Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Local pros keep busy with Iceplex workouts

Pace increases as NHLers prep for end to lockout

  • Print

AMID the accusations of dirty tricks, foot-dragging, moving targets and intransigence, nervous NHLers not at the bargaining table in New York go about their business.

They're trying to be focused professionals, without the paycheques since early October, when the NHL season should have started.

"We're all going to continue skating hard and working out," Jets centre Bryan Little said Friday. "I think for some of us if something bad happens and the season gets canceled for some reason, I think it's good that we're still in shape. I think a lot of guys are still talking about going over (to Europe) if they cancel the season.

"So I don't think the tempo's going to drop at all."

In fact, it has increased. Friday was the third day in a row that the Jets and other NHL players skated together here, a first since the lockout began Sept. 15.

Without being hands-on in the process of bargaining, Little said the uncertainty since mid-September has had its difficult hours.

"There have been highs and lows the whole time," he said. "It seemed like every once in a while the season was going to start and everyone was getting their hopes up. Then all of a sudden there were no talks going on.

"I've kind of learned to steady it out and let them do it themselves, figure it out. The only thing we can control is how good of shape we're in. I try not to make too much of a fuss about what's going on."

This week again has shown the ebbs and flows. After a flurry of back-and-forth for several days, the NHL and NHLPA have not met eye-to-eye in two days.

Perceived slights and a further decline of trust have marred what was thought to be some optimism at the start of the week, talk that even sparked dreams that more than a bare-minimum 48-game season was possible.

"At first I was following everything closely, paying attention to everything," Little said. "But I got my hopes up so many times... then all of a sudden we weren't playing for another month.

"So I've kind of learned to just numb yourself, hopefully it works itself out."

How that will happen is anyone's guess. There's likely less than a week to go for the wheels to start turning on the NHL's wish to start a shortened schedule on Jan. 19.

And now the NHLPA is in the midst of a second vote to authorize its leadership to file a disclaimer of interest, effectively dissolving the union and freeing players to file suit in the U.S. on anti-trust issues.

"I think it's just kind of there as a safety net if things go bad," Little said of the second vote. An initial authorization was allowed to lapse by NHLPA leader Don Fehr on Wednesday.

"If we feel we're just not negotiating anymore then they have the right to do that,

"I think it's a smart move by us."

And Little said he and fellow players know that the deadline on a season is moving closer.

"A bit (more nervous)," he said. "You never know if that's the actual deadline or if things are really close they could push it back a bit. It's definitely getting to that point where it's going to be season or no season. I think everyone's a bit on nerves.

"it seems like they're moving at a faster pace than before. They traded proposals for three to five days. At least they're going back and forth trying to figure this thing out.

"There seems to be some urgency now so that's a good sign."


Pucks, no bucks

Skating at MTS Iceplex Thursday and Friday: Toby Enstrom, Jim Slater, Olli Jokinen, Bryan Little, Winnipeg Jets; Colin Wilson, Nashville Predators; Travis Zajac, New Jersey Devils, Ryan Garbutt, Dallas Stars.

Combined 2012-13 salaries: $20,450,000

NHL salaries earned to far in 2012-13: $0

Combined missed salary so far: $9,617,027

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition January 5, 2013 C2

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes


  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.


Make text: Larger | Smaller


Total Body Tune-Up: Farmer's Carry

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • A young gosling prepares to eat dandelions on King Edward St Thursday morning-See Bryksa 30 Day goose challenge- Day 17- bonus - May 24, 2012   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)
  • JOE BRYKSA/WINNIPEG FREE PRESS Local- A large osprey lands in it's nest in a hydro pole on Hyw 59  near the Hillside Beach turnoff turn off. Osprey a large narrow winged hawk which can have a wingspan of over 54 inches are making a incredible recovery since pesticide use of the 1950's and  1960's- For the last two decades these fish hawks have been reappearing in the Lake Winnipeg area- Aug 03, 2005

View More Gallery Photos


Will Connor McDavid make the Edmonton Oilers a playoff team?

View Results

Ads by Google