Selanne scores lockout knockout as mini-battles brew
The war measures act has gone into effect in the NHL.
Teams have been instructed by the league head office in New York not to use players' images in ads to try to sell season tickets for games that may not be played, sources say. They're seats nobody would buy at this juncture, anyway.
With the lockout taking effect Saturday at 11:59 p.m., NHL personnel isn't allowed to have any contact with the players, who have hit the ice on their own to continue informal workouts.
In places such as Florida, Ottawa and Edmonton, the players have been forced to find their own jerseys to use -- some teams are exercising their right to take back practice jerseys until a new collective bargaining agreement is reached.
Yes, it all sounds petty, but we are in a work stoppage and this battle could only get worse.
OFF THE GLASS: The Finnish Flash weighed in on the lockout on his blog Monday and fired a few shots in commissioner Gary Bettman's direction. Anaheim Ducks winger Teemu Selanne, 42, the oldest player in the league, can't believe he's involved in the third work stoppage of his career. "(Bettman) is certainly the NHL's most hated person," Selanne said in a translated version. "He makes $8 million a year. Would Mr. Bettman be willing to give up his salary and give part of it to these "poor" teams? Hmm ... interesting question."
The item was titled: "What gives, Gary Bettman?"
BLOCK THE BORDERS: Reports indicate Joe Thornton (San Jose Sharks), Rick Nash (New York Rangers), Mark Streit (New York Islanders) and Logan Couture (San Jose) are headed for the Swiss league while D Christian Erhoff (Buffalo Sabres) has returned to Germany. "It sucks leaving here but I've still got to play," Thornton told the Mercury News. Washington Capitals captain Alexander Ovechkin is negotiating to play in the KHL.
AROUND THE BOARDS: NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly told Sportsnet's HockeyCentral at noon he'll touch base with NHLPA special adviser Steve Fehr Tuesday to possibly set up another negotiating session. "I would hope we get together this week," Daly said. "Steve Fehr and I had lunch on Saturday. We talked about a lot of the issues that we're dealing with in negotiations and tried to generate ideas how to move this forward. We continued that discussion (Sunday) on the phone and we're hoping to continue that discussion (Tuesday) afternoon." The sides haven't met since the NHL presented an offer the union flatly rejected during a negotiating session last Wednesday in New York. The CBA expired Saturday without the sides even talking ... A prediction: The players won't have their resolve tested until November. That's when they first started getting antsy in 2004 under former NHLPA executive director Bob Goodenow. Donald Fehr has done a way better job of communicating the message to the players and keeping them involved in the negotiations.
THIS 'N' THAT: Even if the players do go back to the table, an insider predicts the talks won't go anywhere. "My sense is they have nothing to talk about," he said. "The NHL doesn't want the players to return to the table until they're willing to give up more money. The players aren't going to be doing that anytime soon. I guess they could sit in the same room and just stare at each other for a while." ... The Montreal Canadiens will hold their charity tournament Wednesday at the Royal Montreal Golf Club as scheduled. The players won't be attending which means the club will have call on its alumni to participate.
AT THE BUZZER: A player told QMI Agency the decision by the owners to sign players to more than $120-million in extensions in the days before the CBA expired was "almost immoral. You see those deals signed and you just wonder if the league isn't counting on the players taking a pay cut once this is all done. You'd think when you sign a deal that you're going to get all the money, but you have to think the way some of these owners signed players to extensions they're counting on the fact there's going to be a rollback at the end." The only certainty is the owners won't get the 24% salary cut they got after the 2004-05 lockout.