Last season was one of the high points in the career of former Boston Collegedefenseman Mike Mottau. The 33-year-old SouthShore native got a chance to skatewith the hometown Boston Bruins and even got into a few playoff games with the Blackand Gold. The hope was that hed return to Boston as a spare defenseman this season.
Instead Mottau is skating at local colleges with other Bruins still in Boston, hoping hellknow his fate sooner or later. The father of four kids aged seven and under hadsome offers from European clubs prior to the start of the season, but he would have been forced to commit to staying overseas for the entire year.
Mottau wasnt ready to do that. So the former Devils,Islanders and Bs defenseman has bonded together with fellow skaters like ShawnThornton, Daniel Paille and Milan Lucic that have remained in Boston throughout the lockout.
Now hes hoping for a CBA resolution so he can figure outhis plans for the rest of the year. In addition to arena employees, needycharities and local businesses that are hurting badly while missing the800,000 in revenues each NHL game pumps into the Boston economy, journeymen veterans likeMottau are the biggest victims on the players side.
He doesnt have the millions in the bank that someestablished players can use as a soft landing while missing out on paycheckcycles.
Hes made 3.1 million over the last four years before agentfees, taxes and other overhead costs and hes invested wisely. But its alsovery unlikely hes going to become outspoken on the regularly-held NHLPAconference calls that have become passionate as players grow frustrated withthe deliberate process of CBA talks.
Mottau simply wants to know what happens next for him.
It would be nice to know when things will resolve, andwhere Ill be playing this season. Over the summer I was hoping wed have a newCBA right now and things would have worked out with the Bruins, said Mottau. NowIm hoping to catch on with somebody when the new CBA finally gets hammeredout. I still think theres a good chance of that, but well see.
If something doesnt happen in the next month, Mottau thinkshe may end up playing Europe for a few months.But that also becomes a problematic scenario with all of the North Americanplayers flooding places like Germany,Finland, Czech Republic,Russia and England.
Justas the discussions leave no easy answers for the NHLPA or the league, guys likeMottau are stuck in hockey limbo just like everybody else.