millions, but they went through two lockouts, and learned the hard way following the last one that the longer a lockout goes, the worse it becomes for the players and the union. Again, I don’t believe the players should capitulate, but they need to be more flexible and negotiate off a 50-50 split of revenue. The longer this lockout goes, the more it favors the owners.
NBC SPORTS PRO HOCKEY TALK: Hockey Canada isn’t on board with staging a Summit Series involving locked out Canadian and Russian NHL players, and Sidney Crosby currently has no plans to head overseas to play during the lockout, largely due to insurance costs, but could consider it if the lockout stretches into November or December.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: A lot of focus lately has been upon the notable locked-out stars heading overseas, but a significant number currently aren’t considering that option.
CSNBAYAREA.COM: San Jose Sharks forward Ryane Clowe is optimistic there’s enough time to reach an agreement on a new CBA without costing part of the season.
NJ.COM: Devils head coach Pete DeBoer is optimistic the lockout will be short-lived.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Here’s hoping the optimism of Clowe and DeBoer is rewarded.
LOS ANGELES TIMES: The Anschutz company, which owns the LA Kings and their arena, is putting the team and arena up for sale.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Interesting timing to sell the defending Stanley Cup champions, but the real reason is believe the company intends to build a football stadium next to the Staples Center in hopes of attracting an NFL team. More money in pro football than in pro hockey.
SUN-SENTINEL: The Florida Panthers announced yesterday it was laying off team employees due to the lockout. Among those being laid off is mascot Stanley C. Panther, or rather, the performer who wears the mascot costume.