Thursday, June 02, 2005


Brace Yourself

Slept in a little today.

Figured it would be needed. Today could be crazy again, and tonight could be long...

I encourage all to check out Helene Elliott and Chris Foster's story giving what I feel are the first real details of the CBA.,1,7062784.story?coll=la-headlines-sports&ctrack=2&cset=true

From her story,

"Players have proposed accepting the 24% salary rollback they put forth in December, but only if last season's contracts are honored. NHL officials say the 2004-05 season should be wiped off contracts."

This is where I believe the owners could throw their biggest bone. If the owners either wipe away the 24% or honor last season's contracts this will be over. My educated guess says they will do one or the other in a trade for the 54% linkage. That is not coming from anywhere or any source, just a guess...

The distrust issue is still huge with both sides worrying the other could sabotage the deal.

The owners are of course worried about Goodenow. On source told me, "goodenow tried to ramp up the optimism yesterday." He is looking for any leverage he can get. Basically, from what I can tell, Bob's new tactic is playing the martyr. "I was pushed aside, I'd love to help, but I can't, I told them to use me but they want to do it their way, this is Trevor's deal.." all things people have told me he has said. It is an interesting tactic, because guys like Trevor who haven't done this before may start to doubt themselves as this gets tougher.

Meanwhile a player who's views represent a bunch of players said this... "I do believe the PA is split with Saskin, Linden, Gartner etc up against Bob, Irbe, Damphousse and others. The majority of the players do side with the moderate Linden faction. The key as to whether this gets done is not within the PA but lies with the NHL. If Bettman, as only Gary can be, chooses to be arrogant and overplays his hand then this thing just may blow up. If the NHL gives the moderates within the PA enough to save some face and be able to sell it then we are done within the week-10 days. Bettman should just try for a triple rather than a Home Run and this will be over......"

From one my best sources who is not at the NHL but is close to the NHL, "It is Bettman's and the league's intention to forge a stronger partnership as we move forward here." That is not lip service. That is the reality of the situation. Without that partnership everyone loses.

From another source, "When this is over, it will be pretty much the NHL against the world. If they don't start working together and get past this quickly, they will get eaten alive."

The fact is this. Bettman and Goodenow are both just doing their jobs.

I do believe that. And part of that job is unfortunately being the face of the enemy.

Frankly even though this distrust exists, so does great momentum. I am as close to 100% as I can be that we will see NHL hockey back for this season. And that we will see a draft in June or July...I also believe this deal will be done soon, but there will be a process that follows the completion that will mean no official announcement for a week or two...I have been told by several sources that this is a fact.

Finally, check out my new chat page at From there you can not only go to the Eklund Chat Room (which has been booming the last few days) but you can also go to a chat room for all thirty teams. When all is said and done I will be hosting players and other hockey personalities on a regular basis in my room for you all to chat with the fans. Yesterday was a great day for people joining the Insider service. Thanks, we had some good chats.

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