Commentary, opinion and news on the world of hockey.

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

NHL unleashes not so veiled threat

The NHL wrapped up it's board of governors meeting on tuesday and some of the comments about Plan B were a poor attempt at subtelty. Here's Cal Nichols, Edmonton Oiler's chariman:
"I think that we can move forward and plan to play a season however it happens this coming year. I think that in itself is what our fans want to see, so we'll just see how it works out in the summer.

I think everybody still has a preference to work with the union and try to negotiate something and hopefully that's where it takes us."
Sure, the preference is always for the top of the line product. But what do you do when the Sony flat screen's are locked out of the electronics store? You put a crapload of Sanyo's on display and hope to God that no one notices the difference in picture quality and the public buys it as a worthy alternative.

Gary Bettman adds his two cents - which is probably worth much less than that:
We discussed a variety of options and I don't want to focus on any one because it would seriously be misconstrued and be potentially inflammatory. The fact is there are lots of options.

Hopefully it's an alternative proposition that we never have to focus on because our commitment remains making a fair partnership deal with the players.

We're going to invite the union back to the table soon and I assume that they will discharge their legal obligation to bargain in good faith.

The more the damage, the less money we're going to have to ultimately pay in players' salaries. So I think it's in everybody's interest to move forward as expeditiously as possible."
Pretty much the status quo from 'ol Betts. The one positive thing is that talks could resume quite quickly. But even still, will the talks end up in a deal? I'm not so sure.

Both sides emerged from their meetings apparently as solid as they have ever been. Case in point, some of the owner's sound bites after the adjournment:

Eugene Melnyk, Ottawa Senators owner:

"You had 30 ownerships that are in absolute unanimity as to where we're going to go from here. Everyone voted on the resupport of Gary and it was unanimous. I think there's a plan in place to try to move forward and I think we're going to have hockey next season."

Los Angeles Kings president and governor Tim Lieweke:

"He speaks on our behalf and anyone that thinks he's in trouble is wrong. Anyone that thinks there is division within the owners is wrong. We are very united. We have one voice, it's Gary."

New York Islanders GM Mike Milbury:

"It was down the line solid."

And Flyers owners Ed Snider responded with this tidbit when asked if he would consider joining the negotiating party.:

"I am very happy with my life as it is. I don't need aggravation from Bob Goodenow. I might jump over the table and choke him to death. That would not be good. That's why they keep me out of negotiations. I am a throwback to the old hockey days."
There was an equal amount of rah rah's coming from the NHLPA side as well. So, as united as both sides seem to be, how does this thing ever get done?

I have no clue. I wish I did, because whew, I'd be one seriously popular guy. The owners comments from today gave me the impression that replacement players are moving up quickly on the to do list, and that tells me that the NHLPA's options will continue to get smaller and smaller. That is, assuming that the replacement players' train leaves the station without a hitch.

In any event, I'm going to Vegas. Tips and suggestions about what I can do while I'm down there are welcome.


  • At 7:30 PM, Anonymous David said…

    Win big, lose small.

    Hope that's not too much to take in ;)

    btw - lay a 50 on Ed Snider for me.

  • At 9:01 PM, Blogger JasonSpaceman said…

    Hey Brett -

    How long are you going to be in Vegas? Charlie and I from Predators' Den are flying into Vegas on Saturday and will be there almost a week. Maybe if you're still around we could get together and talk hockey.

  • At 7:55 AM, Blogger Brett Mirtle said…

    I'd love to get together with you guys and shoot the breeze with my fellow hockey fans and bloggers. Unfortunately, I don't arrive until March 20th - can you hold off until then? ;)

    I'm sure there's no shortage of things to do there, but I'll be a first timer and am just curious about things other than gambling - although that's obviously on the agenda ;)

  • At 11:20 AM, Blogger James Mirtle said…

    What — and you didn't invite your little cousin? I'm the craps table master.

  • At 3:32 AM, Blogger JasonSpaceman said…

    Wait a second - you mean they have other things to do besides gamble in Vegas? Damn...I must've really missed out then. :-)

    There are lots of great shows to catch out there no matter your taste - there are several half-price ticket places scattered about the Strip that make such things much more affordable. I personally recommend seeing Second City at the Flamingo and The Amazing Johnathan at the Riviera. Surrounding the town is the Las Vegas Valley, filled with tons of outdoorsy stuff to do if that suits your fancy. And should you be bringing female accompaniment along, there's shopping galore.

  • At 1:13 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I agree,

    I love Hockey. and recently I have bought stock in it. Not like real stock on Wall street, but a stock market that is strictly for sports.

    You have seen it? Its pretty cool. You buy issues for your favorite teams and you make real money. Not like a fake stock simulator. I cash out Dividends each time the team wins. Also I can sell my team stock when the price goes up.

    check it out if something like this interests you.
    heres a link
    you can log in and check it out for free..

    They just released IPO'S for Hockey this week, so there are alot of good deals there.

    Keep up the good work on your blog!

  • At 7:14 PM, Blogger Admin said…

    Great blog, keep up the good work. Glad to see sites like this.

    Here is another good site I said I would pass along.
    Las Vegas Vacations


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