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Deal by Thursday ... or it's season over

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08:26 AM ET 01.04 | Yes, it's coming down to the wire. A veteran member of the NHL's board of governors says commissioner Gary Bettman is prepared to cancel the season on Thursday if a deal has not been reached or appears to be imminent. The chill that has settled on NHL labour negotiations is all part of a Don Fehr plan to push commissioner Bettman into a corner for one last squeeze and there could be unfortunate circumstances for hockey fans. ... The league believes Fehr is unwilling to do a deal until after Bettman has cancelled the NHL season and the union leader is now slowing the process one last time to increase pressure on the commissioner, said the governor late Thursday night. Such a gambit could be put to the test as early as next Thursday and the governor said it will come up empty for the players and finally the fans.

Winnipeg Free Press

Sidney Crosby, Getty Images Sidney Crosby, Getty Images
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January 4, 2013  08:49 AM ET

A veteran member of the NHL's board of governors says commissioner Gary Bettman is prepared to cancel the season on Thursday if a deal has not been reached or appears to be imminent.

While I cannot attest to the veracity of anything appearing in The Winnipeg Free Press...this speaks to what a lot of us have been saying, and contradicts the teory that Bettman is just an "owners' puppet". Bettman calls the shots, always has. He is as the great philosopher Buzz Lightyear would have called him...a sad, strange little man"

January 4, 2013  08:54 AM ET
QUOTE(#3):

A veteran member of the NHL's board of governors says commissioner Gary Bettman is prepared to cancel the season on Thursday if a deal has not been reached or appears to be imminent. While I cannot attest to the veracity of anything appearing in The Winnipeg Free Press...this speaks to what a lot of us have been saying, and contradicts the teory that Bettman is just an "owners' puppet". Bettman calls the shots, always has. He is as the great philosopher Buzz Lightyear would have called him...a sad, strange little man"

hit the nail on the head again, Spiny.

If he were a puppet, he'd have to contend with the majority vocal or not that actually do want a season no matter what. This form of thuggery is unsurprising, nor shocking, but no-one is innocent in this deal anymore, everyone involved has to take their share of the guilt, and assuage us the fans and pray that we deign return to this league. Were another league to spring up in it's place, I imagine people would flock to it in droves.

January 4, 2013  08:55 AM ET
QUOTE(#2):

I honestly feel like moving to Florida right now.I turn on the national news - lockout is one of the top stories.I turn on the local news - lockout is one of the top stories.I turn on the punjabi news - lockout is one of the top stories.I'm absolutely sick. I suppose I should be thankful I live in a place where something this irrelevant is one of the most newsworthy items daily, rather than some of the disgusting crap that happens on this planet. But I seriously cannot take it anymore. I don't care what day of the lockout we are on. I don't care that talks went up or down. Are they talking? Yes? That's the story! I don't care that players are voting again on whether or not they should vote again to decertify on a later date that may never arrive. I don't need to hear about that 4000 times a day. Americans - were things this absurd during the NBA/NFL stoppages last year? Or are we as Canadians just THAT effin boring that we have absolutely nothing else of note to discuss on our current events programming?

this brings up a very interesting point though Danny.
While yes, I would sure rather be here (or Canada) than say...Aleppo or Pyongyang...places with real problems to deal with...like dying....what does it say about the "western" way of looking at things when (simplistically) millionaires of varying degrees are fighting for, well...more millions? I think it shows that on this side of the ledger, we are quite the greedy bunch. And that this is important I guess is some solace (that we don't have to worry about being killed every day) but that our thirst for MORE MORE MORE can never seem to be sated is disturbing.
And you wouldn't like Florida by the way...

January 4, 2013  09:09 AM ET

Why wait Gary? Just do it today. Nobody south of the border cares anyway. I feel bad for all of the Canadians. They so getting screwed by both sides in this disaster.

January 4, 2013  09:16 AM ET
QUOTE(#6):

Why wait Gary? Just do it today. Nobody south of the border cares anyway. I feel bad for all of the Canadians. They so getting screwed by both sides in this disaster.

That's where you are wrong, there are a lot of people that care about this whole exchange, and it's not just the personnel from the arenas themselves, but also the flow on business to the restaurants and other service providers that stay afloat because of the dollars they get during the season.

Also, believe or not the diehard fans still care, They love the game, not the idiots that ruin it for us.

'nuff said.

January 4, 2013  09:29 AM ET
QUOTE(#2):

I honestly feel like moving to Florida right now.I turn on the national news - lockout is one of the top stories.I turn on the local news - lockout is one of the top stories.I turn on the punjabi news - lockout is one of the top stories.I'm absolutely sick. I suppose I should be thankful I live in a place where something this irrelevant is one of the most newsworthy items daily, rather than some of the disgusting crap that happens on this planet. But I seriously cannot take it anymore. I don't care what day of the lockout we are on. I don't care that talks went up or down. Are they talking? Yes? That's the story! I don't care that players are voting again on whether or not they should vote again to decertify on a later date that may never arrive. I don't need to hear about that 4000 times a day. Americans - were things this absurd during the NBA/NFL stoppages last year? Or are we as Canadians just THAT effin boring that we have absolutely nothing else of note to discuss on our current events programming?

Sounds like something akin to cabin fever.

January 4, 2013  09:37 AM ET

Bettman tried to sneak out the provision that penalized teams for hiding HRR. The NHLPA noticed it and it was put back. I'm sure there are other hidden bombs in the league proposal. Fehr is right not to trust Bettman. The Winnipeg Free Press doesn't report any of this, so I'll report it for them. Your welcome!

January 4, 2013  09:57 AM ET
QUOTE(#5):

this brings up a very interesting point though Danny.While yes, I would sure rather be here (or Canada) than say...Aleppo or Pyongyang...places with real problems to deal with...like dying....what does it say about the "western" way of looking at things when (simplistically) millionaires of varying degrees are fighting for, well...more millions? I think it shows that on this side of the ledger, we are quite the greedy bunch. And that this is important I guess is some solace (that we don't have to worry about being killed every day) but that our thirst for MORE MORE MORE can never seem to be sated is disturbing.And you wouldn't like Florida by the way...

We have real problems to deal with Spiny. Why just the other day the maid hadn't finished the vacuuming before it was time for my nap. Would I be able to fall asleep. It was a worry.

And last week I fretted over how dressed up to get before going out and paying the gardener. The stress, the stress, can an ulcer be very far in my future?

January 4, 2013  10:05 AM ET

I find it hard to believe that anyone can place much blame on the players or fehr, after the owners put the provision in to remove the penalties on clubs that impropery report hrr.... its stupidity like this that continually set the talks back.... theres no trust at all between these sides and with actions like these its easy to see why the players dont trust the owners as far as they can throw them..... now that would be entertainment.... players picking up some selected owners and throwing them...

January 4, 2013  10:05 AM ET

The change was spelled out and highlighted. Fehr knew this a week earlier but waited till now to say anything to make it look bad for the NHL. It wasn't the NHL trying to pull a fast one. Fehr is an idiot who is destroying the game. Every time they come to an agreement on the "fundamental issues", another one becomes a "fundamental issue". First it was the revenue share, then it was the contract length, and now its the pension. And of course at each turn he said that that was the main delay to coming to an agreement. It is obvious that Fehr has no regard for the game. I am on the owners side in this 100%. The players look greedy making pensions such a big issue. No one gets pensions anymore. We have to contribute to a 401k on our own. The players make millions and you are telling me they cant invest on their own like the regular joe needs to? I am beyond disgusted at the players.

January 4, 2013  10:20 AM ET
QUOTE(#2):

I honestly feel like moving to Florida right now.

Movin' to Montana soon

Gonna be a Dental Floss tycoon


Beats this crap.....

January 4, 2013  10:22 AM ET
QUOTE(#13):

Movin' to Montana soonGonna be a Dental Floss tycoonBeats this crap.....

Didn't know you were a Zappa fan there Hank.

January 4, 2013  10:24 AM ET
QUOTE(#14):

Didn't know you were a Zappa fan there Hank.

You bet yer sweet bippy.

January 4, 2013  10:26 AM ET
QUOTE(#12):

The change was spelled out and highlighted. Fehr knew this a week earlier but waited till now to say anything to make it look bad for the NHL. It wasn't the NHL trying to pull a fast one. Fehr is an idiot who is destroying the game. Every time they come to an agreement on the "fundamental issues", another one becomes a "fundamental issue". First it was the revenue share, then it was the contract length, and now its the pension. And of course at each turn he said that that was the main delay to coming to an agreement. It is obvious that Fehr has no regard for the game. I am on the owners side in this 100%. The players look greedy making pensions such a big issue. No one gets pensions anymore. We have to contribute to a 401k on our own. The players make millions and you are telling me they cant invest on their own like the regular joe needs to? I am beyond disgusted at the players.

A week earlier there was no negotiating happening so i doubt fehr knew about it.... and union employees get pensions... and they are called fundamental issueS.... the nhl and nhlpa both call them the fundamental issues because they are the core of the agreement and where the majority of the differences reside.

January 4, 2013  10:44 AM ET
QUOTE(#2):

I turn on the national news - lockout is one of the top stories.I turn on the local news - lockout is one of the top stories.I turn on the punjabi news - lockout is one of the top stories. I'm absolutely sick. I suppose I should be thankful I live in a place where something this irrelevant is one of the most newsworthy items daily, rather than some of the disgusting crap that happens on this planet.

C'mon! Do you really expect suicide bombings, natural disasters and school shootings to get more coverage than a hockey lockout? If that's what you expect ... you're living in the Land Of Oz, my friend!

January 4, 2013  10:47 AM ET
QUOTE(#17):

you're living in the Land Of Oz, my friend!

and Bettman or Fehr can be all three main characters:
No heart
No brains
certainly no courage....
Only difference is, we want THEM to go home!!!

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