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.

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Fans uniting + More CBA meetings still to come + Philly honours Jessica Redfield

In light of a lockout looming…fans around the world are taking action or threatening to take drastic measures. Do we want a lockout? NO! Some have started initiatives to start boycotting all things related the NHL…including no longer purchasing any merchandise for a particular team & un-following any social media outlet for a particular team. There are groups popping up all over social media [facebook, tumblr, & twitter] inviting all fans to un-follow the NHL groups & any associated with the NHL. They want to show Bettman & company that the fans will not accept a lockout quietly and willingly. I like that the fans want to have a voice and do not want to be silenced by Bettman & company. Will I boycott my Canucks…probably not, but I do understand that fans want to express their absolute distaste of a lockout. I absolutely HATE the impending threat of a lockout and would like nothing more than there to be an official agreement that both the NHL & NHLPA are satisfied with so that the season can start on time [not delayed or canceled!]. I cannot think of any real hockey fan that wants to see another lockout…04/05 was brutal…please do not let there be a repeat, Bettman, PLEASE.

On that note, Director of the NHLPA, Donald Fehr has stated that the “players are unified” in face of an NHL lockout essentially, united they stand]. Fehr has also been quoted saying that NO ONE on the players side is talking about stopping the season and that he would like to speak with NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman before the next CBA meeting [Wednesday, August 22].The NHL would like an official response to their initial proposal[not the alternative view!] whereas the NHLPA feel that their proposal[alternative view] was proactive & addressed existing problems. There is A LOT of work to be done before both sides will come to an agreement and both will have to make compromises before meeting somewhere in the middle.

In other news defenseman Scott Hannan[played for Calgary last year] has signed a one-year deal with Nashvile. Rumor has it that Dany Heatley has filed an $11 million lawsuit against his former agent for withdrawing $4 million from his bank account & not receiving financial returns that he was promised from a real estate deal. No news yet on Doan as he continues to await the Phoenix ownership saga before any official decision is made, although none will be surprised to see him stay with the Coyotes. The Vancouver Canucks continue to work with re-signing my favourite #14 to an extension [get on with MG …lets get this deal signed & sealed!]. Philadelphia may becoming decimated on the blue-line, but they gained a ton of respect in creating the “Jessica Redfield Internship” in memory of Jessica who lost her life in the Aurora movie theater shooting. The internship will be for female college students with ambitions of getting into the field of sports journalism, just as Jessica was pursuing the same dream. She was working as an intern with the “You Can Play” project and had gained many followers on twitter and her blog. This is an amazing way to honour her memory and help other achieve the same dream that she aspired to become.
The jury is still out on the lockout and all moves made and yet to made during this off-season. All will become more clear as the CBA situation eventually comes to a close. Keep your fingers crossed that both sides can come to an agreement by the 15th or atleast before the Winter Classic…I’d rather a shorter season than NO season. I say if Bettman leads the NHL to another lockout…there will be a need for a NEW Commissioner[but that’s just my opinion!…but seriously a potential 3rd lock out in less than 20 years with Bettman at the helm? anyone else with me?]
As always, until next time, nuck said.
Sarah E.L.

Strike 3, Bettman’s at it again!+ Detroit looking to the Flames?+ a few other thoughts

In the news today everyone’s favourite(as in the one we love to despise!) NHL commissioner was at it again! Gary Bettman officially made the statement that should there be no new CBA in place by September 15th there will indeed be a lockout(yes I know we are ALL shocked…but WAIT we already knew that!) Don’t you just love how Bettman thinks he’s alerting the hockey world to brand new information? Although following his statement today, he also stated that there is still ample time until then for both parties to come to an agreement. Once again tell us, something we didn’t already know Bettman! It is yet to be decided how drastic this lockout could be(delayed shortened season or the entire year with no hockey), but since Bettman became NHL commissioner in 1993 there have been 2 lockouts….one in 1994 which cut the 1994-1995 season to just a 48 game schedule and then the entire 2004-2005 was canceled, and he potentially could force a 3rd one! Anyone else just as frustrated with the way Bettman ‘controls’ the league?

Rumor has it that Detroit is actively looking into Calgary Flames defenseman Jay Bouwmeester in what could be an interesting trade. Rumor has it that Calgary has been looking to trade Bouwmeester(who has a cap hit of $6.68 million after signing defenseman Dennis Wideman to a 5 year contract worth $26.25 million(or an annual cap hit of $5.25 million) earlier this off-season. Apparently Detroit feels they need to fill the void left by Lidstrom’s retirement & losing Brad Stuart to San Jose. Detroit also lost the race in free agency when they lost the Suter/Parise lottery and had no chance in signing Weber after Philly upped the stakes that only Nashville could match. All in all, Detroit needs a defenseman to help stabilize the back end, and it will more than likely cost them a trade as the free agent market has not produced them the player(s) that they hoped to nab. It will interesting to see what both sides give&take if this trade does go through. Rumor has it that Calgary is attempting to rebuild & make a run for the cup, but I wasn’t aware that you could do both at the same time? Colour me confused.

Rumor has it that maybe just maybe Doan could remain in Phoenix, that is if this whole ownership ordeal with Jamison has stabilized itself. Then again, until he officially puts ink to paper the eyes of the NHL will remain on him, before moving on. If he remains in Phoenix, I like the idea of the Canucks signing centre Jason Arnott(it has been rumored that he likes the potential of signing in Vancity!) to help fill the void in centre with Kesler down, and provide a leadership role as well. Time will tell with both these players. If Doan leaves Phoenix when all is said and done…it could have an adverse effect on Phoenix…as he is their franchise player and may affect ticket sales for a franchise that already struggles filling the arena on a regular basis.

Are you kidding me?! The city of Markham, Ontario has submitted a proposal  for an NHL sized arena! If it were to go through, that leaves the potential for a 3RD hockey team in Ontario(they already have the Leafs & the Senators). Would another Canadian team be exciting? YES! But 3 teams in ONE province…is a bit much….yes Ontario is large….but three teams is too many….do they want to be New York(they’ve got the Rangers, Islanders, & the Sabres!) but then again who knows it could work. Maybe Quebec will get another team too if that proposal goes through…! Another team or two would add some excitement to the league…and Canada does love hockey and will fill those arenas! Until approval is given to Markham, it is just a dream for the moment.

#isitOctoberyet?!!! #63moredays!

Until next time, as always, nuck said.

Sarah E.L.