Jason Gregor
October 10 2012 12:13PM

Just when you thought the public posturing couldn't become more frustrating/annoying/pathetic, NHLPA head Donald Fehr suggested to the Toronto Star the longer the lockout goes then the players might want to abolish the salary cap.

I'm sure we all believe the players would sit out a 2nd year just to get rid of the cap. Didn't they try that in 2004? Mr. Fehr, a quick tip, don't insult your fans. We know they ultimately don't have a say in this ridiculous lockout, but throwing out the "cap card" might have been your least intelligent statement to date.

The salary cap is not going anywhere, and any mention of that is purely a waste of time and a lame scare tactic.

Currently 127 NHL players are playing in Europe with another 40 or so young guys playing in the AHL. That is only 167 of the 720 who played last year. They might end up with a total of 240 within the next month, but that is still less than 1/3 of the union playing.

I don't see the union getting more unified while the majority sits out.

This lockout will hurt the middle and bottom tier players, who make up close to 75% of the league.

Here is a quick look at how the last lockout saw a major increase of rookies in 2006.

2003                                                                                                 2004

41 rookies had ten+ points.                                    41 had ten+ points.
46 played 40+ games.                                             54 played 40+ games.
112 played 10+ games.                                           115 played 10+ games.

2005                                                                                         2006
LOCKOUT                                                                  77 had 10+ points.
                                                                                     79 played 40+ games.
                                                                                     150 played 10+ games.

2007                                                                                      2008
48 had 10+ points                                                     52 had 10+ points.
51 played 40+ games.                                             56 played 40+ games.
113 played 10+ games.                                          115 played 10+ games.                                                    

2009                                                                                      2010
49 had 10+ points                                                     40 had 10+ points.
56 played 40+ games.                                             44 played 40+ games.
120 played 10+ games.                                           102 played 10+ games.

2011                                                                                      2012
57 had 10+ points                                                     47 had 10+ points.
51 played 40+ games.                                             51 played 40+ games.
125 played 10+ games.                                           113 played 10+ games.              

In the eight years, two prior and six after, around the lockout the league saw an average of:

46.8 rookies with 10+ points.
51.1 rookies played 40+ games.
114 rookies played 10+ games.

Meanwhile in 2006 after the lockout:

77 rookies had 10+ points.
79 played 40+ games.
150 played 10+ games.

I don't put much stock into the point totals being different, because scoring was up across the league in 2006, but there was a massive increase of 55% more rookies playing at least 40+ games in 2006 compared to the other eight seasons.

The longer the lockout goes the higher that number will climb. More rookies means more veterans losing their job.


Here is a list of players who will be UFAs and RFAs at the end of the season. Via

Ryan Getzlaf, Corey Perry, Teemu Selanne, Saku Koivu, Toni Lydman, Nate Guenin and Viktor Fasth.
RFAs: Matt Beleskey and Dan Sexton.

Nathan Horton, Andrew Ference, Aaron Johnson and Tim Thomas.
RFAs: Tuukka Rask and Jordan Caron.

Matt Elllis, Robyn Regehr, Jordan Leopold, Adam Pardy, Alex Sulzer and John Scott.
RFAs: Cody Hodgson, Luke Adam, Mike Weber and Jhonas Enroth.

Jarome Iginla, Blake Comeau, Anton Babchuk, Brett Carson and Henrik Karlsson.
RFAs: Roman Cervanka, Mikael Backlund, Chris Butler and TJ Brodie.

Alex Semin, Chad Larose, Anthony Stewart, Tim Brent, Tim Wallace, Joe Corvo and Brian Boucher.
RFAs: Andreas Nodl and Marc-Andre Gragnani.

Viktor Stalberg, Jamal Mayers, Bryan Bickell, Michal Rozsival and Ray Emery.
RFAs: Markus Kruger and Nick Leddy.

Milan Hejduk, Chuck Kobasew and Ryan O'Byrne.
RFAs: Ryan O'Reilly. (not signed now)

Vaclav Prospal, Mark Letestu and Adrian Aucoin.
RFAs: Artem Anisimov, Ryan Russell, Colton Gillies, John Moore, Steve Mason and Sergei Bobrovsky.

Jaromir Jagr, Derek Roy, Michael Ryder, Brendan Morrow and Mark Fistric.
RFAs: Tom Wandell, Tomas Vincour and Richard Bachman. Jamie Benn (not signed)

Valtteri Filppula. Dan Cleary, Drew Miller, Ian White, Jimmy Howard and Joey Macdonald.
RFAs: Jan Mursak, Jakub Kindl and Brendan Smith.

Ryan Jones, Darcy Hordichuk, Lennart Petrell, Ryan Whitney, Ladislav Smid, Andy Sutton and Nikolai Khabibulin.
RFAs: Sam Gagner, Magnus Paajarvi, Anton Lander and Theo Peckham.

Stephen Weiss, Mike Santorelli, Jerred Smithson, Tyson Strachan and Jose Theodore.
RFAs: Peter Mueller, Shawn Matthias, Jack Skille and Keaton Ellerby. Dmitri Kulikov (not signed now)

Simon Gagne, Dustin Penner, Brad Richardson, Rob Scuderi and Davis Drewiski.
RFAs: Kyle Clifford, Trevor Lewis, Slava Voynov, Alec Martinez and Jonathan Bernier.

Pierre-Marc Bouchard, Matt Cullen, Stephane Veilleux and Niklas Backstrom.
RFAs: Cal Clutterbuck, Steven Kampfer, Marco Scandella, Justin Falk and Jared Spurgeon.

Colby Armstrong, Petteri Nokelainen, Francois Bouillon and Peter Budaj.
RFAs: David Desharnais, Ryan White, Michael Blunden and Yannick Weber. P.K Subban (not signed now)

Brandon Yip, Brian McGratton, Scott Hannan and Chris Mason.
RFAs: Patric Hornqvist, Nick Spaling, Matt Halischuk and Roman Josi.

Patrik Elias, Travis Zajac, Dainius Zubrus, David Clarkson, Cam Janssen, Marek Zidlicky and Peter Harrold.
RFAs: Adam Henrique, Jacob Josefson, Matthias Tedenby and Bobby Butler,

Marty Reasoner, Brad Boyes, Eric Boulton, Lubomir Visnovsky, Mark Streit and Evgeni Nabokov.
RFAs: Josh Bailey, Jesse Joensuu and Travis Hamonic.

Jeff Halpern, Chad Kolarik and Steve Eminger.
RFAs: Carl Hagelin, Derek Stepan, Ryan McDonagh and Micheal Sauer. Micheal Del Zotto (not signed now)

Daniel Alfredsson, Guillaume Latendresse, Peter Regin, Sergei Gonchar and Mike Lundin.
RFAs: Kaspar Daugavins and Ben Bishop.

Ruslan Fedotenko, Jody Shelley, Kimmo Timonen, Andreas Lilja and Micheal Leighton.
RFAs: Erik Gustafsson.

Steve Sullivan, Raffi Torres, Boyd Gordon, Nick Johnson, Kyle Chipchura, Mike Smith and Jason LaBarbera.
RFAs: David Schlemko, Oliver Ekman-Larsson, Chris Summers, Mikkel Boedker and Lauri Korpikoski.

Matt Cooke, Pascal Dupuis, Craig Adams, Warren Peters, Dylan Reese and Ben Lovejoy.
RFAs: Tyler Kennedy, Eric Tangradi and Dustin Jeffrey.

Ryan Clowe, Michal Handzus, Douglas Murray and Thomas Greiss.
RFAs: T.J Galiardi, Andrew Desjardins, Frazer Mclaren and Jason Demers.

Andy Macdonald, Jamie Langenbrunner, Scott Nichol, Chris Porter, Andrew Murray and Jeff Woywitka.
RFAs: Chris Stewart, Patrik Berglund, Matt D'Agostini, Evgeny Grachev, Alex Pietrangelo, Ian Cole, Kevin Shattenkirk and Kris Russell.

B.J Crombeen, Nate Thompson, Adam Hall, J.T Wyman, M.A Bergeron and Mathieu Garon.
RFAs: Benoit Pouliot and Brendan Mikkelson.

Tim Connolly, Joffrey Lupul, Matthew Lombardi, Clarke MacArthur, Tyler Bozak and David Steckel.
RFAs: Carl Gunnarsson and Korbinian Holzer.

Manny Malhotra, Mason Raymond, Chris Higgins, Maxim Lapierre, Andrew Ebbett, Aaron Volpatti, Steve Pinizzotto, Alex Edler and Andrew Alberts.
RFAs: Dale Weiss.

Mike Ribiero, Joey Crabb, Matt Hendricks, Wojtek Wolski, Roman Hamrlik, Tom Poti, Jack Hillen and John Erskine.
RFAs: Marcus Johansson, Karl Alzner, Michal Neuvirth and Braden Holtby.

Nik Antropov, Alexei Ponikarovsky, Kyle Wellwood, Antti Miettinen, Ron Hainsey, Grant Clitsome, Derek Meech and Al Montoya.
RFAs: Blake Wheeler, Bryan Little, Alexander Burmistrov Zach Bogosian and Paul Postma.

That is 275 players. How many of them won't sign another NHL contract due to the lockout? I'd guess at least 100.



I truly wonder how many of the existing NHL players wouldn't suit up tomorrow at a 50/50 split. I know that number isn't perfect, and it doesn't solve all the problems of the league (more on that tomorrow), but I seriously doubt the majority of the NHLPA is ready to sit out a full season.

The list below consists of veterans who have yet to sign a deal. How many would have signed if a new CBA was in place?

Dan Ellis, Marty Turco, Mike Mottau, Brian Rolston, Jason Blake, Jochen Hecht, Tom Kostopoulos, Jaroslav Spacek, Andrew Brunette, Brendan Morrison, Sean O'Donnell, Kristian Huselius, Radek Martinek, Brett Lebda, Radek Dvorak, Tomas Holmstrom, Marco Sturm, John Madden,Scott Parse, Kurtis Foster, Mathieu Darche, Chris Campoli, Petr Sykora, Milan Jurcina, Mark Eaton, Matt Gilroy, Jesse Winchester, Blair Betts, Daymond Langkow, Kurt Sauer, Brent Johnson, Brad Winchester, Dominic Moore, Jim Vandermeer, Jason Arnott, Brett Clark, Mike Commodore, Byron Bitz, Randy Jones and Mike Knuble.

Even if there wasn't a lockout some of these players wouldn't be back, but at least 10-15 of them would have signed.

Hopefully the public posturing will end soon, but keep in mind that with every passing day a few more members of the NHLPA will have played their last game in the NHL, and for many more they will have seen their final NHL contract.

Will the majority be willing to lose an entire year of salary, and possibly their final contract?

Only they know the answer.

One of Canada's most versatile sports personalities. Jason hosts The Jason Gregor Show, weekdays from 2 to 6 p.m., on TSN 1260, and he writes a column every Monday in the Edmonton Journal. You can follow him on Twitter at
#51 Starving Student
October 10 2012, 07:37PM
Trash it!


After the last lockout ended. I was hoping the NHL would finally take off as a legit BIG 4 sport down in the states. And sure enough hockey as a sport began to grow. Surely the league and players union wouldn't be dumb enough to destroy any momentum they've developed over these past 7 years. WRONG. and am I ever jaded.

I sincerely hope the NHL and the PA are dumb enough to lock out the season. and NEXT season as well for that matter. and when they DO end the lockout, I hope fans in non-traditional markets and markets that are in trouble DO NOT return. I hope they too feel the anger we do and go else where. I hope the owners of teams like ANA, CBJ, COL, DAL, FLA, NYI, NJ, and PHX (dumbest owner of them all) all lose so much money that some will need to contract. Reduce the number of teams and start to raise the overall talent of the remaining teams and the talent in the AHL.

Maybe once some owners are forced to fold and hundreds of players lose their jobs, the league and the PA will learn to STOP taking the fans for granted. Both parties can say how much they "appreciate" the fan but talk is cheap and apparently that's ALL that's cheap.

#52 j
October 11 2012, 08:36AM
Trash it!

Jason - in your opinion, is the influx of youth a good thing for the game? I appreciate that the older union members would be upset that they are losing jobs but shouldn't this be the nature of the beast? The best players on the planet should be in the league regardless of age/pedigree/tenure. It's a tough business but I'd rather watch Hall than Arnott. So, if youth is being served, the players actually have more leverage than ever before.

#54 TKB2677
October 11 2012, 08:52AM
Trash it!

Gregor has touched base on it several times about the amount of players that never played in the NHL again after the lock out. It was over 200. Also 1/3 of the league NEVER played in the NHL again. I get they are in a union and unions are supposed to look out for the entire group. But what I would like to know is did the union do anything to help the over 200 players that never played again? If you are a 4th liner or a 6th Dman making 600-700k. Then your NHL job has been replaced and you are in the minors or playing in Europe and all of a sudden your wage is maybe 1/5 what you made in the NHL. That has to hurt big time. Where the hell are these guys? Why are they silent? One the Oilers. Where is Hordichuk, Petrell, Sutton, Potter? If the NHL loses an entire season. Sutton is DONE. This was probably his last contract. No he loses 2 mill he will NEVER get back because he's done playing. Hordichuk may never get another contract again. Does Petrell get signed again? I doubt it. Potter just signed his first EVER 1 way deal. First year down the drain. He might not even make the team next year. Even Khabbi. THis is the last year of his deal. He's going to lose a hell of a lot of money.

Every single team has guys just like them. The 6-7 dman that is easily replaced. the 4th liners. The tweeners. There are a hell of a lot more guys in the NHL making 1.2 mill and less than there are making 5+ mill yet who do you see the most of standing behind Fehr? Crosy, Ovechkin, Stamkos, etc. All the big money guys that everyone knows but who have already made more money than they can spend in a life time. Even for the Oilers you see Horcoff and his ugly mug in the background.

Where are the pluggers? The guys playing game to game, yr to yr making NHL minimum wage. At some point these guys need to sack up and ask their union. Who are you really looking out for? Everyone or the big name players?

The way I see it, the lower end guys are getting screwed. Sure taking a 7% roll back would suck when you only make 700k BUT. What's better? Making 650k in the NHL or 85000 in the AHL? A guy like Toews whos been very vocal mouthing off about Bettman. Is a 7% roll back on his 6+ mill salary really going to hurt that much in the grand scheme of things when he has sponsorship deals and endorsements that more than over it? Not a chance. But to the Darcy Hordichuks of the league, not having a job next year is a way bigger price to pay.

#57 Quicksilver ballet
October 11 2012, 10:25AM
Trash it!

240 players did not return to the NHL after the 04 lockout. Nearly a third of the league.

#58 TKB2677
October 11 2012, 10:30AM
Trash it!

I am in full agreement that there is plenty of blame to go around on both sides.

The owners are the stupid ones signing these ridiculous contracts then complaining about the economics but at the same time, the players have everything stacked in their favor. They as well as their agents are allowed to talk to eachother and they can jack the prices up for all players. Case in point Parise and Sutter. They came right out and said they were talking half way through the previous season about their contract, where they wanted to play, what they wanted to make. How the hell is that fair?

What drives me nuts about the union is their complete and utter irrational mindset on what they should make. They ar the #4 professional league in the US behind the NFL, MLB and NBA. The NHL doesn't even make close to what those league pull in, yet they make more of a percentage than all 3?? 57%??

How the hell does that make sense? How can the players go into a negotiation and say they deserve 57% of revenues yet every other league that makes double or triple what the NHL makes, gets 50% or less. I don't see how you can argue that with a straight face.

I understand that no one wants to take a cut in salary. I get it, it would suck. But the numbers don't lie. So I don't see how they have a lot of ground to stand on. 50-50 should be an easy slam dunk for them. Everyone wins.

The next thing that rattles me is their stance "oh we gave up so much the last time". I agree they did give up a lot. BUT they started at making somthing like 72% of league revevues. Did you fellas forget where you came from??

The last thing that is lost on them is even at 50-50, no other successful business operates like that. They can't to survive. So they refuse to go down from 57%. Then they want to not have to share rooms anymore on the road. These guys aren't staying at a Motel 6 here so that means the cost of rooms will probably close to double. Not to mention the team pays for all their equipment, pays for all the travelling, all the food. Do these boys forget who pays for EVERYTHING!! Maybe they should factor in the additional costs the team covers ontop of the their salaries.

This idea is totally not going to happen nor do I think it necessarily should. Maybe the owners should do this. Bring out the paper work. Show the players how much it costs the team in rooms, food, drinks, equipment, travel and say this. Show them how much approximately how much it would cost for everyone to have their own room. Tell them this. "You guys can keep the 57% this year so there are no reductions. Over the next 3 years we want the CBA to go back to 54% where it started. But since you aren't willing to help us out on your salaries and we need the money, you are all incharge of paying for your own rooms, all your own food, drinks, and travel. We will book it for you but you just have to slap the visa down at check out time or when tickets needs to be bought or when the food and drink bill comes on the road. Plus, you guys are all rep'd by a team, you arrange for your own equipment.

See how that goes over.

#59 Big Cap
October 11 2012, 10:55AM
Trash it!

I don’t know if you can totally blame the owners for this mess. Yes they pay the big contracts. BUT there doing so in Salary cap system. If they wish to invest 15-20% of the allotted cap on one guy, that’s his and the managements prerogative. I don't see them complaining about the players are getting paid too much.

Isn’t the Bigger issue HRR? And then solely paying for team financial loses, and all daily expenses?? They are the employer and paying an employee, who wants to make more money off of the owners business??

#60 Reg Dunlop
October 11 2012, 11:17AM
Trash it!

One positive facet of the loss of the NHL season that NOBODY has mentioned is the huge influx of hockey wives and girlfriends into free agency. We all know that when those fat cheques stop rolling in and the shopping sprees become rare, all the hot, thin, smokin companions to our favorite stars will be on the look-out for new guys to pick up the tab.

So maybe we are a little soft and round compared to Sheldon Souray. So what. In women's eyes there is no such thing as a fat or ugly rich guy, and with saving all that coin we waste on NHL hockey, and with hockey stars soon to be working stocking shelves at IGA, the time is right to upgrade what we lie next to. POWER TO THE FAN.

#61 Old Soldier
October 11 2012, 02:24PM
Trash it!

For those who choose to mock any pro-owner comments, you have your opinion and some of us have a different opinion, but I would like to ask a simple question.

If the owners actually allowed the league to continue under the old CBA while negotiations went on, (which the NHLPA refused to do all of last season and this spring), is there any doubt in your minds that Fehr and the players would have staged a strike the second they got the last paycheck in April, using the playoffs as a bargaining chip?

It is exactly what Fehr did to MLB in 1994, and in fact if you check the Wikipedia sequence of events for that strike, you would see the exact same negotiation tactics as they are using now. One proposal, and then refusal to seriously negotiate, preferring to go through the courts.

As far as being pro-owner, I have two reasons. One, I have absolutely no respect for any player continually blaming and mocking Bettman yet being too cowardly to even criticize their own owners who are Bettmans boss. Kind of like blaming your wifes lawyer for your divorce. And secondly, the players are overpaid, and I define overpaid simply as when your lowest paid players can afford to buy a brand new house for cash every year.....that is over paid.

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