The NHL has clearly been losing the PR battle to this point in the CBA negotiation process as players, NHLPA members, fans and the media are having considerable difficulty discerning the leagues motivation -- besides something akin to a money grab.
The league seems to understand this so it made its plea directly to the fans on the first official day of the lockout by posting the following message on all 30 of their team websites, in which they pledge their commitment to negotiating around the clock. Of course this happens after the league opted not to continue talks with the NHLPA on Saturday hours prior to the lockout deadline.
Heres the message from the league as NHL commissioner Gary Bettman ushers in his own version of a hat trick, the third work stoppage of his career running the NHL:
Despite the expiration of the Collective Bargaining Agreement, the National Hockey League has been, and remains, committed to negotiating around the clock to reach a new CBA that is fair to the Players and to the 30 NHL teams.
Thanks to the conditions fostered by seven seasons under the previous CBA, competitive balance has created arguably the most meaningful regular season in pro sports; a different team has won the Stanley Cup every year; fans and sponsors have agreed the game is at its best, and the League has generated remarkable growth and momentum. While our last CBA negotiation resulted in a seismic change in the Leagues economic system, and produced corresponding on-ice benefits, our current negotiation is focused on a fairer and more sustainable division of revenues with the Players -- as well as other necessary adjustments consistent with the objectives of the economic system we developed jointly with the NHL Players Association seven years ago. Those adjustments are attainable through sensible, focused negotiation -- not through rhetoric.
This is a time of year for all attention to be focused on the ice, not on a meeting room. The League, the Clubs and the Players all have a stake in resolving our bargaining issues appropriately and getting the puck dropped as soon as possible. We owe it to each other, to the game and, most of all, to the fans.
No talks are planned between the NHLPA and NHL on Sunday, but both sides have pledged to keep the lines of communication open as the lockout drags into the scheduled preseason.
Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading with Bruins captain’s practice set to kick off this coming week.
*The Rangers sound like they’ll be a strong candidate for Kevin Shattenkirk, and the Dallas Stars seem willing to stand pat at the goalie position.
*PHT writer James O’Brien speculates on who might be the next Artemi Panarin to break into the NHL ranks from overseas, and make a big impact.
*Yahoo fantasy hockey is making some changes this season, and those that liked to draft Dustin Byfuglien and Brent Burns are going to bummed about it.
*An original St. Louis Blues jersey from the old time hockey days has found its way back to its original home in St. Louis.
*Steve Simmons says that Dave Bolland has earned the right to be more than a punch line at this point in his career.
*Looking back on Phil Esposito’s classic speech amid the 1972 Summit Series.
*The All-Snub team for the World Cup of Hockey would be a talented lineup, and would no doubt be captained by P.K. Subban.
*For something completely different: those looking for signs of a rift between Bill Belichick and Tom Brady need to call off the search.
Bruins Insider Joe Haggerty is profiling players who will be on, or have a chance to be on, the 2016-17 Bruins. Today: Jake DeBrusk.
View the gallery here
Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading, after a busy morning celebrating my 3-year-old’s birthday at the trampoline park. Yee-ha.
*PHT writer Joey Alfieri says that adding toughness was a big offseason priority for the Montreal Canadiens.
*There’s at least one big fan of the Edmonton Oilers trade that brought defenseman Adam Larsson from the New Jersey Devils, and that fan’s name is Mark Letestu.
*Here’s everything you need to know about the Ice Guardians movie premiering this fall that takes a long, balanced look at the NHL enforcers.
*Roberto Luongo has an alibi for the robbery in Winnipeg with one suspect getting away in goalie equipment, and it’s funny as you would expect it to be.
*CSN Washington takes a look at the New York Rangers in their season previews for the Metro Division.
*I’m not entirely sure whether this “RIP Harambe” thing is genuine or meant to be ironic by the largely millenial group that seem so enamored with it, but I think it’s just stupid. I think the same with the crying Jordan meme…also stupid.
*For something completely different: a look at how Triumph the Insult Comic Dog learned how to poop on Trump’s politics.