Well it’s official. Wake me up when September ends. The NHL has announced that there will be no pre-season games prior to or on September 30th. In the days that have followed since the lockout was enacted there has been no formal communication between the NHL and the NHLPA. Both sides are expected some type of formal communication to take place next week.The aim is for both sides to come to an agreement that will please everyone…but as we all know that is hardly ever possible. Most of the time, each party has to give a little. The NHL and NHLPA will only be meeting this week together with the Alberta Labour Board to determine whether it is legal for the Calgary and Edmonton players to be locked out. The Quebec Labour Board sided with the NHL so we will see how Alberta sides. Pre-season does not mean a whole lot other giving most prospects a chance to preview the NHL level. At this point only the pre-season that would have taken place in September has been cancelled officially.
It has been made official that many players have signed to play else during the duration of the lockout. Malkin, Datsyuk, Gonchar and Ovechkin have returned to Russia to play in the KHL. Thornton, Weber[Yannik], Couture, Nash have gone to Switzerland and many more have gone abroad to keep themselves game ready should the lockout be temporary. Alex Ovechkin has been more than willing to openly admit his dislike of the now real lockout and is sticking by his belief that many players will not return to the NHL should the lockout persist. He does think the players should have to endure the owners distaste of contracts and numbers as it was those same owners that signed every one of the players on their team. Ovechkin signed a one year contract with the KHL’s Dynamo Moscow that could see him spend the season in his home country however there is an out clause[of the contract] if and when the season does in fact begin. If the season resumes and Ovechkin does not return it would violate his current contract with the Washington Capitals and result in sanctions from the IIHF[International Ice Hockey Federation]. It is hard to say whether Ovie would really go as far as not returning…but odds are he is just speaking out in frustration. NHL’s other face of the game, Sidney Crosby has yet to go abroad as he and his agent feel it is too soon to believe that the entire season is lost….me too. It is not over until someone named GB throws the hammer down on that final nail. I do hope that while some players get exposure to the game internationally that it will end soon and the season resumes sooner rather than later.
Where oh where have you gone, September? We have lost you to a lockout. In the very least September in Vancouver we have been blessed with an amazing stretch of weather…it still feels like summer in the city! Not too mention we do still lots of hockey to watch,not at the NHL level, but still some exciting games. We have the Vancouver Giants, Chilliwack Bruins and yes the Chicago Wolves[many #Canucks prospects a few veteran players will be on the team!] to cheer for as they all move forward with their WHL and AHL seasons. September may bring me new teams to focus on and be nearly gone but I have not lost all hope for the NHL season.
In the mean time wake me up when September ends and October begins! I want get out the jersey & get myself canuck’d up & to a game….so come Bettman and Fehr. Become that dynamic duo that will preserve the majority of the 2012-2013 season…otherwise Ovie[at least in his frustration] and others may not return to the league. There is sure to be drama as the Albertan Labour Board meets with the NHL and NHLPA through Friday and as meetings between the two sides eventually take place as early as next week. All we can do now is wait. Wait for the 30th to come and go and hope that when the Calendar turns to October all is not lost on the season. Wake me up when September ends. I will still cheer for the blue & green regardless of when they return. As always, until next time, nuck said.