Red Wings Danny Cleary concerned about possible lockout, a suggestion the NHL is counting on “forgetful fans”, updates on Lubomir Visnovsky and Michael Del Zotto, and former Capitals head coach Dale Hunter happy to return to the London Knights.

CBC NEWS NEWFOUNDLAND AND LABRADOR: Detroit Red Wings forward and Riverside, Harbour Grace native Danny Cleary admits he’s not as optimistic over the NHL avoiding a lockout as he once was. He also claimed fellow NHL Newfoundlanders Adam Pardy and Luke Adam are also concerned. Cleary played in the Swedish Elite League during the last lockout but isn’t sure if he’ll do the same again in the event of another lockout.

NEWSOBSERVER.COM: Luke DeCock suggests the NHL is counting on gullible fans to flock back if there’s another lockout.

 “Fans came flocking back to hockey in the fall of 2005, and they’ve kept streaming through the doors since. Apparently, the NHL considers them gullible sheep instead of valued customers, because the league already took them for suckers once.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Some hockey fans will likely be upset by DeCock’s suggestion the NHL considers them “gullible sheep” and “suckers”. To those, I ask this: would the NHL seriously risk another lockout if it didn’t believe its fans would come flocking back as they did last time? I don’t believe it would if the team owners were genuinely concerned about losing fan support with another labor dispute. The fact the league is subtly posing that threat speaks volumes about how it takes its fans for granted.

Visnovsky unhurt after crashing race car.

NBC SPORTS PRO HOCKEY TALK: NY Islanders defenseman Lubomir Visnovsky crashed his racing Ferrari yesterday during a race in Slovakia. He was uninjured.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Lame jokes suggesting Visnovsky’s accident was the result of his being distraught over being dealt to the Islanders soon followed.

NEW YORK POST: Speaking of Visnovsky, the NHL has schedule his arbitration hearing for September 4th. He filed a grievance over his trade to the Islanders by the Anaheim Ducks, claiming his “no-trade” clause was still in effect…The New York Rangers and defenseman Michael Del Zotto remain far apart in contract negotiations. The Rangers have reportedly offered a multi-year deal worth between $2.2-$2.5 million per season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Del Zotto’s taking a gamble here, for if there’s a lockout resulting in another reduction of the players share of HRR plus a salary rollback, he could end up getting an offer worth considerably less than that.

CSNWASHINGTON.COM: Former Capitals head coach Dale Hunter is at ease with his decision to return to the London Knights.