NHL players would not trust drop-dead date in lockout
By Rob Rossi
Published: Saturday, Nov. 17, 2012, 12:01 a.m.
Pascal Dupuis swears he has only one date in mind regarding the NHL lockout.
“Dec. 1, because that is the first day they (NHL owners) say we can play games for now,” Dupuis said Friday after a Penguins players-organized practice at Southpointe.
“Other than that, I'm not thinking about dates.”
NHL commissioner Gary Bettman has called for a two-week break in talks with the Players' Association.
Games through Nov. 30 are canceled, as is the New Year's Day Winter Classic outdoor game and all surrounding events.
Locked out by owners since the last labor deal expired Sept. 15, Penguins players at Southpointe this week shared assessments on the reason for this work stoppage.
Tyler Kennedy, waiting to play the final season of his second NHL contract, which was worth a total of $4 million, declined comment.
Eight of his teammates —ranging from veterans such as Dupuis and Matt Cooke to stars Sidney Crosby and Marc-Andre Fleury — cited Players' Association talking points such as revenue split, guaranteed deals and contracting rights like length maximums and free agency.
Craig Adams, the Penguins' union rep, said the root of this dispute is, simply, “money.”
“It's completely about money,” he said.
Specifically, based off the latest proposals from each side, this fight is about a few hundred million dollars over the course of a labor agreement for an league that last season generated a record $3.3 billion.
There is no way the league can fairly project growth potential given the anticipated backlash from fans and sponsors over a second lockout in eight years, deputy commissioner Bill Daly has said.
NHL business will take a hit in the short and long term, predicted Ed O'Hara, managing partner of New York-based SME Branding.
“If I'm a sponsor, and I'm already looking at the NHL as a fringe sport compared to the Big Four (NFL, MLB, NBA and NHL), this lockout is a real issue,” he said. “It's just not a pretty picture for the NHL going forward.”
The NHL has not set a drop-dead date to play games or cancel another season.
The NHL did not cancel the 2004-05 season until Feb. 15, 2005 — its imposed drop-dead deadline. It began playing a 48-game season in late January of 1995.
Adams said he is not sure if a drop-dead date would change the dynamic of this dispute. The previous lockout, which ushered in a salary-cap era, has left players with little trust of owners, he said.
“And, yeah, it's getting worse all the time,” Adams said.
Rob Rossi is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at rrossitribweb.com or 412-380-5635.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- NHL notebook: Blues begin series without T.J. Oshie
- NHL notebook: Ex-players file concussion lawsuit in New York