Breaking Sports

Saturday, February 05, 2005

A Little off Topic

Looks like a slow, breaking news night, so I thought I would post a great video. I believe it is a high school kid who rebounded a missed foul shot, threw the ball full court, bingo, swish and game winner. Watch all the different reactions ( (will open WMP -video, takes about 20 seconds to load with broadband).

Talks to resume by Monday

from the toronto star, These talks aren't over and the season isn't about to be cancelled. Expect negotiations to resume by Monday. NHL people seem to say, "Just give us a salary cap and this sport will be great." The union, meanwhile, argues, "Just don't make us take a salary cap and all will be well." Neither is true, of course. That said, the union may yet get the opportunity, at least, to prove that its boast is closer to the truth.

Cancel the Season - maybe Never

from the ottawa sun, Bettman won't officially cancel the season because it could hurt his attempt to declare an impasse in September and bring in replacement players.

I think Bettman is just afraid to pull the trigger and end the season. The backlash the announcement would receive may be devastating to his career and probably destroy him in the eyes of die-hard hockey purists.

What is Bettman Thinking

A perfect opportunity to caption the photo below. Let's see how creative you can get. My contribution is "NHL fans, I do have a brain, it's right here".

Friday, February 04, 2005

The Three Insiders

from tsn, Burke, Healy and McKenzie discuss the last two days of meetings (will open WMP-video).
McKenzie says another week to go. Healy says stick a fork in it and you can watch Burke.

Is it Possible

Some talk about the two sides getting back together tomorrow. Again, this is just talk, nothing more.
Anyone else getting tired; I thought I could ride this out, but not sure how much more I can take.

I Thought Groundhog Day was Over

Thanks to hahkeeroolz for this information. I was taking a break.

Collective bargaining update
NEW YORK (February 4, 2005) - National Hockey League Executive Vice President and Chief Legal Officer Bill Daly today released this statement following a collective bargaining meeting with representatives of the NHL Players' Association:

"We had extensive and constructive talks over the past two days. While there are no future meetings scheduled, we have agreed to keep the lines of communication open.

"Despite several media reports to the contrary, we have no intention of making any further announcement relating to collective bargaining or the status of the season at this time."

Time for a Break

I need to kick back for a bit. If anything major breaks and I hear about it, I will of course post it.
I am sure the NHL will have some kind of statement soon.

Sounds like Bettman

had security personnel create a diversion on one side of the building, media followed them and then Bettman exited the other side of the building.

More Info

"We meet the last couple of day, to see if there was common ground. Parties agreed to stay in touch. That is about it." - Goodenow

NHLPA Statement

Met for four hours, no progress was made.

Still No NHL Statement

Nothing from NHL yet.

Still Nothing from NHL

It is my understanding Bettman has the sole authority to cancel the season but "should" consult with the Board of Governors first.

Still Waiting For Bettman

No release from Bettman/NHL yet.

Goodenow Appeared on Steps

Appeared to be angered, made the statement and left. No NHL statement yet.

Bad News

Goodenow saying no go, not a ton of hope, going back to Toronto.

TSN says Mtg Over

tsn says it is over too.

Talks Over

No other info.
update: waiting to hear more, mojo radio in Vancouver just cut in with talks over.

Still in Meeting

Both sides continue to meet in NYC.
The talk today, and just talk is the CBA negotiation revolves around linkage. Rumor is players will agree to cap as long as linkage is not part of the CBA. Remember, just talk.

All Corners of the Building Surrounded

Media has every exit of the building covered. They will report as soon as anything breaks.

Stepping Out

Leaving computer for about 30 minutes, will be back and stay put for the rest of the day.
Meeting still going on, someone please send a pizza to the media guys please.

Brian Burke on Vancouver Radio

Brian saying he has heard both good and bad things from different sources. Good sign that the meetings are going on but are they accomplishing anything.
Bizarre situation going on, will there be a cap or not. If there is a cap, how does Goodenow dance around the "we will never agree to a cap".
Time will tell.
Now Keith Tkachuk on same station. Said he is waiting by his computer just to see if he gets any update. Has all the faith in the world the union would get the best deal for every player in the league. Keith thought remarks by JR were kind of strange but that is his opinion.
He tried to talk to Goodenow last night but was unable to reach him. Feels the players have made great offers but NHL did not want to negotiate, but things may be different yesterday and today.

Detroit Radio a day Behind

Both Detroit sports radio stations are still reporting the EJ Hradek story from yesterday. The are actually using it in their sports updates saying the season could still be canceled today.
Even if the NHL and NHLPA walked out of the meeting right now, Bettman would meet with the Board of Governors before any announcement was made. Again, another sign of Detroit media being lazy and not following a story.

Let's get Involved

I see from my stat counter, fans from Philly, Buffalo, Toronto, Montreal and Edmonton are hitting Breaking Sports on a regular basis.
Your input would be welcomed here, even though this blog is mainly for Detroit fans. Right now we are all hockey fans and most of us want to see the boys back on the ice.

Jocelyn Thibault - Blackhawks OK with Cap

J.T., player rep of the Blackhawks, just mentioned his teammates will accept a cap if necessary.

update 12:27pm: Jocelyn Thibault is now on team 590 radio and said if the NHL took away the linkage, then maybe the players would think about a cap. Just wanted to clarify.

NHl/NHLPA Meeting

Meeting has started, on the 49th floor of the CitiGroup Building. I hope no one jumps later in the day.

Larry Brooks back in Business

from the nypost, Bettman's job on the line.

Meeting expected to

start just before noon per team 590am in Toronto. Today is the big day, if they walk out early, season is over, if it goes past 5-6 hours, things will appear much brighter.
Talk is 28-30 game season beginning March 1st thru end of April. First two playoff rounds best out of five.
Citigroup Center is the place for the meeting today.

I am stepping away for about 45 minutes, will update when I return.

John Davidson

Was just on Vancouver radio, not sure if CBA will get resolved, but they actually negotiated. JD said meeting not at Regency Park Hotel and that EJ Hradek quote about the league canceling the season today is not true. Not one owner is aware of what is going on in the meetings.
He also believes there will be a cap but cost certainty is the issue. Players do not want that because the percentage of the revenue can float from season to season.

Update: JD also said meeting will start late this morning.

Detail of the CBA

To see what kind of detail goes into the CBA, you can view the 1995 CBA at letsgopens. Can the NHL and NHLPA get this all worked out and agreed upon is the question.

While we Wait

No official word on what time today's meeting will start, so I would like to ask you; will a new CBA deal be in place by end of day tomorrow? Please let me know what you think and also what NHL team do you follow the most.

Shanahan Keeping options Open

from canoe, Brendan Shanahan is working ot with a lacrosse team, also thinking of playing hockey in Europe next year.

Up-To-Date Coverage All Day

I will be providing breaking, CBA coverage as it happens all day and night (if needed) today. Please stop by or just keep Breaking Sports active and hit refresh throughout the day.
Over 8000 unique visitors yesterday and 17,000 page views, which is a good indication many people were using the "refresh" button yesterday.

Detroit Newspapers coverage of CBA

Detroit Free Press - No story in the online edition of the freep. Did they lay-off their hockey writer?
Detroit News - Not much better, Headline reads, "NHL Season to go on Ice".
The Oakland Press - Appears to be a wire service story, "NHL puts in long day of talking".
The online edition of the Tampa Tribune reports "Late-Night Talks Provide Glimmer Of Hope".

So other media outlets can report up to date stories, but Detroit area papers are dropping the ball on hockey cverage; WHY?

Talks to Contiue Today

Most of you are probably aware CBA talks will continue today. Let's take a look how the media is reporting the situation.
-Newsday, It was a scenario quite similar to the turning-point day during the 1994-95 lockout when Goodenow and Bettman, who didn't meet face-to-face for more than a month, sat down for a marathon session Jan. 9, 1995, on the eve of an imposed deadline to call off the season. Two days later, they had a deal.
-Sportsnet, "I don't know why you wouldn't look at it as anything but positive," an NHL general manager who requested anonymity told The Canadian Press on Thursday night. "A deal is only going to get done by the two bodies working at it.
ESPN, Trying to decipher the nature of a meeting about which there is no real first-hand information is a mug's game. There have been lengthy meetings between the two sides at various points since the lockout began Sept. 15. But those "meetings" have often been marked by long periods of "caucusing" which is a lawyers' word for not negotiating but racking up billable hours just the same, being in the same building but not in the same room

Thursday, February 03, 2005

More information coming In

from sportsnet, According to one NHL player who spoke with a union representative Thursday night, there was still lingering hope that the season could be saved.
"I talked to the PA a little while ago and it was neither progressive nor regressive," the player told the Philadelphia Inquirer for Friday's editions. "But the feeling was it can't be anything but positive if they are still involved, still talking in the same room together."


ESPN News reporting meetings are over and no information will be released by the NHL. Then Brian Burke came on and said the NHL has lost the casual fan forever. Following Burke was Barry Melrose and said he cannot understand why the players will not accept a salary cap. Burke chimed in and said Bettman went to the union two years ago and offered them an outstanding contract and the players laughed at him.
Burke says 25% chance of playing this year and Melrose said they will not play.

Trying to Recap

Talks are continuing, NHL will not release any more info tonight. So I guess I am back at this early tomorrow.
This has to be a good sign, at least they are talking. No statements of anything negative, maybe, just maybe, we will see hockey again.
Again I remind you what Scotty Bowman said last week, "The NHL will be back on Saturday".

More from Sportsnet

sportsnet reporting the same as tsn.


Looks like they are continuing discussions, info floating in that talks will continue tonite and probably tomorrow.

Talks still going On

TSN reporting, talks could go to midnight.

Toronto Station Reporting

Per 640am in Toronto, "The meetings will be continuing tonight, but there will not be a comment from either side after this session".

Rumor Again

Team 1040 in Vancouver saying NHL and NHLPA have called a news conference for tomorrow.

update: it is just a rumor, remember, they said a few hours ago the season would be canceled with an announcement tomorrow.

No one else reporting this, classify this is a junk rumor.

This is What I Have- -CBA

Meeting still going on. Again, NHL and NHLPA said no timetable which can mean an all-nighter. No time to say, let's talk again tomorrow. If you hear anything, post it in comments of any thread.
Remember, Goodenow is known as Dr. Midnight!!!

update: still in mtg as of 8:37pm per John Davidson.

TSN Update

Confirming meeting started at 1:30pm, more info here.

Unconfirmed Rumor

Team 1040 radio in Vancouver said a "source" told them the NHL will be canceling the season tomorrow morning. No other media source is reporting this.

NHL/NHLPA Meeting Update

NHL says meeting still going on and no timetable for how long they will continue.

Updated Information on CBA Meeting

CBC now reporting meetings started about 2pm. Still going on, no other info yet.

CBA Meeting Still Continuing

At least they are talking. This is starting to get a little interesting. I just wish the NHL would at least keep the media posted, but they refuse to disclose any information.

NHL - CBA Update

Meeting continuing at the Park Regency Hotel.

Any Hope

Meetings going on either 5 hours or 3 1/2 hours depending on what press source you want to trust. Could this be a good sign?

Still Meeting

Press reports are the meeting is still in progress, that is, as long as they hanging out at the right hotel.

Meeting Time now Questioned

CBC reported the meeting started about noon today, now reports are saying meeting started about 1:30pm. Who knows, media not even sure where the meeting is.

Another CBA Update

Canadian media hanging out at one hotel, no New York media there. Questions now surfacing where is the meeting really being held at.

Update on CBA Meeting

Meeting still going on in a Manhattan Hotel. No other news.

Hatcher, Draper and Chelios

These guys are getting blasted by hockey fans and media all throughout Canada.
Remember those party pictures that were floating around the internet of those three partying after a charity game in Ann Arbor, well they have resurfaced in Canada big time and being posted all over again.
Posing for those pictures was not the best of decisions these guys made.

All is Quite

Still in meeting, opinion of many though is this season is history. Overwhelming blame for all of this is pointed at Bettman, his tactics are being questioned and the owners who want the season to start have no control. They gave all power to Bettman and can do nothing about it.

EJ Hradek Season done in 48 Hours

EJ reporting the season will be canceled within 48 hours if no agreement reached. Well, EJ, not hard to figure that one out.

View for a Player Agent

Many of the player agents feel the proposal put forth by the NHL yesterday was the death nail in the season. They feel if players agreed to that proposal, it would set the NHLPA back 20 years.
Goodenow is going into today's meeting to see if there is any compromise on the NHL proposal, then try to work the December 9th NHLPA proposal into the picture. IF no go, the league's fate is in Betmann's hands.

Steve Thomas, 5% Chance of Agreement

"Stumpy" on Canadian radio, says players will not accept any cap verbage. Suggests try the 24% rollback, then make sure the league is managed and run properly.

Meeting Rumored to Start at Noon eastern

Can't confirm yet, but the word is CBA meeting in NYC t begin at noon, eastern time.

Update: 12:03pm - CBC reporting meeting about to get underway.

Peca Hopeful

Mike Peca thinks they will be playing soon. "There are some things in that proposal that are encouraging," Islanders captain Michael Peca said from his offseason home in the Buffalo suburbs. "Obviously, them talking and getting back [today] is encouraging. Throughout this whole process, I've been 100 percent certain there isn't going to be a season. But it seems like the last couple of days, I've kind of gotten the feeling that something's gonna get done and we're going to be playing hockey again pretty soon."

Nothing to report

Back from my meeting, no news yet, but will be posting all day and night if need be, so stay tuned folks.

Updates Later Today

I have a meeting this morning and will not be able to update Breaking News until late this morning.

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

No Info on PA Teleconference

No word tonight on the conference call with the executive NHLPA board.
Tomorrow should bring us many answers, or maybe just more questions.
Any views on how Goodenow and Bettman will be sleeping tonight?
See you folks tomorrow.

Daly Interview

TSN goes one on one with Bill Daly (will open WMP-video).

TSN Insiders discuss today's and tomorrow's meeting (will open WMP-video).

Goodenow Still Against Cap

from tsn, According to a report in the Hockey News, NHLPA executive director Bob Goodenow remains committed to a non-cap solution to the NHL's labour woes, and will use Thursday's meeting to try and negotiate off of the players' association's December 9 proposal.

Steve Yzerman

Making a long story short, Yzerman in Jacksonville, Detroit Super Bowl Contingent has a large boat hosting all the media types tonight. On the boat are Detroit hosts Gordie Howe, Dave Bing, Barry Sanders, Robert Porcher, maybe a few others.
Well, Tony Ortiz from WXYT is there too and asks Yzerman about CBA. Steve replies we turned it down today and it doesn't look good at all for the season.

Legal Action - Possibility

I don't even want to discuss any legal action from either side, but it is now one of the "hot" topics in Canada. You can read this long, drawn out story and draw your own conclusion.

Bill Daly - This is the Week

Daly mentioned today after the meeting that this week is the drop dead week. I have a feeling tomorrow is do or die. Bettman will want to cancel the season on Friday at the latest unless he really wants to avoid media coverage and do it during Super Bowl weekend or wait until Monday when basically many media members will be traveling.

NHLPA Executive Meeting

One more bit of business left for today, trying to find out what was said in the conference call that is scheduled for late this afternoon.
In case you have not been following along today, the NHLPA executive committee has a conference call scheduled between themselves to discuss a few issues. I imagine it is to get everyone on the same page, let them know what their next course of action is and to make sure all members stick together.
I will try to get some information on this but this could be a difficult task. I will keep you posted if anything breaks.

Player Agent View

A good resource for inside information comes, at times, from the player agent. Many have spoken after the meeting broke up today and all seemed to think the season is doomed. They know what players and management are thinking and have to walk a fine line at times to keep both sides happy. Sad news in my opinion, but needs to be reported.

Ted Saskin of the NHLPA

Just on Toronto radio, said he is not going to say if the meeting was good or bad, just that we are meeting tomorrow.

Players Responding

Marty Turco just on Canadian radio and said PA is more than upset with the methods of the NHL, players cannot believe Bettman ordered the posting of the proposal on the NHL website.

NHLPA responds

NHLPA press release.

Quick Bits

One rumor floating is during the break in the meeting today, NHLPA called Goodenow, Bob told them to ask if there is any flexibility in a few of the issues. Apparently there is some wiggle room so the big boys will meet tomorrow.
The two meeting is not a sign the season would be canceled. Only Bettman would make the call, then Goodenow respond from Toronto, not NYC.

More on Today

TSN recapping info now.


Bettman and Goodenow to attend meetings tomorrow.

Talks Ended

NHLPA walks away, rejected proposal, Goodenow on his way to NYC.

Waiting Game

Looking at my stat counter in the last five minutes, over 200 people have been basically hanging around here for at least the last hour or so. Over 4000 people have hit this site (in and out type hits, averaging about 3 minutes per visit) today only, who said hockey is dead?
I have a feeling no news will be forthcoming within the next hour or so, maybe a great time to take a little break.


Executive players council to have a conference call later this afternoon - confirmed. Hopefully the NHL owners will do the same.

Meeting Still Going

confirmed by TSN.

More Info

NHL tactics of releasing proposal is now being referred to as union busting. At least ten of the NHL owners are ready to break ranks and tell Bettman to shove it. Bettman refuses to gather the Board of Governors fearing all hell breaking loose,

Sportsnet Saying Players Reject Offer

Someone is wrong here, can anyone figure this out?

Meeting still On

Meetings still going on..confirmed.

More info Coming

Trying to nail down what is actually happening, should be very soon.

Conflicting Reports

Here we go again, reports streaming in meeting is taking place in New Jersey, just broke for lunch, meeting not over.
Then another report saying NHLPA has laughed off the latest proposal.
My opinion, this proposal should never have been made public.

Big Mistake NHL

Since when has broken any news story within 20 minutes of it breaking. The proposal can be found on their website but this stinks of NHL posturing. Terrible decision Bettman.

NHLPA not Impressed

Word is the PA is not happy with the proposal and hot that it was released to the public. Guess we will soon find out how strong the NHLPA really is.

New Proposal

Info here on new proposal. What do you think?

CBA News

Info coming in:
jointly monitored books, floating cap depending on revenue for that year, cap for first year will be 32-42 million.
six full seasons with players re-opening after four years.
Sorry for such raw material, this info was released by the NHL which is not good news. Typical move to pressure PA to make a decision.

CBA Meeting has Started

The meeting was scheduled for mid-day in Manhattan, and it is underway. I will keep you updated with any breaking news.

Yzerman, Don't Sell Out Younger Players

from the Ottawa Sun, Steve Yzerman says NHL players can't sell out the next generation. The Red Wings' longtime captain and star centre told the Sun in an exclusive interview near his Detroit home yesterday that if the union was to accept the current offer from the NHL to end the labour dispute, the NHLPA would be "selling out" future players.


Some things to consider why the NHL owners may want to soften their stance a bit:

1) owners pay back all season ticket money
2) owners cant sell season tickets for next year and start earning interest on that money 3) sponsors take their business elsewhere and many already have, both on the team and league level
4) another year of not meeting lease and broadcast commitments

Hard Cap Still the Issue

from the NYTimes, req. subscription, The proposal, which is expected to be given by the league to the N.H.L. Players' Association today in New York, is unlikely to settle the dispute.
A current NHL owner told Joe Lapointe (another ex-Wing beat writer), "It's cloaked in a way that will allow them to save face," he said, referring to a possible union reaction. "But, when you look down under the covers, it's a hard salary cap."
The owner, speaking yesterday, said that declaring an impasse remained an option for the owners; if that were to happen, they would seek it before the National Labor Relations Board, then implement new work rules to reopen the business in the fall.

God Signs, Bad Signs to Look For

Good Signs:
  • I am not Keith Gave
  • Scotty said last week the NHL would be back on February 6th
  • Bettman and Goodenow not attending today's meeting
  • Art Regner said CBA will not get approved
Bad Signs:
  • Trevor Linden signs to play with another league
  • Al Sobotka begins removing the boards for the JLA
  • Rob Parker tells us his "moles" told him ......anything
  • Bettman calls a press conference for 6:00pm, Super Bowl Sunday

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

More Tomorrow

Closing up shop for the night folks. I will be back at it early Wednesday morning and will be supplying information throughout the day. I leave you with this (will open WMP-audio), and have a great night.

Burke, Healy and McKenzie Video

The three "experts" from tsn discuss what to expect in the meeting tomorrow (will open WMP-video).

Fischler's view on the Meeting

A former NHL team president with an inside view of negotiations predicts that a settlement is possible.

Bettman and Goodneow not attending Wed. Mtg.

from tsn, Sources indicate Wednesday's session at an undisclosed location will only include NHL executive vice-president and chief legal officer Bill Daly, league outside counsel Bob Batterman, NHL Players' Association senior director Ted Saskin and the union's outside counsel John McCambridge.

NHL Player Movement

Hatcher, Chelios and Draper (if he can get insurance) are in a group of NHL players who have signed on with different leagues in the last week. I am sure the NHL is closely watching this movement along with the owners of their respective NHL teams. Do you think Ilitch is slightly concerned that Draper may suffer an injury?
Is this posturing by the NHLPA; sure it is and the response from everyone of these players is "we love hockey and just want to play".
Hopefully this "huge, never-seeming-to-end-mess" can finally get resolved this week.
Just to clear the air a bit, the Wings who have joined the Mechanics made it clear in a press release that they are not taking a spot from a current player by joining the team.

Sportsnet also reporting Meeting Tomorrow

Sources tell Sportsnet the National Hockey League will make an offer to the Player's Association on Wednesday.

ESPN Reporting Meeting Tomrrow

The NHL and NHLPA plan to meet Wednesday either in Toronto or in the New York area, EJ Hradek of ESPN The Magazine reports. The league is expected to make a final offer that will include a salary cap system.

Unique Bowling Game

It has been a long, frustrating day again if you are a NHL fan. Since Detroit is the bowling capital of the world, I thought you might want to relax a bit. Enjoy!!!


Sherry Ross Responds

Ms. Ross thinks both sides have been talking with each other through email, video conferencing, etc. She does not expect NHL to say anything except for "we have an agreement or the season is cancelled".
Both sides are having difficulties with the media, intense scrutiny from internet, talk radio etc. Remember none of that existed back in 1994.
Believes the proposal is as stated earlier in her article and does not include 24% rollback or individual salary cap.
Thinks Bettman is very fearful of his legacy if season does not happen and she sees at least a 30 game season.

Must have some Legs to It

Both Fox Sports and Espn have picked up the NY Daily News story I posted very early this morning. Even though Bill Daly denied the story, I think something is up.
I am waiting to hear from Sherry Ross, the writer of the original story. Sherry I believe covered the Devils as a beat writer, so she does have some hockey knowledge.

How Many Games Could Be Played

Do you realize last year, the Wings played 27 games from February 15th to the end of the regular season. Remember, this is without a compressed schedule so you can see even if the NHL started playing on 2/20 or so, they could easily get in 35-40 games in, especially if they extended the regular season by a week.

Bettman must step Up

from Bob McKenzie of tsn, One league source said it's time for Bettman to deliver a proposal, meet with Goodenow, set a date and either negotiate off the proposal or cancel the season if the NHLPA rejects the proposal.


Talk is beginning to surface that Bob Goodenow, leader of the NHLPA, is extremely upset with the tactics of the NHL. Supposedly, the NHL hand-fed Brian Burke with the information he made public yesterday. The NHL wanted the public to know what they were offering the NHLPA in order to pressure them into accepting their proposal. Goodenow is furious with this tactic and is willing to play "staredown" with the Bettman.

Daly Denying CBA Meeting

Bill Daly, VP for the NHL, is denying that a meeting between the NHL and NHLPA is scheduled for today.

NHL may be talking Luxury Tax

from the Toronto Star, Tie Domi has a message for NHL commissioner Gary Bettman and union chief Bob Goodenow: Get back to the bargaining table.
"There's a sense of urgency. It's time for those two guys to get together ... they have an obligation to the 750 players, the 30 owners, the fans, and the thousands of working people this affects, that they give it their best shot to negotiate a deal that they can show both sides. That's what is most important."

NHL Offer Coming Today

As mentioned in Breaking Sports yesterday, the NHL will be making an offer to the NHLPA today. Both sides have been working and posturing for this since the meetings broke up last week.
from the ny daily news, The National Hockey League is expected to make its formal proposal to the Players Association today in what undoubtedly will be the last chance to salvage what is left of the 2004-05 season.

The Lighter Side

One year ago today, Super Bowl XXXVIII took place. Many will recall what happened during halftime of the game more than the game itself.
View, for the first time, what actually caused the wardrobe malfunction (will open WMP-video, safe for work).

Monday, January 31, 2005

It is all up to Bettman

It is the moment for Bettman to act like a responsible person. The preceding article is translated from French to English but any hockey fan can understand it. It is time Gary, get a deal done.
Here is the article from, you will need to translate it from French to English.

One More League Move

Stan Fischler writes, The National Hockey League Collective Bargaining Agreement homestretch is upon us and the two contestants are heading for the finish line in what appears to be a dead heat. That’s “dead” as in dead NHL season. But, insiders tell me that there is still a reasonable possibility of it being salvaged. For that to happen, it would hinge on a brand-new NHL offer that would be one that the entire NHLPA membership would have trouble rejecting.

Final NHL Proposal Coming

from newsday, dated 2-1-05, The NHL and the NHL Players' Association on Monday confirmed that another negotiating session will take place before the week is out.
NHL chief counsel Bill Daly said, "We do expect to meet," while a union spokesman advised there would likely be some news this week.

Video of Brian Burke on TSN Insider

Video of what Burke discussed today. Please note you may have to be a registered member at TSN.

Brian Burke on TSN Insider

Basically just verified what I mentioned earlier in this post. Will it happen, he says he is very optimistic.
update 725pm One of the sticking points is revenue sharing and how does the NHLPA verify the owners books. Well, they are going to propose if owners are caught "cheating the books", they receive a $1 million fine and loss of 1st round draft choice. Caught again, $5 million and lose 3 first rounders.
If they are this deep into discussions, it must mean they may have settled on the cap issues and this may be the last hurdle to clear.

4 Wings sign with Mechanics

Draper, Maltby, Hatcher and Chelios have signed with the Motor City Mechanics, more info to come.
Maltby now denying story as of 552pm.

NHL Agents

Some big time agents have talked today and have mentioned they are starting to receive some phone calls from NHL GM's regarding some of their free agent players. Could be a good sign.

The World is Coming

The world will soon be here, is Detroit ready?

NHL Update

Most of you know what figures have been tossed around so I will bypass the detail and get to the sticky points.
  1. If arbitration is awarded to a player, management wants to be able to come back and re-apply for salary arbitration if the player has a bad year.
  2. 50/50 split of profits after a certain $$$ amount, both sides have different figures in mind.
  3. Who audits the books to look for profit or loss, players want a 3rd party, owners don't.
  4. CBA can be re-opened after four years, players want three years.

More people sound like Jimmy Develanno

Many of us know Jimmy D., VP for the Detroit Red Wings, painted a bleak picture of the future of hockey this season. Well, Marc Engel, beat writer for the Dallas Stars is painting the same picture yesterday. The problem I have is people saying wait until next year and get it right. What do people think would happen to the game and the heritage of the sport in the meantime?
from, There comes a point when cramming for a test is a waste of time, because there isn't enough time. It has come to that point for the NHL. There isn't enough time to cram in the rest of the season. Even if the league and the union magically come to an 11th-hour-and-59th-minute agreement, the on-ice game and off-ice promotion would be the equivalent of that planned Rocky VI: a waste of time. It would be better for all concerned if the NHL just waits 'til next season.

CBA Meeting to resume Tuesday

Sources tell me the CBA meetings will resume again on Tuesday and this will be the last go-around between the NHL and NHLPA. The players know exactly what they want and will wall away if no contract is agreed upon. This is the end or beginning of the NHL as we know it.

Ken Holland Interview

Just to update anyone who may have missed the Holland radio interview this morning, he was his typical, non-committal self. When asked what his gut feeling was, he responded that he is hopeful, some days he is optimistic and other days not so.
He also said he doesn't want to see a 10 or 16 regular season schedule so he expects more talks very soon, almost like he knew they were going to talk but just didn't say it. Also mentioned the NHL players in the Euro Leagues would just come back if the CBA was reached; not really a problem that today is the "set your rosters for the rest of the season day" in those leagues.
update: 11:23am Mike Keenen, GM for the Florida Panthers, was interviewed on Team 590 out of Toronto and sees no action, feels no hockey this year.

Freddie Mitchell Fro-Hawk

Freddie Mitchell of the Philadelphia Eagles sported a Fro Hawk for the NFC Championship. Be prepared with the question of the week, "What style will you wear on Sunday, Freddie"?

Larry Brown to the Knicks - No!

Mitch Albom puts and end to the rumor that Larry Brown might be coaching the New York Knicks next year.
from the Detroit Free Press, So I called Brown, and it took awhile to reach him Sunday. When I finally did, he denied any of the suggestions the Post writer made.
"I told the guy I'm gonna coach in Detroit and this is gonna be my last coaching job... My statement to him was I'm not coaching anywhere else, this is my last coaching job. My goal is to finish here and hang with my family."

NHL Update

Bill Daly, executive VP of the NHL, yesterday said he does not believe there is a difference of opinion as expressed by the NHLPA. He believes the PA must change their stance on a salary cap in order for a deal to be reached.
Daly stated their are no talks planned but does expect to hear from the NHLPA sometime early this week.
The NHL has proposed a salary cap with a ceiling of $42 million and a floor of $32 million. The problem the PA has is the league does not want the ceiling cap to be any higher than 55% of league revenue; the PA wants it to be higher plus they cannot agree on how to figure out the league revenue.
Joe Sakic joined Steve Yzerman saying he is doubtful a season will be played this year.
Doesn't look good folks, more news as it comes in.

Sunday, January 30, 2005

Detroit Red Wing Fans

Just a heads up for Monday morning, Ken Holland will be interviewed around 8:30am on WXYT 1270 on your AM dial. Should be an interesting interview and thank god it is not Jimmy D, I have had enough of that guy to last a lifetime.

Wondering Out Loud

This just in,none of the players from the Eagles or Patriots have had a run-in with the police yet. What are the odds of not one disturbance from a player in the next week? I just have a feeling someone will soon be on the wrong side of the law; just a gut reaction I have right now.

The Silence is Deafening

How many hockey fans have been checking their favorite hockey websites in the last few days to see if any movement has been made with the CBA?
Today I started "Breaking Sports" with the intent to update sports fans on breaking sports stories and to just talk sports. I have been amazed by the amount of traffic I have received today and hope people stop by on a regular basis.
I for one am so anxious just to get this CBA fiasco finished. I hope the NHL and NHLPA realize what we as fans have gone through and just will not assume we will welcome the game back with open arms. If no agreement is reached soon, I fear even the die-hard fans will look back at this year as the moment they gave up on hockey.

Bettman Forgets the Past

Many of you know Stephen A. Smith as a controversial columnist and an ESPN personality. I read his columns faithfully and although I disagree many a time with his views, I do respect his written word.
Today he wrote the greatest column I have ever seen regarding Gary Bettman. Too bad not many people in Canada will see this article, maybe their views would change regarding the czar.
from the Philadelphia Inquirer (may require registration), In 1983, a time when the National Hockey League had no desire to emulate anything about the National Basketball Association, Gary Bettman was perceived as one with the potential to become like David Stern. As shrewd and astute a negotiator as they come, with the pedigree to be the quintessential nightmare for any players' union.
So what's wrong with Bettman now? Stupidity? Stubbornness? Selective amnesia?
Pick one.

No to a shortened NHL Season

The Globe and Mail, the most respected newspaper in Canada, asked their readers a few days ago, "Do you care at this point whether the NHL season resumes?"
Over 21,000 people responded and an unbelievable 87% said no, at this late stage of the game, they wanted no part of a season this year.
Now The Globe and Mail has readers all over Canada, and I could see many fans not in Toronto voting no, but jeez, 87%. Just imagine what a vote like that in the US would be like. 90% would probably say "what is hockey".

What's up with Larry Brown

"I've dreamed about it (coaching the Knicks) a number of times," Brown told The New York Post. Brown also said he's feeling "uncomfortable" about the speculation of the rumor he will be coaching the Knicks next year.
Isn't it about time either Joe Dumars, president of the Pistons or Larry Brown himself speaks out and puts and end to this fiasco? It is easy to do guys by saying something like "Larry Brown is the coach of the Detroit Pistons", end of story.
If L.B. wants to go to New York, fine, but end the speculation now and play some hoop-OK!!! Deal with this at the end of the season.

NHLPA Steaming

We all know the NHL and NHLPA have been going at for quite some time now. The PA is upset with the NHL for agreeing on some factors of the CBA, then changing their minds when it is brought up again. The most recent turnaround is free agency topic, it was worked out that the age for UFA would be 27. Now the NHL has changed that to age 28.
Some of the owners of the large market teams such as Toronto, Detroit, Philadelphia and Colorado are beginning to turn against Gary Bettman. Word is they are pressuring Bettman to get a deal done within the next day or they will begin to publicly speak out.

Priceless Billboards in Green Bay

A group of well placed billboards appeared in Green Bay this week taking a few shots at Randy Moss. Moss simulated mooning the Packer fans recently and has been the target of Green Bay fans ever since.

The first one reads: Squirting an Official With a Water Bottle $25,000.
The second one: Ramming a Meter Maid $1,200 And Probation.
The third: Mooning Pack Fans $10,000.
The fourth: Zero Rings for Randy Moss. PRICELESS.

You can see the billboards here.

NHL Update

from, Pittsburgh Penguins owner and star player Mario Lemieux says the chances of settling the NHL lockout in time to save part of the 2004-05 season are "50-50."
Two days ago, I felt there was going to be a season. Today, I think there is a 10% chance the NHL will be playing this year. Steve Yzerman feels the same way I do and what a terrible way for one of the NHL greats to go out.