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Olympic star worries about alienating fans

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08:16 AM ET 08.07 | The NHL is staring down its third work stoppage in less than two decades, and even though Donald Fehr believes there's enough time to avoid one, some are less optimistic. The league and the players' union have been meeting for weeks and still -- nothing. "The last thing (we) need to do is have some kind of a work stoppage, because we've made great strides with the positive spin hockey's had," Buffalo goaltender Ryan Miller said. "I think the years coming out of the (2004-05) lockout, we got a lot of the fan base back, a lot of positive energy. Mix that with the Olympics here in North America, a couple of good playoffs, and we have a fan base that's loyal and, honestly, the best sports fans out of any sport. We can't alienate them."

Montreal Gazette

Gary Bettman, Getty Images Gary Bettman, Getty Images
August 7, 2012  08:50 AM ET

there is very simple thing to do - extend the current agreement one year, as is, while Rat Furr and Buttramm haggle over the dimes and nickels for 2013-2014.

a work stoppage will - as Miller says - alienate fans

August 7, 2012  08:51 AM ET

This isn't good if everyone is talking lockout and it's early August.

August 7, 2012  08:53 AM ET

saw this yesterday....I think it's nonsense
I think....they may work through under the current CBA. Admittedly, I have a fan's optimism, but i think Fehr realises where he is here, and that the NHLPA doesn't carry the weight of MLBPA, etc.

August 7, 2012  08:55 AM ET
QUOTE(#2):

This isn't good if everyone is talking lockout and it's early August.

true....but there seems to be none of the vitriol of years past.

August 7, 2012  09:05 AM ET
QUOTE(#3):

saw this yesterday....I think it's nonsenseI think....they may work through under the current CBA. Admittedly, I have a fan's optimism, but i think Fehr realises where he is here, and that the NHLPA doesn't carry the weight of MLBPA, etc.

Yes and the last thing the owners want to do is give them a few paychecks before they walk out they will lock them out unless there is a deal in place even if it' to cobntinue with the status quo

August 7, 2012  09:08 AM ET
QUOTE(#1):

there is very simple thing to do - extend the current agreement one year, as is, while Rat Furr and Buttramm haggle over the dimes and nickels for 2013-2014.a work stoppage will - as Miller says - alienate fans

Sounds good to me.

Comment #7 has been removed
August 7, 2012  09:22 AM ET

I don't think the status quo is a real option. The PA is going to have to agree to adjust the players share of revenue downward.................they are currently higher than MLB. the NFL and the NBA, all of which draw a lot more fans and revenue. In addition some franchises (Phoenix is the poster child) teeter on the edge and need to be moved at last. No expansion and some intelligent relocation, fast. If these things don't happen this time some franchises will be lost IMO in a work stoppage and it will take many, many years for the league to recover. Fehr's job of protecting player jobs will have failed in his first try.

In spite of the fact that all of us love hockey, you can't feed all the mouths at the table with 5 loaves and two fishes. Or was it 4 hamburger buns and 3 pucks? I can never remember. Hockey, with some major exceptions of course, is in better shape than it's ever been in the US (there has never been a question in Canada). But it's still more regionally strong than it is nationwide. Getting better but more work to do. A stoppage is guaranteed IMO to set things back a decade or more.

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August 7, 2012  10:16 AM ET
QUOTE(#5):

Yes and the last thing the owners want to do is give them a few paychecks before they walk out they will lock them out unless there is a deal in place even if it' to cobntinue with the status quo

Swamp I have to admit; may favorite part of being on this board is your avatar*.

* It used to be your collection but that has been deleted.

Comment #14 has been removed
August 7, 2012  10:18 AM ET
QUOTE(#12):

Couldn't agree more Slappy though I don't think a work stoppage would be quite as devastating as you and several others here do. A few years of alienation, but I doubt a decade.

its the last tolerable sport left besides football

August 7, 2012  10:27 AM ET
QUOTE(#15):

its the last tolerable sport left besides football

and I am finding football less and less enjoyable as the years go by. And my team has won a coule, in that period
I just hate the chest thumping NOT IN MY HOUSE morons

Comment #17 has been removed
August 7, 2012  10:29 AM ET
QUOTE(#16):

and I am finding football less and less enjoyable as the years go by. And my team has won a coule, in that periodI just hate the chest thumping NOT IN MY HOUSE morons

LOL. You and I agree on that Spiny. I don't know about you but the old truism "too late smart, and too soon old" sure applies to me. :-)

August 7, 2012  10:37 AM ET
QUOTE(#18):

LOL. You and I agree on that Spiny. I don't know about you but the old truism "too late smart, and too soon old" sure applies to me. :-)

they're all idiots.
A bunch of knuckle draggers with far too much money on their hands, and they have no idea how to act in polite society

 
August 7, 2012  10:37 AM ET
QUOTE(#17):

Da.

What are you trying to tell us with the booties Danny?

1) Burkie's wearing Depends?
2) The Leafs are starting Kadri?
3) Mrs. Limes is having a boy?

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