One year later…Lokomotiv remembered

Today we forget the impending possibility of a lockout and the lack of a new CBA in place.

Today we have a moment of silence and take time to remember.

Today we remember the fallen. Today we remember one of the most tragic accidents in hockey’s history. Today we remember the KHL’s Yaroslavl Lokomotiv tragedy. September 7th, 2011 a plane carrying 45 people [37 team members -players & coaches, and 8 crew members] crashed en route to their game in Belarus. They did not make it very far in their journey before the crash took place. 45 people were on board the plane, and there is only one living survivor, a single crew member. 44 lives were lost as a result of this crash. Among those who died were former NHL players including Brad McCrimmon, Ruslan Salei, and former Canuck Pavol Demitra. The entire roster was lost save for two who did not make the trip with the team. The loss of the entire roster prompted the Lokomotiv to cancel their participation in the 2011-2012 season. The loss hit hockey players from all around the world as many had known or played with the players[some in the NHL, some internationally] who were killed in the crash.

Each of the players on the Lokomotiv had high hopes for the upcoming season. Some were hoping to revive their careers and some were just beginning their professional hockey careers. Some brought NHL experience, others KHL, and some even less, but they ALL brought their experience of hockey. Some were mentors and some were mentored. They were all driven by their love of the game. They boarded that plane that day with the simple expectation of playing the game they loved and continuing their dream.

Today, the Lokomotiv Yaroslavl roster has been built up and new coaches hired, all of whom vow to play each game this season in honour of all those who died. The team although all new players will never forget the tragedy of last year and the unfinished business the former team left behind. They want to win…win a championship for those who are longer here to achieve that dream.

One year ago, 44 lives were taken and the entire hockey world was left shaken. One of the worst tragedies in sports, and the all the lives of those left behind were forever changed. Each of the 44 individuals left behind families and friends who would never look at the world the same. There is no way of knowing what could have been but I do know this, none of the players who died will ever be forgotten.

Today we remember the Yaroslavl Lokomotiv team, coaches, and flight crew members who tragically lost their lives on September 7th, 2011 in one of the most horrific accidents in hockey’s history.

In life there may always be tragedy, but there is also hope in what follows or what it inspires those follow to do. The unexpected [such as tragedy is] can not be explained or controlled…all we can do is honour those are gone [but never forgotten] with how we move forward. Life is full of the unexpected…sometimes good and sometimes bad but how we go forward is up to us.

As always, until next time, nuck said.

Sarah E.L.

#RIPPavol #38Demitra #ForeveraCanuck #gonebutnotforgotten

QUESTION….lockout conflict style with a side of ranting…

Today’s ambition is to look at some [not all] major questions surrounding the stalled CBA talks and maybe just maybe rant a little more [if possible] in regards to the ever increasingly real possibility of a 2nd lockout in less than 10 years.

Question: WHY are the OWNERS, and BETTMAN dragging out these negotiations?!
Answer: They want MORE money and want to the players to make LESS money!….interesting concept as it does not match their current actions….[see below questions].

Question: IF playing the game is not about the money…WHY do the players keep signing BIG money deals?

Question: IF the owners want the new CBA to limit the length of years a player can sign for at 5 years…WHY do OWNERS keep signing big name players to insanely LONG-TERM deals?

Question: WHY is it that both sides have very different views of the new potential CBA agreement?
Answer: I’ll tell you a few of the answers that are swirling around. The OWNERS want the players to give back a large % of their salary and as expected…the players do not like it. The OWNERS new CBA would drop the current salary cap by more that $12 million. The PLAYERS want to keep their salaries BUT also help teams that are not comfortable financially. It’s a little confusing with the LEAGUE & OWNERS stating that they want to limit PLAYER contracts to 5 years…and yet THEY KEEP signing their PLAYERS to these crazy BIG MONEY, LONG-TERM contracts[Crosby, Staal, Weber, Suter, and Parise, etc.]!!!  As always its all about the numbers and large discrepancy between the numbers on each side. Good grief….if it is about the numbers….why not just meet some where oh I don’t know in the middle?[50/50…call me crazy but would that not be easier than both sides fighting over who should get more of the dang revenue/bonuses % etc.?!]

Question: WHY….WHY tease the fans with the release of the broadcast schedule?
Answer: I will tell you this, it certainly is a cruel way to raise the fans hopes of their being a season only to have taken away if Bettman throws the gavel down with his desired ruling of a lockout.

Rumor has that the CBA meetings will not pick until next week sometime. There are NHLPA meetings scheduled and the NHL Board of Governors also have meetings scheduled in NYC…albeit not together. In a slightly shocking development Ron MacLean is not standing in his typical belief as one of Bettman’s regular rule-followers that agree there will be a lockout..he has stated “there will not be a lockout in 2012”. We shall see about that…I’d really like to for once believe something MacLean says…it would be AMAZING to hear that there will be no lockout…unfortunately his statement is NO guarantee or in any way settling to me. That is not a guarantee…not even close…the clock is ticking with only 10 days until Bettman drops the final nail in these negotiations. In a not so shocking reveal…Alex Ovechkin has openly stated that players will consider leaving the NHL should a year long lockout occur and that “The NHL is being stupid” with their expectation that players salary get cut by 24% for “nothing” and if they are so set on cutting out long term-deals WHY[again] do THEY keep signing players to these deals?…I’ve got to say you have a point with that Ovie! The NHLPA has included helping out teams that struggle financially…but the NHL’s version of that would cut out long-term deals and cut down salaries all around….not exactly what one would call close ideals. The Maple Leafs Mike Komisarek has had this to say regarding the CBA debate: “The PA has been more than willing to negotiate a fair deal. I don’t think the same can be said for other side.”

There is bound to be many more sparks to fly before all is said and done but we shall all continue to hope for the unexpected from Bettman & company come the 15th. Only time will tell. #nolockoutPLEASE&THANKYOU #hockeyin2012PLEASE

As always, until next time, nuck said.

Sarah E.L.

12, 21, 38, 1 = an NHL lockout combination? + Numbers that define Hockey

12, 21, 38, 1 are all numbers that currently relate to *pending 2012-2013 season and Bettman’s NHL. It appears that his ideal season next year is NO season, although NO announcement will be made until the 15th. 12, 21, 38, 1…all seemingly unimportant numbers by themselves…but today together they connect to make up Bettman’s lockout combination. Let’s hope they remain merely numbers that are a countdown to the next season and that is all. Here’s their relation to that lovely word I’ve come to despise a little more each day [lockout].

12 = the number of days until Bettman’s lockout deadline

21= the number of days until the Vancouver Canucks 2012-2013 pre-season is supposed to begin.

38 = the number of days until the NHL’s 2012-2013 regular season is supposed to begin.

1 = a year that all the fans may be forced to wait until the NHL begins again if a full season lockout occurs.

12, 21, 38, 1….Bettman’s lockout combination perhaps? Let’s hope not.

Life is full of numbers that represent just about everything.Life is all about the numbers, but so is hockey. Hockey as a game, is full of numbers in its break down.

60 = the number of minutes in a game [unless of course there’s Over Time or a Shoot Out].

3 = the number of periods in each game. [excluding POST season OT…in the playoffs OT is a full 20 minute period…and if not settled after one extra period will go to another OT and repeated until someone scores].

3 = also equals the number of shooters in the 1st round of a shootout.

20 = the number of minutes in one period

5 = the number of minutes in a regular season OT period.

2, 4, 5,10 = the number of minutes one player can be penalized for each different infraction if caught by the referee.

23 = the number of players on an active NHL roster.

82 = the number of regular season games [unless of course it gets shortened].

28 = the maximum number of games a team could play in the POST season.

16 = the number of POST season games a team must WIN to win the Stanley Cup.

There are also a series of numbers that begin unknown at the start of a season: the number of goals each player will score, the number of assists one player will get, the number of total points each player will get; the number of games each team will WIN or LOSE, the number of points a team will earn in the standings at the end of the year, or the number of games one player will go on a scoring streak for. There is also the unknown number of games a player may be suspended for controversial plays that cause injury to another player [although there is yet to be a consistent precedent reached on this matter] until after the incident occurs. Each player within one team wears a different jersey number although it might be the same as a player on a different team. The numbers help to define the game, but they also help to tell the whole story. Scores differ from every games, sometimes high-scoring and sometimes low scoring games. Some numbers in the game are predictable, some are not but that’s part of what makes the game exciting…the unpredictable and unexpected.

Both sides have presented proposals to one another and ALL of the proposals are centered on the numbers…how much revenue will the owners vs. the players get? where should the salary cap be set? should the team revenue be shared?….etc. It is time to stop this game of tug of war and stop fighting over who is right and wondering who will blink first. Just. Get. The. Deal. Done. As. Soon. As. Possible.

We. The. Fans. DO. NOT. WANT. A. Lockout. At. All.

As always, until next time, nuck said.

Sarah E.L.

CBA meetings stalled…two weeks left until the deadline…

Welcome to September! Surprise, surprise. CBA meetings ended Friday with little progress once more as both sides still struggle to see eye to eye. The question is, when will the next CBA session take place? The next round of meetings has yet to be scheduled although rumors are swirling that this is just the beginning and more will be known closer to the 15th.Both sides have yet to see eye to eye on any proposal made. Talks seemed to have stalled and neither side is yet willing to give what it will take to reach a new agreement especially as Bettman wants the players to take a pay cut. He wants to them to see less and less profit each year….and is more than willing to enforce a lockout to achieve that aim. Not acceptable. Time is quickly winding down. Yesterday marked exactly two weeks until Bettman makes it official one way or the other…but each day that goes by with no answers makes it seem inevitable that he will lockout the players. The gavel will come down and it seems that Bettman is not in the business of gaining fans but rather gaining more who dislike him. Enough with dragging it out until the 15th…just come to an agreement already! Like any hockey fan, I would just like to know when or if the season will start! The decision feels like its already been made with little or no progress after each meeting….and it does not seem like one that will please the fans unless some drastic progress gets made in the next 13 days. I would love to hear that YES the season is starting on time…but we could hear NO it will be delayed or NOT at all. I would certainly love to write about more than the *potential [but very likely] lockout in the days that follow…but until the bricks fall into place that is all there is to report.

As always, until next time, nuck said.

Sarah E.L.