Lockout Update Day 86: there is still a lockout.

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Here is a column that sums up what I've been trying to say for weeks. Nothing against the players at all, but the situation is what it is. I like what the columnist uses as an example, in terms of how the owners have the leverage with hockey, whereas the owners of GM or Ford has very little leverage. And the owners of other sports do not have the same leverage as they do in hockey, because ESPN actually cares about the other sports. And I also liked his interview with a labor expert, notably:

What would you do now?

“If I was an owner, I’d hold pat.”

And if you were working for the PA?

“Try to negotiate on some small issues, to save face. Take what you can and live to fight another day.”

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A lot of people emphasize how Gary Bettman has "met his match" with Donald Fehr, who has the experience and intelligence to make a lot of leeway. They say this as if Bob Goodenow was nothing. But let's not forget - if the players remained united behind Goodenow, there would have been a second season missed… but the players would have succeeded in avoiding a salary cap. It wasn't Goodenow's lack of skills or intellect that proved his downfall, it was lack of unity behind him.

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Wojtek Wolski finished off his tenure in Poland, tallying two assists in five games. Not a lot of action, consider he was there for a few weeks. He played the last two games with a groin injury.

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For those of you who own San Jose Sharks, here is a nice rundown of what all the players have been doing so far this season. Includes Ryane Clowe, Logan Couture, TJ Galiardi, Martin Havlat (wife recently had a baby) and Patrick Marleau among many others.

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In case you missed this last week - Ryan O'Reilly signed a KHL contract. Big deal, right? Actually it is - the contract is for two years and he has no current NHL deal in place. Fortunately he has an out clause, but this will definitely be leverage when negotiating his NHL deal. Look at the wording of Metallurg's statement:

It has been agreed by mutual consent that if Ryan is offered a contract on more lucrative terms in the National Hockey League, Metallurg will not interfere in that contract being concluded.

This implies, to me anyway, that the Avalanche would need to offer "more lucrative terms". If they don't, then he can't get out of his KHL contract.

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Colin McDonald was named Bridgeport's team captain late last week and he responded with a four-point game Sunday. He has nine in his last nine games. He's 28 and should be written off. Or…should he? Keep in mind, this is a team that gave Matt Moulson and PA Parenteau a real shot. McDonald had 42 goals in 2010-11 with Oklahoma City. With the quality of prospects on the way for the Islanders, the odds are pretty slim. Infinitesimal even. But in the immortal words of Lloyd Christmas:

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Speaking of Islanders prospects, Nino Niederreiter picked up two more points Sunday. He has 24 in 23 on the campaign now.

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Ryan Ellis has four points in eight games this season for the Admirals. He is still getting his timing back after being sidelined for so long with a broken wrist.

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KHL Players of the Month for November:

Forward - Artem Anisimov (12 points, plus-9, nine games)

Defenseman - Victor Hedman (10 points, plus-10, nine games)

Rookie - Viktor Antipin (seven points, plus-1, nine games)

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Hey, Jon Sim is back! A tryout deal with the AHL's Rampage.

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In his ramblings, Jeff Angus has been giving you excerpts on the goalie profiles we have in the Fantasy Goalie Guide, but other elements of the guide that should be noted are:
- A political overview of every player. Nearly a full page for each team is dedicated to the entire system of goalies and how easy their path is (or difficult) to the No.1 NHL job based on organizational hopes and expectations. Every bit as key as the talent itself.

- A whole bunch of lists. You love rankings. We got 'em.

Buy it here.

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Mikhail Grabovski has 20 points in 24 KHL contests so far. Sergei Kostitsyn - an astonishing 27 in 21, which is an even better pace than Ilya Kovalchuk (32 in 26).

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Tyler Myers injured his ankle in action in Austria, but is expected to only be sidelined a week.

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There is no shortage of fans trying to gather support for a boycott of sorts. For a way to punish the two idiot parties in this dispute. One way is to pressure the sponsors. It's hard to boycott the sponsors completely, but if hockey fans were to dial down their business even a little, it will impact the bottom line. The sponsors will see it, if thousands spend even 10% less on these guys. Go to Burger King instead of McDonalds (US only) sometimes. Use your MasterCard or Amex instead of your Visa (Canada only) sometimes. Skip Tim Hortons once in awhile and grab an inferior cup of coffee somewhere else. Coke instead of Pepsi, anywhere else instead of Canadian Tire, etc. You can't give these giants up completely. Not all of them. That's a lot to ask and would take a lot of discipline. But if fans dialed it back a little, these sponsors will notice. And then they'll twist the screws they already have on the NHL even harder. Then perhaps that deal that the league would have considered taking but then decided against it…perhaps they take that deal instead. Here is a list of sponsors from last season.

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This is another good one that is gathering steam, thanks to Bob MacKenzie's Twitter push yesterday. Like this on Facebook, see the video for "the pledge":

Between the two initiatives above, if I get even 500 of you to try each, then it will be noticed. But if 500 of you try each - and then get 500 friends to do the same (who get 500 more)…then it makes a splash.


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Comments (7)add comment

donpaulo said:

donpaulo
... The owners have to stand pat or face the possibility that during the next lockout (and we all know it is coming) their "new" position will be written on a chalkboard and thus worthless.

The owners have to protect the costs from themselves after all it is the teams that offer up the contracts. The players and agents certainly ask for more but its the teams that pay for it.

So this is essentially owner versus owners with cost certainty as the main issue. The players simply are a cog in the bigger wheels of the industry. They will pass through the system while the corporations, stadiums and board meetings extend out to infinity. I don't blame the players for holding out for more, most likely a majority of people reading this site would do the exact same thing. They will get it eventually too, they always do as the fans pay for talent in the uniform not the brand on it. If the talent is lacking the fans in the USA don't attend the games.

Contracts will be subject to end runs by creative executives looking to sign players that will bring championships that boost overall team value. There are a lot of creative people out there negotiating contracts that will find a way around the system. They always do. Look no farther than the owners who will try and break their own rules to get ahead. They have to protect themselves against ... themselves.

The sad part from where I sit is that the league has done immeasurable harm to the NHL brand. Losing a national TV deal and going with versus is no way to build brand value. Can you imagine the next time the NHL sits down with a major tv company ? yes thats right they are an unreliable 4th rate sport in the USA behind motor racing. They are harming their own long term value by holding out for short term cost certainty and then locking out the players again. Say by 2018 ?

Sorry to be so harsh but the safest thing for the average fan was to simply write off the entire season and hope to be surprised before Springtime.

I for one do not miss the NHL as I very much enjoy sim hockey. While it ain't the NHL its a pretty damn good substitute.

I feel for guys like Dobber and the other media folk who have to cover this circus.

A nice benefit is that when I have wanted to watch hockey this "gringo" can tune in and see the OHL or WHL and its great hockey. I never watched REAL Canadian hockey before and I love it.

flame away boys
December 10, 2012
Votes: +0

shingy said:

shingy
The Pledge....

Here's the pledge..and it's fairly kind.

If the league gets going for a second half, they can go f' themselves.

If the second half (entire season) gets junked but the first half of next season is go...so what, wait til the second half.

Basically, I think it's reasonable to give up one half of a season whenever it gets going. I'll still do my pool (free), still come to Dobber's site (the best one I've found yet) and get my fantasy guides etc.

No tv, just stream etc..no merchandize etc..

"No soup for you, come back, one year".....


December 10, 2012
Votes: +0

Pengwin7 said:

Pengwin7
Great link Probably one of the better articles on the owners vs. NHLPA that I've read.
The whole "monopoly" of hockey in North America has always made this fight advantage-owners. It doesn't help that the upper 25% of players can just jump overseas for a little Euro-vacation and still make a good buck. I feel terrible for the lower-tier NHLers that are losing a $600k or $1m or $2m salary and have no place to play this year.

Brutal... another day... ho hum...
December 10, 2012
Votes: +0

2Evils said:

Shenanigans
... Dobber - fair enough. I enjoy being a social media recluse...excepting a hockey forum, or so. Heh. Did get the wife to "like" it for me, and passing it on to the buds and poolies. Thx, I've been hoping someone a little more net-savvy would organize a fan/sponsor protest. If the media takes note, it might get some traction.
December 10, 2012
Votes: +0

Dobber said:

Dobber
... Allen - absolutely right

2Evils - far be it for me to be the reason for your Facebook! If you held out this long, there must be another way!
December 10, 2012
Votes: +0

allen5938 said:

allen5938
Goodenow vs Fehr Donald Fehr is a more fehrsome opponent for the NHL because he works at creating unity .His key is communication.He has traveled the world to meet with players in an effort to keep them in the loop and of course keep them onside.It is no accident that Fehr has more loyalty than Goodenow ,he has earned it.
December 10, 2012
Votes: +0

2Evils said:

Shenanigans
Awwwwww Man! Does this mean I finally have to open a facebook account ? Brrr. Please tell me there is some alternative !
December 10, 2012
Votes: +0
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