December 06 2012 09:26PM
With all the optimism coming out of negotiations in New York Wednesday, fans riding the roller-coaster they've been on during the NHL lockout felt they might actually get to watch a game this season.
That latest bit of positivity about the possibility of a new CBA lasted, what, about 24 hours until the whole damn thing came off the rails again today with Donald Fehr and Gary Bettman back at the controls?
Fans, it goes without saying, aren't impressed. Understandably so. And, if you believe reports trickling out in the aftermath of the upside-down-and-on-fire bit we just witnessed, neither are some members of the NHLPA.
If the players were as optimistic as many fans, and if a significant percentage of the NHLPA membership was ready to get back to work -- as one might conclude by sifting through the Twitterverse -- I'm wondering if we might soon see cracks in the unified front Fehr is trying to portray. I'm guessing yes.
READY TO PLAY?
These tweets from veteran Denver Post reporter Adrian Dater:
From deep inside players side: "We were ready to play again. But Don came in (Wed.) and told us we could get more and to hold out"
That deep-inside-players quote came from depth player. They want to play, but top players still in Fehr camp. Could explode soon
That depth player was not on the Avalanche, FYI. That's all I have on this
Fehr did not hold a player-wide conference call in saying that, important to note. Came from top down, trickle-down
Bottom line here: Players say they are unified, but not what I'm hearing from this depth player. They'll deny that publicly, but...
....privately, they are feeling powerless as the Ryan Millers and Brad Richards of the world pretend this is a sacrifice for them
This depth player is wicked smart though. May put his name to comments soon. Sorry for anonymous tilt to this. not my style
THE LITTLE GUYS
I'm not suggesting that Dater speaking to one player represents the stance of the majority of NHLPA members – it might, but we have no way of knowing for sure -- but I'm willing to bet the sentiment Dater passes along is growing, and likely by the minute.
How long until we see the unified front Fehr portrays start to crumble? How long until more players let their feelings be known? Specifically, the majority of NHLPA members, the players not named Sidney Crosby or Alex Ovechkin who occupy the bottom 15 spots on NHL rosters.
Simple math tells us there's a lot more of those players than the marquee guys acting as window dressing alongside Fehr and, for now, driving the bus. Framed that way, I take back what I just said about there not being a way for us to know for sure what the players think. There is, of course.
It's called a vote.
Listen to Robin Brownlee Wednesdays and Thursdays from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. on the Jason Gregor Show on TEAM 1260.
December 06 2012 06:43PM
Donald Fehr and Gary Bettman held dueling press conferences on Thursday night, and the news was not good. After initially suggesting both sides were close, Don Fehr announced that the NHL had rejected the players’ associations’ latest offer. Gary Bettman followed Fehr up, and announced that the NHL was removing all of the concessions placed on the table in the last meeting.
December 06 2012 02:14PM
People actually play underwater hockey. The best part is they wrap duct tape on their hand to avoid cuts/scratches on their knuckles while "stickhandling" on the floor of the pool. The game includes playing against/with women in swimsuits and you get to duct tape your hand; how is Wanye not a regular in the pool?
We are 83 days into the lockout, and if you took up underwater hockey to fill the void, I applaud your dedication to the game. I applaud your creativity and willingness to find any sort of hockey-related activity to distract you from this painful process of a lockout.
Let's dare to dream and pretend the lockout is officially over.
December 06 2012 12:13PM
Ilya Kovalchuk will eat your children.
While the NHL and its players continue talking about playing, here's some action from a very busy day in the KHL, featuring players like Ovechkin, Malkin, Datsyuk, Kovalchuk, Graobski, Kulemin, and more. A note for Oilers fans who are only interested in Nail Yakupov: We didn't do the Neftekhimik game because he didn't get any points. He recieved 25 minutes in penalties for an elbow, but when we checked the footage it was no where to be found.
With or without Nail - enjoy!
December 06 2012 10:30AM
Three is usually considered a magic number. In fairy tales you get three wishes, tasks often involve three challenges, in baseball you get three strikes, and for the Edmonton Oilers it would appear that three is going to be something of a theme.
Yakupov hasn’t joined the team yet, and neither has Justin Schultz. But even after they do, this Oilers squad looks more and more like it will be defined by the forward trio of Hall, Eberle and Nugent Hopkins. With that in mind, I’m going to offer up a trilogy of my own, looking at expectations and roster projections for this team for the next few years.