GAME ON!

In case you missed it….the NHL and NHLPA came together yesterday in 16+ hour marathon negotiation with mediator Beckenbaugh[this guy had immense pressure to get these sides together!] and announced that a NEW CBA HAS BEEN REACHED.

THE NHL is back on ICE!!!!!!!!! I told you all that there was still room for optimism!!! I told you all that I thought there was always hope for a season this year….and guess my optimism has paid off!

The word lockout is not a welcome one in my vocabulary. Yet it has forced its way into it for WAY too long. It is about bloody time a new #CBA has been reached! #GAMEON boys!!! #BeckenbaughLockoutHero #2013fortheWIN

The word lockout is not a welcome one in my vocabulary. Yet it has forced its way into it for WAY too long. It is about bloody time a new #CBA has been reached! #GAMEON boys!!! #BeckenbaughLockoutHero #2013fortheWIN

No more ‘lockout’ heavy blogs. The game has simply returned!

The new deal presents a 10-year duration with an opt out option in after 8 years. That means 8 YEARS before another one of these CBA sagas again[although they should probably begin dealing with it before the end of year 8!]. The new deal also brings with a 50[or 48] game schedule…depending on just how soon the season can get underway with quick camps. Keep your eyes on January 17-20th for opening day!!!

#soexcited #feelslikeChristmas

Game on boys!! Cannot wait for all the ups and downs that come with an NHL season!! Here’s to a memorable 2013 NHL season in more ways than one!

More details are sure to come in the next few hours and coming days! The NEW schedule will soon follow, as soon as I know I will add it to here! Until next time, as always, nuck said.

Sarah E.L.

THE SEASON IS BACK ON!!! TIME TO GET THOSE JERSEYS OUT FOLKS...lets turn this town BLUE & GREEN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

THE SEASON IS BACK ON!!! TIME TO GET THOSE JERSEYS OUT FOLKS…lets turn this  town BLUE & GREEN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! #GAMEON

2012 ends with the NHL making one FINAL offer…

Let me start by saying I hope that everyone had a wonderful Christmas and New Years! Adios 2012. Hello 2013.  The 2012-2013 NHL Lockout has now surpassed 100 days. As 2012 came to a close…the NHL has made yet ONE more FINAL offer to the Players. Funny how each time a new offer is made..Bettman calls it the FINAL offer. Following each proposal there is usually a counter proposal. The sides have been in constant contact since the new deal was suggested and are supposed to met together yesterday and today. The latest reports suggest that a new deal MUST absolutely BE in place by January 11th in order to get the minimum 48 game regular season in place + playoffs ending by the end of June. It was expected that NHLPA would respond to the NHL’s offer yesterday with a counter proposal of their own. They did. We shall have to wait and see how that turns out….all signs point to they BOTH need more time to review and discuss. Great…more waiting! Just what we all wanted! There are many who claim they could care less if hockey returns after this latest round of cat & mouse that the league and PA are currently trapped in. There are a few NHL analysts that still hold out a faint[very faint] hope that a deal will be struck by the 11th. One of those analysts is the ever colourful Don Cherry who has taken to twitter tweeting his belief that the NHL will be back ice mid-January. I admit [as always] that I would LOVE if that occurred but it really comes down how far Bettman is willing to lose just to make his point [in the end, it might be more costly to him than he can guess. Rumor has it that this could mark his last year as Commissioner].

Now that 2012 has come to a close and the lockout continues…here is a list of all the moments we have missed thanks to Bettman’s lockout:

– 2012-2013 pre-season [but that is the least important of any games!]

– 2012-2013 opening day of the NHL season and all the games prior to & on January 14th.

– 2012-2013 All-Star game & all the festivities that come with it.

– 2013 Winter Classic [It was supposed to be TODAY in Detroit!]

– All of the ups and downs that come with an NHL season for each player individually and each team separately. There are always streaks [good & bad] throughout the season that make it unique and draw comparisons to previous years of previous players.

In other news…have you been watching the World Juniors taking place in Russia? Have you seen Ryan Nugent-Hopkins stealing the show? He has so far led Team Canada through an undefeated preliminary round…sending them into the Semi-finals! Go Team Canada![p.s. the U.S. team is looking pretty good too!] World Junior hockey is a great outlet for those us who are missing hockey. It gives us those lovely moments to yell at the refs for making bogus calls, yelling at the players when they make a mistake or dissing the opponent and cheering like crazy each time your team scores a goal. Yes, World Junior hockey is great for any hockey fan, but it ends as quickly as it begins and each game leaves me wanting to watch the game I have been missing since September.

I don’t care how it happens, I just want to be able to watch hockey again. I want to see my Canucks hit the ice at Rogers arena just as many of you [though you might not admit it at this moment] want to watch your team hit the ice in their home arenas. I am tired of reading the local papers [Vancouver Sun/The Province] attempts at creating hockey story lines during this lockout…it drives me crazy[specifically those jabs at Luongo…!] Their constant negativity is what drove me away from buying their papers and keeps me from buying them now. Each article seems to push fans against the home team rather than support them. That is not a paper that I want to read. I would rather read a paper that supports the team WIN or LOSE. It can report the BAD and the GOOD….not just the bad.] Apologies for my rant…but I was reading the paper at work the other day and the story made my blood boil…that is all I will say.

Moving on, back to the lockout that has seen no end [YET]…we shall have to wait and see the results of this latest NHL  offer and PA counter as it unfolds. As always, until next time, nuck said.

Sarah E.L.

NHL & the PA go to Court + BP offers their solution

And as with many times before talks between both sides went cold. Just as progress seemed to be on the horizon meetings were met with a frigid tone as soon as Bettman and Fehr entered the players+owners only meetings. And just as before as each round has gone south, this latest sour note was met with MORE cancellations. All games prior to and on December 30th have been cancelled. The odd thing is that he only cancelled two weeks and left the very very TINY possibility of new year’s eve as a start date. The latest round of meetings in this CBA saga is set to begin this last week. Wednesday’s meetings are set to be met with mediators between the NHL and the PA. The time to go back and forth has passed…it is time to get down to the bones and put together a new CBA. Fans are growing more agitated as the lockout approaches the 90 day mark and the number games canceled is 526 regular season games….nearly half of the scheduled games have been lost. 90 days into this lockout has led to an intensified war of words and blame game…leading both sides to file court actions against one another. Mediators did not help to bring the sides closer together. [Interesting factoid…last year when the NBA lockout escalated and legal actions were filed…12 days later they announced the season was re-instated].

In other news the World Juniors team for Canada has been set and will feature a slew of young NHL talent as the lockout will still be in place. That young gun team will be led by the Oiler’s Ryan Nugent-Hopkins! This squad will be Canada’s most talented Junior team since their 2005-2009 Gold medal teams streak. I guess I will have excuse to watch some hockey this Christmas after all.

How’s this for a solution to the CBA drama? Boston Pizza took it upon themselves to plea to the NHL and the PA for the 2012-2013 season to be salvaged sooner than later. Its not likely to result in a signed CBA deal…but it is an entertaining idea. It is definitely high time for them to get serious about matters….I for one would LOVE to see hockey in 2013. I do not care about who is right or wrong in this ridiculous saga…it is time to STOP blaming each other and actually come up with a solution that works for BOTH sides.

That is all for now. As always until next time, nuck said.

Sarah E.L.

Guess who’s back? + Players & Owners meet + Behind the Green

Guess who’s back? Yes, its me. I’m sorry for disappearing! I’m still here! A crazy work schedule of multiple 6 day work weeks has kept me from having time to work on my blog! Even though I was absent from the world of blogging I have been quietly keeping up with the CBA meetings as they have continued. So without further ado, lets get right down to business.

Let’s review the last few weeks. Bettman and company[well mostly Bettman] wanted to take a long break from CBA talks but alas meetings were resumed a few short days later. Just as progress seemed to be around the corner, talks stopped abruptly and once again all progress was put on hold. Then came Black Friday. Black Friday, indeed as Bettman cancelled the All-Star game and all the activities that come with it, as well as all games prior to and on December 14th. So to recap…Bettman announced the lockout as official midnight of September 15th and has cancelled the 2012 pre-season, all regular season games between October 11th and December 14th, the 2013 Winter Classic and the 2013 All-Star Game. In response to each cancellation more and more players have gone overseas to seek playing opportunities as the season has slowly faded away. Along with more players leaving following each announcement, more and more players are speaking out in regards to the lockout. At first the players seemed cautious to speak their minds publicly, but as time wears on, more are willing to publicly voice their frustration. Teemu Selanne called out Bettman shortly after the lockout began, Bobby Ryan called out the players who have opted to play elsewhere[until he too decided to play overseas!], a healthy Sidney Crosby though frustrated at the longer the lockout keeps him off the ice has been a steadfast part of the ongoing negotiations, and the ever calm Canucks Captain Henrik Sedin has added his voice of frustration in the direction of the owners.

On December 1st, there was a new approach to the more than 80 day lockout problem. The NHL and the NHLPA agreed to an owners + players only meeting. The meeting involved 6 owners, 18 players, Bill Daly[Bettman’s right hand] and Steve Fehr[Donald’s brother]. Among those players is said to be captains, Sidney Crosby and Jonathan Toews. That meeting took place YESTERDAY and lasted for more than 8 hours with BOTH sides stating that the day was constructive…..only to resume again this morning following the Board of Governor’s meeting. It is also expected that following the meetings, Bettman will address the media [it was announced this evening that BOTH Bettman & Fehr would keep quiet on the outside as the two sides exchanged proposals]. It is being speculated that THIS round of meetings will massively impact the future potential of the season being re-instated. The speculation is that should these meetings and Bettman’s media address result in a new deal than there could be potentially 56-60 regular season games on the schedule. That is merely speculation at this point as the meetings are still in progress and we will not know one way or another until they address the media this afternoon. Perhaps this different approach will the key to solving the CBA problem, only time will tell but it is interesting to know that both sides have called these owners/players meeting constructive and having traction in the right direction. How does one solve the 2012 CBA conundrum? Perhaps yesterday and today’s meetings will hold part of the answer…but it is going to take movement on both sides to bridge that gap that has always remained.

Some fans have given up on the NHL and say that they will not return to the game should it return this season or not until next. All I know…all I want for Christmas is to see my Canucks and 29 other teams back on the ice. Regardless of when the NHL returns…I will be still be a fan of the game and my team.  #EndTheLockout #Hockey4ChristmasPLEASE #TimetoBringHockeyBack #56isthenew82

In other news Canucks fans….those pesky Green Men are at it again[come on you know you love them…okay so maybe some of you can’t stand them…but I think they are great fans!] They have released “Behind the Green” Part 1…and you just know that it will be hilarious. Don Taylor does the introduction. The book is released just in time for the holidays and will make a great gift for any Canucks fan your Christmas lists!…just follow the link below!

http://behind-the-green.myshopify.com/

In regards to the owner and players continued meeting, this afternoon’s media conference with Bettman will be more revealing in regards to the potential of hockey returning this season or not. Fingers crossed that this time REAL progress can made and not just a proposal.Is 56 the new 82? Can both sides meet in the middle and together create a CHRISTMAKKUH miracle…starting a season by Christmas? We shall see! As always, until next time, nuck said.

Sarah E.L.

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.

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.