THE PROPAGANDA FROM TWO SIDES
- From NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly:
"The National Hockey League deeply regrets having to take this action. By presenting a proposal to the NHLPA that contemplated a fair division of revenues and was responsive to Player concerns regarding the value of their contracts, we had hoped to be able to forge a long-term Collective Bargaining Agreement that would have preserved an 82-game Regular Season for our fans. Unfortunately, that did not occur..."
- The NHLPA statement:
"The league officially informed us today that they have withdrawn their latest proposal and have cancelled another slate of regular season games. This is deeply disappointing for all hockey fans and everyone who makes their living from hockey, including the players. But it comes as no surprise.
"Last week the owners gave us what amounts to a "take-it-or-leave-it" proposal. We responded with the framework for three proposals on the players' share, each of which moved significantly, towards their stated desire for a 50-50 split of HRR, with the only condition being that they honour contracts they have already signed. Honouring contracts signed between owners and players is a reasonable request. Unfortunately, after considering them for only 10 minutes they rejected all of our proposals.
"Since then, we have repeatedly advised the owners that the players are prepared to sit down and negotiate on any day, with no pre-conditions. The owners refused..."
It's expected the NHL's Winter Classic could be the next lockout victim with an announcement coming next week -- before payments are due on the $3 million required to rent the 110,000-seat University of Michigan Stadium where the Detroit Red Wings and Toronto Maple Leafs were to play.
If the talk of a possible Dec. 1 start-up is accurate, an agreement would have to be in place around Nov. 22 or so to allow teams to race through a one-week training camp.
Just FYI, many believe the NHL is following the NBA's playbook from a year ago when the hoopsters shrunk their season down to 66 games and started on Christmas Day.
Ryan Miller, Buffalo Sabres, in an email to ESPN: "The two sides are close enough to a deal that missing the bulk of a season is wrong and missing an entire season is not only insane, it is a blatant disregard for the sport, the fans and the culture we have grown over decades -- just to satisfy egos, not the needs of either side."
Ryan Suter, Minnesota Wild to ESPN: "... It's disappointing that the owners, they sign all these guys and some guys were signed within the last week before the CBA was up. Now, they're trying to go back on their word. It's frustrating, disappointing. It doesn't seem like that's the way you operate a relationship or business.
"It's disappointing. If you can't afford to (sign contracts) then you shouldn't do it. (Wild owner Craig Leipold) signed us to contracts. At the time he said everything was fine..."
Martin St. Louis. Tampa Bay Lightning: "If the fans think that the NHL wants to play. Think again. They don't want to meet and they cancelled all Nov. Way to go Gary you really care about the game!!"
Patrick Marleau, San Jose Sharks: "Every time we move closer they pull further away."
Derek Dorsett, Columbus Blue Jackets: "They say we didn't come anywhere near 50-50, that we didn't give them anything in the three proposals. It's a complete lie. They have a script they're following. It's too bad. It's tough for the people who work in the hockey industry -- the janitors, the hockey crews, the rink guys, everybody who's affected. It's an unnecessary lockout."