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

Advertisements

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.

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.

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.

NHL fans are forced into NO-hockey-vember…

In August, Bettman said that a lockout was probable. In August, Bettman gave the NHL world September 15th as a deadline before enacting an official lockout. In September, Bettman said a lockout was now a reality and it is a lockout of unknown length. In early October, Bettman said the lockout would endure for the month or longer unless the players decided to play the game HIS way. Now as we near the end of October…Bettman says the lockout will indeed endure throughout November [aka  NO-hockey yet-vember…..yuck!]. In the months since negotiations began that have past…each time Bettman gives the fans a tantalizing taste of what could be, only to cruelly snatch it away. It seems extremely cruel to tease the fans and players alike with false hope. Each day as Bettman pulls the strings a little tighter on the fading hope of the season, his legacy of lockouts grows stronger.

Following each statement[with exception of the latest one], the face of the NHL, Sidney Crosby was quick to believe that a solution still existed. Sidney Crosby expressed his great disappointment that yet again there is no deal in place. With the latest disappointment Crosby is finally conceding that it may be time to make the move to play abroad. Like Crosby…I  have held firm in belief that a solution can be made and I am extremely disappointed that yet again no real progress has been made on the CBA….[the NHLPA provided not ONE but THREE proposals that the NHL barely glanced!] My disappointment is great but I will hold onto a sliver of hope for a partial season[I refuseto fully go to the dark side of doom and gloom] even as not just a week, but the entire month of November was put on the chopping block by Bettman. Many players have reacted to the latest loss of games by stating that they believed that Bettman had these games through November canceled back in the summer but is just announcing them when the time seems right to him. The longer this work stoppage goes on…the more it seems the players are correct in thinking that Bettman had anticipated these games being canceled back in the summer.

There are whispers of the Winter Classic being next on Bettman’s growing chopping block as he holds all the cards. Rumor has that the NHLPA is and has been more than willing to meet up and negotiate whereas the NHL [Bettman and his minions] are holding them at bay refusing to negotiate a deal. Correct me…but did Bettman not at one point[September or earlier] say that his aim was to minimize the number of games lost? As of today more than 300 league-wide regular season have been cut. If any progress is going to be made…it will take more than ONE side being willing to negotiate. I, myself would rather that these meetings take place stat before we lose the Winter Classic or lose the rest of the season.

NO-hockey yet-VEMBER has not yet begun but already I loathe it. Halloween usually brings a night of unpredictable games and November is usually when teams start getting in a groove…and scoring streaks are begun. Instead of watching their teams take to the ice…fans are forced to hear each day how MORE and MORE players deciding to play in the European leagues. It is nearly November and we should be getting to see each team beginning to take shape and settle into a pattern. October and November mean I’ve got stats on each team memorized….but this year with no NHL there are no stats to memorize or debate. When I think of Bettman and all his ‘official statements’…the only word that seems to come out is ‘lockout’….it is all I will remember of time as NHL Commissioner…3 lockouts. October and November have been taken away…but in December, I hope we hear Bettman say that hockey will return before the new year. In short…all I want for Christmas is my hockey team and 29 others back on the ice.

#endthelockout

As always, until next time, nuck said.

Sarah E.L.

…three days, two days, one day, & then we will know…

As we all knew would happen…in a move that surprises no one, the next chunk of games has been cancelled. All games prior to and on November 1st have been cancelled. The good news is that it still leaves open the possibility for the season to start up on November 2nd.  Thursday has been set as the tentative deadline as the league would like there to be a week or so of training camp in place prior to the season beginning in November should a new CBA be reached. There is still hope following this week’s disappointment of no finalized CBA deal. There was finally REAL discussion and perhaps even paving the way for actual negotiation. Did we all think the players would sign a 50/50 split deal right away? No…but we certainly hoped that they would as we all miss hockey. We also hoped that the NHL would be willing to consider more than Bettman’s ‘my way or no way’ attitude. It is not all doom and gloom as most are determined to believe it to be…as BOTH the NHL and the NHLPA believe there is a deal to be made..that the framework is on the table. The question is will a new deal be reached in time before the entire season is lost in Bettman’s victory lap? Will Fehr and the players be able to communicate to the NHL that they really do WANT to play again?

There is one thing that is very simple…the fans who have always been faithful to this game just want the game back. The fans keep awaiting the very faint possibility that a new deal can be reached salvaging the season. The fans have already lost enough with the games that should have been and the this war of words between Bettman and Fehr. The fans do NOT care one iota about HRR[Hockey Related Revenue] percentages or who is more right….we just want to watch hockey again! Bettman once again has set a deadline…which is Oct.25…if a new deal can be reached by the 25th…that will give the league enough time for a short training camp before launching the season Nov.2. I refuse to give in to all the negativity that surrounds the CBA drama…I am determined to be open to the ever slim hope that a deal can be reached. I hope that instead of writing about the possibility of the upcoming season or the ongoing lockout that in a few days I will be over the moon ecstatic about a new season full of new possibilities. #fingerscrossed #endthelockoutALREADY #wewanthockeyback

As always, until next time, nuck said.

Sarah E.L.

50/50

Rumor has it that while Bettman’s number is up…that HOCKEY will be BACK by NOVEMBER!!! ….the NHL has officially tendered a NEW offer to the NHLPA that would give both sides 50/50 split contingent on an 82 game season that WOULD begin November 2 IF the players agree. The jury is still out on whether the PA will agree…but you can almost hear a sigh of relief that an ACTUAL offer was made in today’s meeting. PLEASE NHLPA…let’s really think about this…you could ALL be back playing in 2 weeks & still have an 82 game season!! I have been very vocal about my dislike of this current lockout…..this is the FIRST time that an offer made has REAL potential to be accepted by BOTH sides! THIS deal would last for up to 6 years AND it means a FULL 82 game season NOT a shortened one!

Did I [& many others!] not suggest many times previously that the only way to really negotiate this latest CBA would be a 50/50 split? Why…yes, yes I did. This is the first time since these negotiations began back in the summer that I feel there is potential for a new deal to be signed, sealed & delivered VERY soon. I think the players will want to take a closer look at this deal in detail before they consider it as a solution…but it is encouraging to see an actual offer be tabled. Let’s hope they do not take too long in their consideration as if they do sign…they could be back on the ice by NOVEMBER 2!!!! Come on…who doesn’t want hockey back soon?  The offer is on the table…your move NHLPA….please do not wait too long to get back to playing the game you all love.

The word lockout is not a welcome one in my vocabulary. Yet it has forced its way into it…and FINALLY we have an offer that has potential on the table….time to get back on ice BOYS because the puck cannot slap itself….#isitNovember2ndYET

The word ‘lockout’ has been forced into the vocabulary and reality of NHL fans three times in the last 18 years….and each time it was GB with the announcement. One would think that if HE cannot get the players to agree to this latest offer or worse takes away the entire year….that his days are not only numbered but finished. There will be a push or counter proposal that comes from the PA soon…but this 50/50 split gives the PA a place to make real progress. I hope the PA realizes that the this latest offer is where things will eventually end up a 50/50 split. This offer also has no immediate rollback. This offer is the first one that is one that seems like real PROGRESS!!! FINALLY! Let’s get this deal & probably counter offer done followed by a new CBA PLEASE!!!!!!!! This is finally some real negotiating!!!!!!!!!! I know that this deal is probably not perfect….but it really is the first time that feels like hockey could be back SOON…as in NOVEMBER. I think it is best for all parties to get this deal done STAT. The PA now holds the cards….the question is how will they play them? Is this 50/50 split really a 50/50 split? If so, then it means that Bettman is finally taking one for the team and moving the league forward…if not…I think it is good-bye Gary!

There are still many questions that will be addressed regarding this latest offer and what is sure to be the PA’s counter-offer…but in this moment it is refreshing to hear of actual progress in the great CBA debate. I don’t know about you….but I really want hockey back..and this deal could get it back as soon as NOVEMBER 2 with NO games lost!…Rumor has it that the NHL is already in contact with all in teams in regards to getting additional dates in order to accommodate an edited 82 game regular season schedule. This offer would get the season sooner than most expected. The NHL has made their offer…and now its up the NHLPA as to how they will respond. Donald Fehr is expected to meet with the players this afternoon. Whatever happens in regards to a counter-offer…I really hope it is a short cordial give and take so that WE the fans get back the game we all love. This offer brings the opportunity to salvage not just part of the season but the ENTIRE season. I have never given in to the belief that the season was over…and this could be the move that makes the season a reality. Now, once again all we can do is wait. Wait and see. #EndtheLOCKOUT #BringBackHockey #isitNovember2Yet

As always, until next time[when hopefully I can be sharing the news of the 2012-2013 season being back on and no more lockout!] nuck said.

Sarah E.L.