Friday, May 06, 2005

 

Big Day

It will be very interesting to see what the PA comes back with after spending a very late evening looking into some new concepts put forth by the NHL. The rumor is they are going to counter this morning which is a very good sign. From a source, "In the past when the NHL has put forth a proposal like this one they have done so in a way that implied a 'take it or leave it' attitude. Then afterwards, Gary comes out and says something like, 'We don't know why they didn't negotiate'. This time it is much more of a negotiation and everyone in the room yesterday left with very positive thoughts about the discussions."

A top NHL source agreed adding "The players (Linden, Guerin, etc.) were much more engaged than the leadership above them." he went on to say that all depends today on "League-wide Revenues. The low and high points of the range are tied to what the amount of League-wide revenues are. So the range will all depend on how much damage we've done to the business."

Hats off to the Owner of the Ottawa Senators today...via the Ottawa Sun, Senators owner Eugene Melnyk told the Sun yesterday that he's confident the NHL and NHLPA will have a collective bargaining agreement in place for the 2005-06 season to start on time in October. In fact, Melnyk said Senators president Roy Mlakar has informed employees they will be back to five-day work weeks at full salary starting May 30, while many who have been laid off could be back by mid-July. "We're going to get back to business as usual," said Melnyk. "I'm the eternal optimist. I'm hopeful that we're going to have a deal in place and I'm excited because I believe hockey is going to be back in the fall. "We've had the employees on four-day work weeks and we've basically been going with a skeleton staff. We're assuming we're going to have a season next October and we've got to have everybody in place to be ready for it." Melnyk said he couldn't comment on the use of replacement players, but he's confident NHL commissioner Gary Bettman and union boss Bob Goodenow will find common ground. "I just hope for everybody's sake that hockey is back in the fall," said Melnyk. "I really miss it. Events like the Kentucky Derby are great, but to me there's nothing like a Saturday night watching hockey."

Finally, I appreciate all the e-mails asking me to defend myself from constant attacks by the moderators of HFBoards.com...They have a policy on blogs, and despite the fact that I have been published in Inside Hockey, and have another story coming up, and the fact that I have been ahead of the curve on every report in the last month (the six dates for meetings, who is at the meetings, what was discussed, etc.)...anyway it is their forum and they can do what they wish with it. I think they have THE BEST message board on hockey on the planet with writers I respect like Paul Dupont and Bob McKenzie posting there... guys I grew up admiring. I would love to post as well, i read it ten times a day, but I am not going to make a case of it...it is their right.

PS. I wouldn't mind someone here defending me!



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