Saturday, January 7, 2012

Signs of an upcoming NHL labor war

"Why did the NHLPA not approve our new re-alignment format?  I don't know.  They're always so good to us..."

Last night, the NHL Player's Association did not approve the league's newly proposed conference/playoff format that would accommodate the move of the Atlanta Thrashers to Winnipeg.  The re-alignment was viewed as bad for travel and an unfair playoff format.  This could be viewed upon by fans as the start of long labor negotiations between the league and the players, but in fairness, there have already been some signs of that.  Here's what I mean.

  • The Vancouver Canucks benched Roberto Luongo in favor of Cory Schneider for the team's game in Boston, thus hurting the league's desire for higher scoring games.
  • John Tortorella keeps accusing NHL officiating as being "disgusting," but then apologizes, because he remembers that saying something interesting could generate better ratings.
  • The Player's Association continues to threaten NBC and the NHL by telling them that if they don't get what they want, they will make sure the Florida Panthers make the playoffs. 

  • For Christmas, Donald Fehr sent Gary Bettman and Bill Daly DVDs of the 1994 Major League Baseball post-season highlights, with a note attached, saying: "history repeats itself."
  • Lou Lamoriello promised Gary Bettman that every contract his players sign from now on will be legal...once Zach Parise is re-signed.
  • Guy Boucher's infamous 1-3-1 defensive trap system proves to be an effective way to slow play down, except when they play the Flyers.  Then, it comes to a standstill.
  • Ottawa Senators fans have shown their frustration over a possible NHL labor war by voting their own players into the All-Star Game...FOUR of them!
  • Ilya Bryzgalov has already started searching for a second job if there is no hockey next season.  He's been in contact with NASA, although some believe he's a spy for the Russian space program.  There are crazier people in the universe...maybe.
  • The Phoenix Coyotes have expressed interest in being on national TV now and then, but since NBC never returns their calls, they have threatened to make the Stanley Cup Finals just to be on NBC.
  • Brendan Shanahan keeps trying to suspend Donald Fehr, but the league keeps rejecting him due to violating the spirit of the Collective Bargaining Agreement.  Ironic.
  • The former offensive power-house Washington Capitals insist that they're moving towards a more defensive approach to the game, such as standing on the ice and hoping Mike Green learned how to play defense.
  • Nicklas Lidstrom might retire someday.