So we had three Marlies game this weekend, two televised Morgan Rielly Super Series games heading into the weekend and a Biggs multi-goal game as well. By midday Monday I’m sure all the talk will have shifted back to the CBA and the potential for talks.
There was some brief optimism after it was reported that Ed Snider might be distancing himself from the owner’s stance.
“Behind the scenes, there seems to be a seismic shift going on among the NHL’s Board of Governors, also known as the group that Bettman answers to collectively.
And Flyers chairman Ed Snider may be the big mover-and-shaker behind it all.
Multiple sources confirmed to the Daily News on Friday that Snider, once seen as a supporter of the Bettman’s push to rein in the players’ share of revenue, has soured on the process after it became apparent that a deal would not be brokered in time for a Dec. 1 puck drop.
Put simply: Snider and the rest of the NHL’s owners were promised a big win by Bettman, with player concessions on revenue division and contracting rights. The best they’ll get now is a small win in revenue split – coupled with a demoralized fan base and all-important corporate sponsors that are ready to quit.
A source familiar with Snider’s thinking characterized it as: “If this is the deal we are going to get, what’s the point of dragging this out?”
That horsecrap title’s a reference to the first computer game I ever owned, Silent Steel. It was terrible, and I was enthralled by it. Dubbed an “interactive movie”, it was literally a Choose Your Own Adventure that used filmed segments instead of a cheap little paperback book to tell its story and have you make decisions which guided the plot. The Wikipedia entry literally describes it as “an unorthodox submarine simulator computer game.” What’s an orthodox submarine simulator computer game?
The lockout doesnâ€™t matter today. For that matter, neither does a Marlies sweep of Texas, or another weekend full of strong performances by Leafs prospects.
I couldn’t care less about any of it today and thatâ€™s because the Leaf who is statistically the greatest of all time is entering the Hall of Fame today. First ballot, too, I might add.
Despite the confession from the man himself that he was a Habs fan growing up, I canâ€™t be deterred from honouring his greatness. Also, who can blame him for not being a fan of the 80â€™s Leafs? Thatâ€™s almost as bad as being a fan of the present Leafs.
The easiest Morning Mashups to write are the ones where there’s nothing to talk about. The toughest Morning Mashups to write are the ones where there’s nothing to talk about.
I’m literally writing this as Wednesday’s CBA meetings are ending (according to the Dan Rosen Tweet that just rolled in). They will meet again tomorrow, it’s been confirmed, and likely with the same modus operandi of not talking to anyone when they’re over. I guess we’re supposed to be impressed by this.
There might have been a little somethin’ somethin’ crowding your Twitter feed last night, forcing you to miss the updates (or lack thereof.. in this case, possibly a good thing) from the latest round of NHL/NHLPA meetings. No word about what went down, but the negotiating session lasted seven hours and ended with plans to resume talks today (Wednesday).
Considering the last meeting between the two sides took about 10 minutes and preceded two weeks of stalemate, this seems to be a good sign. They’re talking at length, and a process that’s been riddled with posturing has broken for some welcomed silence and secrecy.
It looks like the NHL and Players Association are ready to resume talks this week (most likely Tuesday), and now we can briefly have hope again.
Certainly, a marathon talk between Bill Daly and Steve Fehr is a good start, and it gives even more reason for optimism that nothing was leaked from this meeting.
Where I lose some of my optimism is in a) the fact that this deal will rely on Jeremy Jacobs’ ability to compromise, and b) we live in a world where players value the opinion of clowns like Allan Walsh.
Neither side is content to reach the compromise we all envision for them, and both sides will need to let go of this â€œtrying to winâ€ philosophy that has cost them a quarter of a seasons revenue.
Iâ€™ll cap this rant early, but root for radio silence on both sides (an understandable challenge for the PA with 700+ members).
Not really. I severely mismanaged my Wednesday night schedule, so your preview consists of: the Marlies play tonight. Against the Abbotsford Heat. At 10:00pm. Toronto’s 3-2-0-1 in 6 games, and Keith Aucoin leads the team with 6 points!
So, uh…here are some links:
This isn’t the image you want to tweet during a time of lockout, Tyler Bozak.
On a week (possibly day) when the NHL is likely to cancel the Winter Classic – the most significant game the Leafs would have played in almost a decade – it seems like a great opportunity to look at the inches both sides are fighting for.
The latest player to speak out, surprisingly directed at a team owner rather than the league, was Ryan Suter (in an ESPN.com article):
â€œIt’s disappointing. If you can’t afford to (sign contracts) then you shouldn’t do it. (Owner Craig Leipold) signed us to contracts. At the time he said everything was fine. Yeah, it’s disappointing. A couple months before, everything is fine, and now they want to take money out of our contracts that we already signed.â€
Seemingly some very direct words for Craig Leopold, and given Zach Pariseâ€™s earlier criticism of Gary Bettman, both of these players are awfully quick to play the victim card. This was a very shrewd move by the Wild owner, as he knew what the owners would be proposing this summer and arguably was a key architect of it.
Remember when Nazem Kadri showed up to the Marlies’ training camp negligibly fatter than he probably should have been all fat and ugly and gross and out-of-shape? Well, Dallas Eakins threw a big, cheesy CTRL-Z on that situation Wednesday. Apparently Kadri’s re-committed himself to hardcore fitness in the last few weeks. (While some simmer in silence, wondering what the hell he paid Gary Roberts for).
Strapped for a mashup topic this morning, I was reading the latest doomsday talk from last night and thought it might be worthwhile to highlight a post from late last week courtesy of mc79 hockey (in case you missed it). If, like me, you’re one of the poor souls trying to make sense of the countless 800-word articles containing the latest BS quotes spewing out of the parties involved, Tyler Dellow has done you a great service with this break down of the measurable gap between the NHL and NHLPA.
Despite this being “the most important week of negotiations”, there’s been basically nothing in terms of CBA/lockout news since last Thursday. It’s nothing to panic about; after reading the solid material Mirtle at the Globe and mc79 have pumped out over the past few days, I’m pretty confident that we’ll see a resolution to this whole thing soon. But until we do, let’s enjoy the news and notes from other leagues, as well as a few history lessons and another look at how the Leafs may fare when this lockout ends.
Kyle the Reporter has some notes about the Marlies this week in his regular hot and cold article.
Michael at Vintage Leaf Memories asks “What’s your first ever true “blue and white” Leafs’ memory?”
According to the Gazette, Leafs fans have voted Bower the best goalie in team history.
Cam at The Leafs Nation discusses whether the team is well-positioned for the new NHL when this lockout ends.
Blue Chip Prospects takes a closer look at Captain Dion.
And lastly, Clarke MacArthur will join a team in 2nd Bundesliga of Germany.
So this week is do or die time for the 82 game season. Odds are we will see one last save face meeting between the league and PA and the result will be somewhat similar to what weâ€™ve seen so far.
At this point neither side has been able to get past posturing and resentment. While I donâ€™t doubt that the current proposals arenâ€™t too far off of what will ultimately be the final deal, neither side is ready to make additional concessions.
For the NHLPA, there is a need to move to past the fact that this is the second recent lockout demanding serious concessions. Thatâ€™s not to say don’t voice concerns if they take issues with the current agreement, but as long as everything is being done relative to last CBA they wonâ€™t be able move forward.
The CBA winds are a swirlin’. With the NHL publicly releasing its latest proposal (awesome!) Wednesday, there’s an intense mix of new information and analysis swirling in the twister of negotiation rhetoric. Getting too specific into an analysis of the main points would, frankly, be sort of a waste.
The NHL’s proposal is the first they’ve made that isn’t totally crazy, but that doesn’t mean it will get a deal done. Breaking down the specifics seems kinda pointless, considering many of those specifics will undoubtedly change. I’ll hold off getting to detailed for now.
Did we witness a breakthrough in CBA negotiations yesterday? At the least we finally saw some meaningful movement in the league’s proposal of a 50/50 revenue split and no rollbacks on signed contracts (phrased more correctly, players will receive the full value of their contract over its duration through deferred salary). The counter proposal won’t be tabled by the NHLPA until tomorrow (Thursday), and the details are still being pored over by the PA, but it had Donald Fehr calling it a seemingly excellent start (to paraphrase) towards getting hockey back in time to save the season. Don’t go screaming hockey’s back just yet, but there’s finally some movement in the right direction.
It’s maddening it took this long to take this step, but maybe the deadline the owners have been working with all along has been mid November, the approximate date by which the league can still save a full 82 game season and all of its revenue. Or so one can hope.
Photo: Carlos Osorio / Toronto Star
With CBA negotiations set to get going again today, a sort of bizarre chunk of news regarding the NHL’s public relations plans came about yesterday evening. The league has hired a GOP strategist to test its PR moves, including what’s being called the “shared sacrifice” pitch.
This past weekend would have been the opening weekend for the NHL, and certainly its absence is a little disappointing. What was not disappointing was the quality of hockey that was available this weekend. From a Leafs standpoint there were two Toronto Marlies games featuring some of the most exciting and promising players in the organization.
We received the reminder that Jake Gardiner is clearly above the AHL level of competition, and frankly I donâ€™t recall him having as good a slapshot last season. We have seen that Kadri is in fact ready to be a full time NHLer. Ben Scrivens has shown that heâ€™s worth a look in the NHL, Leo Komarov is in fact one hell of a SOB, Joe Colborne could be ready to break out of the AHL, and Hamilton and Kostka are more than capable of being plugs in the NHL as well. Then we watched the game on Sunday and began questioning every player and coach in the organization again. Most importantly, I think a lot people realized that AHL hockey isnâ€™t a bad alternative, and at least weâ€™ll get a chance to see a team with a Maple Leaf on their chests win a few games this year.
“In communications, familiarity breeds apathy.” – William Bernbach
This isn’t strictly speaking ‘communications,’ but Bernbach’s quote certainly applies to the 2012-2013 (God, I hope it doesn’t end up being known as that) NHL lockout. Bernbach himself had nothing to do with hockey. He was sort of a real-life Don Draper. But the apathy variable is one we’re all starting to feel and, more importantly, acknowledge (in some cases, rather phenomenally). The familiarity is one with meaningless posturing, empty negotiation rhetoric, and
unnecessary work stoppages.
Same old from the same old. Put simply, there comes a point where even the most passionate of us simply stop caring.
The NHL and PA will get together again today. Nothing will come of it, we’ll complain about it on the internet, and there still won’t be NHL hockey. At first I would’ve said “there still won’t be hockey” but I’ve joined the folks who are pushing for other leagues to get attention. The NHL is the best hockey league on this planet, but it isn’t the only one.
Recently Joffrey Lupul wrote an opinion piece over at AskMen.ca. And while I am disappointed I visited a site that looks to be a front for rohyphol sales, I was interested in hearing what Lupul had to say.
That led to disappointment number two. Joffrey Lupul isnâ€™t interested in sharing his opinion so much as reciting the PAâ€™s main talking points. Despite trying to make a point to the contrary, Lupul seemed to be making a plea to the fans:
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