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Replacement players?

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08:27 AM ET 09.18 | By early 2013, we may be hearing more and more about the possibility of replacement players. In previous labour battles they have cancelled a half season, a whole season and even had a year where they did not award a Stanley Cup. One former NHL executive feels if a labour deal is not worked out with the players by Jan. 15, 2013, the NHL hiring non-union players could be the owners' prerogative and very well their next logical move. And former Maple Leaf assistant general manager Bill Watters said make no mistake, it could be done very easily. "There are enough free agents around and players under contract in junior, on reserve lists and in the AHL to ice a team in every city," said Watters. "It is conceivable."

Toronto Sun

Gary Bettman, Getty Images Gary Bettman, Getty Images
September 18, 2012  08:34 AM ET

September 18, 2012  08:41 AM ET

Yeah, that would be worth 39% higher ticket prices.

September 18, 2012  08:51 AM ET
QUOTE(#2):

Yeah, that would be worth 39% higher ticket prices.

No shytte

September 18, 2012  08:54 AM ET

Bill Watters is confused. He thought he was watching replacement players in Toronto for this past decade.

September 18, 2012  08:57 AM ET
QUOTE(#2):

Yeah, that would be worth 39% higher ticket prices.

LMAO. Maybe even more? It's hard to find anybody to root for in this dispute. I can't stand Bettman as the "face of ownership" or the Fehrless leader of the poor downtrodden and impoverished players. A pox on both their houses. As I said yesterday the ONLY ones I feel sympathy for are the folks who actually work for a living and depend on the sport for their jobs. And of course the nitwits who pay those prices................not corporations who buy them for business purposes, but people who actually pay for them and attend the games.

September 18, 2012  08:59 AM ET
QUOTE(#2):

Yeah, that would be worth 39% higher ticket prices.

NO no no, remember Gary said last lockout our prices would go down. So this will go down even more this time.

September 18, 2012  09:03 AM ET
QUOTE(#6):

NO no no, remember Gary said last lockout our prices would go down. So this will go down even more this time.

My bad, thank goodness you are here to bring in the voice of reason

September 18, 2012  09:03 AM ET

I believe hockey fans are smarter than football fans. Football fans willingly swallowed replacement players being shoved down their throats. Hopefully hockey fans realize there has NEVER been an NHL strike. Ever. It's always NHL lockouts. The owners going "We want more and if you don't agree, we'll take our pucks and go home."
What is this CRAP? Baseball players never ever accepted the idea it's THEIR fault that owners pay more than they can afford. Neither should football or basketball players.

September 18, 2012  09:11 AM ET
QUOTE(#6):

NO no no, remember Gary said last lockout our prices would go down. So this will go down even more this time.

i was confused on that myself...

Comment #10 has been removed
September 18, 2012  09:14 AM ET

Instead of "The Draft" they could call it "Picking Scabs."

September 18, 2012  09:19 AM ET

no no no no no no no

September 18, 2012  09:26 AM ET

by the way, love this woman's voice. I watched an "unplugged" show recently....amazing

September 18, 2012  09:29 AM ET

No one is going to watch replacement players. That's the stupidest idea I've ever heard. This isn't football. This is the 4th most popular sport in the U.S. My team would have to pay me 100 bucks a game to get me to go to one of those games.

It seems very possible that the owners have just destroyed their league. The players don't seem like they're going to relent and many of them are finding it easy to "go home" and play. Why would they come back? If Ovechkin, for instance, is making 5 mil a season in the KHL (as opposed to 9 mil in the states) and has lost two of his prime years to lockouts, why would he come back? He's still making bank, and he prefers Russia to the U.S. anyway. He's probably never going to be the player he once was anyway, so why take the heat in the U.S. when he can have it easy in his homeland and still make great $? I think the owners believe they have more leverage than they actually do.

September 18, 2012  09:30 AM ET

No one is going to watch replacement players. That's the stupidest idea I've ever heard. This isn't football. This is the 4th most popular sport in the U.S. My team would have to pay me 100 bucks a game to get me to go to one of those games.

It seems very possible that the owners have just destroyed their league. The players don't seem like they're going to relent and many of them are finding it easy to "go home" and play. Why would they come back? If Ovechkin, for instance, is making 5 mil a season in the KHL (as opposed to 9 mil in the states) and has lost two of his prime years to lockouts, why would he come back? He's still making bank, and he prefers Russia to the U.S. anyway. He's probably never going to be the player he once was anyway, so why take the heat in the U.S. when he can have it easy in his homeland and still make great $? I think the owners believe they have more leverage than they actually do.

September 18, 2012  09:34 AM ET
QUOTE(#15):

No one is going to watch replacement players. That's the stupidest idea I've ever heard. This isn't football.

Exactly.

September 18, 2012  09:35 AM ET
QUOTE(#15):

No one is going to watch replacement players. That's the stupidest idea I've ever heard. This isn't football.

And when the NFL tried it, the idea bombed as well.

Want to kill the small fan base in many US markets, use replacement players.

Hey wait, that might be a GREAT idea. It will undoubtedly leave to franchises collapsing, otherwise known as CONTRACTION.

*off to rethink this idea*

September 18, 2012  09:36 AM ET
QUOTE(#15):

No one is going to watch replacement players. That's the stupidest idea I've ever heard.

People watched replacement players in the NFL. A lot of 'em. They'll watch 'em in every league. Not in the same numbers at first. But they'll be there. Phooey on both parties in this stupid dispute.

September 18, 2012  09:39 AM ET

Quoting Bill Watters.....talk about barrel scraping journalism.

 
September 18, 2012  09:40 AM ET
QUOTE(#18):

People watched replacement players in the NFL. A lot of 'em. They'll watch 'em in every league. Not in the same numbers at first. But they'll be there. Phooey on both parties in this stupid dispute.

NFL is a different ballgame. Big TV money coming in, big money on Sports betting and pools.

Who's buying Center Ice to watch replacement players?

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