GB Going Negative as the 2012 Lockout Continues…

As if good old GB needed any more negative press than all the local media is giving him the last few days. Following my posting of the NHL and the NHLPA’s stream of consistent meetings….Bettman decided rather than come to an agreement that it would be best to wait for it because I know how much you all love to wait….take a break…a two week break. Ridiculous? Yes. It was a stupid idea. It led to all the local sports media and many players to call out Bettman for this ridiculous idea. Detroit Red Wings, Ian White called GB an idiot and Toronto’s Joffrey Lupul sarcastically called Bettman’s desired break from talks as a “great approach” moving forward. Despite GB’s desire for a lengthly break from CBA discussions, the two sides are scheduled to resume meetings Monday[November 19th].

In lieu of having the season re-instated, Canuck fans can take a small comfort in the fact that Daniel Sedin is completely symptom free following that crunching Keith elbow that sidelined him with a concussion back in March. [I know all of you, Canuck fans, remember the hit of which I mention….a hit that made us all cringe at once]. Despite the game being on hold, it is great news to hear that Daniel Sedin is symptom free!

Pavel Bure was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame recently which left many divided on whether the honour was deserved. It also sparked many to suggest that perhaps the Canucks should retire Pavel Bure’s jersey in the upcoming season whenever that should come to be. Is there a doubt that Bure was an amazing player? No…he was definitely a one of a kind player….he didn’t earn the nickname “Russian Rocket” for nothing. The guy won the Calder trophy, scored 60 + goals more than once and catapulted the Canucks on one of their most memorable playoff runs in their history [1994]. Bure’s quick reliable shot helped re-define Canucks hockey making plays that seemed impossible, so yes maybe they should retire #10. Maybe you think it should not be retired but rather that he is included in the “Ring of Honour” or that the Hockey Hall of Fame was good enough. Regardless of anyone’s opinion on Bure’s inclusion in the HHOF or the possibility of his jersey being retired, NO ONE can dispute his talent or contribution to the game. The Russian Rocket left Vancouver fans with some great memories.

Date to keep in mind: January 20th 1995. That is the date the shortened season began following the 1994-95 season lockout. Yes, the October and November have been taken away, and the Winter Classic being canceled certainly puts a damper on the chances of the season happening. Each day makes it seem as though, Bettman wants to take away more from the fans[especially as he wanted a break from meetings!..]. I know it seems more and more unlikely to everyone out there that a season is even possible at this point…but in 1994/95 …the season did not begin until January 20th….and I cannot help but hold a [albeit faint] sliver of hope. Perhaps my being optimistic will drive some people crazy or lead some to call me crazy..but that does not bother me. I simply miss the game, and the idea that it will not return is not something that I choose to entertain.

Each day as the lockout drags on, the league, owners and players alike lose more money. Each day fans, media and yes even all the bandwagon fans pick sides, and each individual thinks their opinion is the correct one. Each day both sides stand their ground, and each day the fans grow more disgruntled. Each day the lockout continues to drag on. Each day Bettman and Fehr speak on behalf of their side, but since Bettman’s desire for a break rather than continued discussion or a resolution has led many to call for his resignation as soon as a new CBA is reached.

CBA talks will resume tomorrow as will the usual drama that ensues when these two parties meet. As always, until next time, nuck said.

Sarah E.L.

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Why SO serious???

November 3rd, the NHL and the NHLPA met for the first time in over two weeks. Their meeting went past 1AM of November 4th. Talks were then set to resume November 6th in NYC at undisclosed [to the media] location. The two sides met for more than 7 hours. They met again November 7th, 8th, 9th for extended periods. The media eventually discovered their location amid whispers that perhaps talks were at stand still AGAIN. Just as quick as progress appeared, it seemed to disappear. Quietly without anyone really knowing what to think…both sides met again SATURDAY & again on SUNDAY making plans to resume talks again this week.

MONDAY[Nov.12th] the NHLPA’s Steve Fehr said that there are 3 issues that need to be solved before a new CBA can be reached. and when they are reached a deal can be reached rather quickly. Those 3 issues are as follows:

1.The split of money

2. Player contract rules

3. Who will pay for the damage of the lockout

and secret issue ***4[aka if they solve the first three issues]. How would a shortened season work[now that an 82 game season is not possible]?

Players and owners alike are both losing money as the lockout drags on. It is slightly encouraging that for over a week BOTH sides have been meeting on a regular basis. In comparison to previous CBA meetings, these latest meetings have resulted in extended discussions and additional meetings. Why so serious? Does the continued discussion mean that a new CBA can be reached sooner rather than later? All we can do, is wait.

Players want to get back on the ice. Owners want the monetary issues resolved. Gary Bettman keeps looking for a larger slice of the revenue pie. The fans are beyond frustrated as the lockout continues. After the last lockout, the NHL brought the shootout into in existence in order to entice the fans back to the game they stole….what will they create this time to bring back the fans? Time will tell.

The NHL and the NHLPA continue to debate the CBA conundrum. As Steve Fehr stated…there are some key issues to resolve before a new CBA becomes reality. This latest round of continuous meetings leaves more room for optimism than before when their meetings lasted less than 2 hours and maybe two days in a row. They have met and/or touched base nearly everyday since the November 3rd meeting. More meetings mean more discussions are happening. We will have to wait and see if more meetings means that they can resolve those 3 main issues.

As always, until next time, nuck said.

Sarah E.L.

The 2012 CBA saga continues…

Like any sports fan, I hate lockouts. As an NHL fan…I really hate lockouts. This is the 3RD lockout in less than 20 years of Bettman’s reign. For the piece of ‘de resistance’ good old GB’s announced on Friday, that Winter Classic is indeed canceled. WOW. Canceling the Winter Classic is below the belt. Many fans had already purchased tickets, and the outdoor event was set to host more than 70,000 fans. I hate…no LOATHE the fact that this marquee event has been taken away from the fans. On the heels of this ridiculous announcement came the news that CBA talks were set to resume Saturday between Bill Daly and Steve Fehr. Their meeting was rumored to continue until 1:00 AM Sunday morning. More CBA meetings are set to be scheduled and reportedly may resume tomorrow in NYC between Bettman, his minions, and Donald Fehr and the PA. Is there reason to be excited? Perhaps not just yet, but there is as always room for optimism. Whether or not this latest round of CBA discussions brings the season back sooner or later, there is finally discussion happening. This is the first round of discussion between the two sides since October 18th[more than two weeks ago!]. Progress of any kind such as the extended discussion of the weekend is encouraging in the CBA saga that at times seems never ending.

Here are a few things that I am certain of:

1. Some people think the players are asking for too much money and some think that the owners are taking too much money. BOTH sides need to make compromises that they can BOTH live with.

2. The Owners are upset that the players want more money BUT if was the OWNERS that signed the players to those big lofty contracts. Contracts that have been SIGNED should be honored.

3. The lockout has hurt more than the players, owners, and fans…it has hurt those individuals who work in and around the game within each organization. The lockout has taken jobs from hundreds of people that did not deserve to lose their jobs…they should be allowed to go back to work.

4. The fans deserve better and just want to watch hockey again…but this lockout will push some away from the game they love. After the last lockout, the league introduced the shootout to entice fans to return….what will the league use this time to bring back the fans who turn away?
5. Gary Bettman, you, made the WRONG decision in the canceling of the Winter Classic. Every time it seems like there is progress…GB follows it with yet another announcement of a chunk of games canceled or a proposal deemed unacceptable.

6. I absolutely LOATHE the word ‘lockout’ and its three separate associations with the NHL (the 1994-1995 season, the 2004-2005 season, and now the 2012-2013 season). As I stated in the opening of this blog….I hate hate hate lockouts and I know I am not the only one.

Perhaps as sports writer Damien Cox suggests in the link below…that reason for the serious talks not beginning until November is that this whole lockout scheme seems scripted and was perhaps in the plans all along. Maybe it was…

http://www.thestar.com/sports/hockey/nhl/article/1282764–nhl-lockout-if-it-s-november-it-means-serious-negotiations-are-finally-under-way-cox

It is November…and I should not be writing about the continued lockout. November means the beginning of when teams begin to take shape and streaks begin. November should not mean continued discussion of the THIRD lockout in GB’s tenure. November should not be NO-hockey-VEMBER.  As Cox and others have suggested…it seems as though all along that the league planned to have the lockout continue through November…and maybe they did. No matter how this lockout came to be, whether you blame: Bettman, the league, the owners, Fehr, or the players; it is time to end it and to put the game back on the ice.

As always, until next time, nuck said.

Sarah E.L.