Friday, March 11, 2005



The two sides met for only 90 minutes today...Considering all the major players were together in a rare moment, speculation is rampant among my connects that today's meeting was more of a legal formality than an open exchange of ideas...

From a source, "From what we can gather, the NHL told the PA to come up with some new ideas...Find something different to work from. The NHL believes that they have been the ones coming up with all of the ideas to this point. Besides the 24% rollback the NHLPA has done little in the creative department. This meeting could have easily been a fax, but the NHL had this meeting in person to CYA...If the NHPLA doesn't come back with any fresh ideas, the road to replacement players will start to roll."

Another friend at the NHL office had this take: "The owners don't want impasse. Never have. It will never fly with the base. The players don't want the WHA. Some want their own league, but the agents are the voice of reason in that regard. I am hearing that we handed the PA a list of topics that the two sides need to resolve, we also informed the PA of a date by which the lockout will be over "one way or the other." (That date is reportedly around May 1) We said the PA needs to come through with some ideas"

A source within the PA said in an IM: "We are ahead of them on this. Bob has hired some good minds to come up with some solid new concepts. We have always been a big fan of a franchise player exception, so I expect that to be a component."

Also the NHL, NBC, and ESPN have reportedly been meeting in regards to new ways of televising the sport including changing the color of the ice surface to light blue. A photographer friend of mine has long said the worst thing to view through a lens is dark objects moving on a solid white background. The blue ice will be tested in Buffalo for the AHL franchise in a few upcoming games. They will also change the blue lines to orange lines for the experiment. I am a huge supporter of blue ice. They also intend to film more from behind the goals higher up, in the format that most of us who play video hockey are familiar with. Along with end-zone cameras, they are going to hang fixed cameras from the center ice scoreboards that will take in the entire offensive zone in one shot...great for power plays, and the feeling is it will be easier to follow the play if the camera is stationary. Also expect cameras that move like those in the NFL.

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