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The next 2-3 months will prove critical to the future path of the National Hockey League, and probably to the careers of many incumbent players. If no deal is made to end the lockout in time to salvage at least the second half of the season, the entire 2004-05 campaign will be lost. If that happens, and if there is no agreement reached next summer between owners and players - and by then, the ill-feeling on both sides could be so severe no accord is possible - it appears likely NHL management will go ahead with a much-speculated-upon attempt to restart the league using replacement players.

High level NHL officials, including commissioner Gary Bettman and Bruins president Harry Sinden, have said this dire move, while possible, is not in the league's long-range plan. But Steve Belkin, the Weston businessman who is the new owner of the Atlanta Thrashers (along with the NBA Hawks and Atlanta's Philips Arena), confirmed early this week that replacements would be the method employed to bring the NHL back to life.

http://www.sportsbusinessnews.com/index.asp?story_id=39990

Fuskie
Who notes Belkin was fined $250k by the NHL for his comments, but you have to wonder if this was not an owner scare tactic timed to coincide with what would have been the start of the 2004-05 season...
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It's clear to anybody watching this, that the NHLPA is not going to succumb to a salary cap without some sort of threat on their ability to play long-term. So why are the owners wasting a year, they should do this now!

Anybody know of a reason this shouldn't be done now?

-Vishal
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Anybody know of a reason this shouldn't be done now?

I won't pay $36 a game for replacement players.

Fuskie
Who notes that the owners have mounted a strong campaign to lay the blame at the players feet yet never take responsibility for their own actions...
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Anybody know of a reason this shouldn't be done now?

IIRC, owners can't replace players (employees) until they declare a legal impass in negotiations. That could take a year. Also, if the players make even the smallest of concessions toward the owner's position, they can declare that negotiations are progressing and impass is not warrented.

Good article in yesterday's (or Mon.) San Jose Mercury News featured on Yahoo covered this. Sorry, don't have time to find link.

Odd bit: Labo(u)r relations in the US is a federal matter, but in Canada its under provincial perview.

Rusty
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From watching hockey over many years, I can tell you the players and teams that play the best are not the ones that are paid the best.. i.e. NYR! It's those teams that play hard, with a lot of heart, and determination that are the most entertaining to watch. I can guarantee you that if replacement players were used they would take the opportunity to show why they should be in the “real” NHL and the quality of the hockey would be much better than the crap you pay $36 for at the beginning of the season...


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That is true. I remember from the '94-95 Baseball strike. Then it was the players suing the owners claiming they were not bargaining in good faith and seeking federal intervention.

Fuskie
Who maintains owners will have to admit some fault before the players will agree to concessions...
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I would be more inclined to go to the ECHL Gwinnett Gladiators games where the most expensive seat is $19. I get the same pre-professional players as the scabs.

Fuskie
Who didn't do it with baseball and won't with hockey...
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I agree, owners must take some of the blame... the truth does lie somewhere in the middle...
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I get the same pre-professional players as the scabs.

I'd go see the "scabs". It would tickle my heart if the players had a picket line to cross when I did. Personally, I hope when its resolved and they come back.....they are absolutely begging the fans to come back. It is high time professional sports (owners and players) get an attitude adjustment. I hope talks stay stalled and a stalemate is declared and replacement players brought in. I hope that the owners don't blink. You can bet the stars would be back after watching "scabs" play for a couple of seasons. Can't imagine just what it is Keith Tkachuk would do when he ran out of golf money. Though, I would support a grassroots fan effort in petitioning the owners and giving them demands of our own for our support.

So does the Union pick up their healthcare coverage while they are struggling along with no paycheck? :-)
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I won't pay $36 a game for replacement players.

$36??? For an NHL game? Jeepers I should move to the city your in...

-canam
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I won't pay $36 a game for replacement players.

$36??? For an NHL game? Jeepers I should move to the city your in...


My seats - 200 level, row 1, US$15; Minnesota Wild.

6Speed
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I would never even think of paying full price to see scabs. In fact, in a place like western PA, I think scabs would go over like passing gas in church, even as overpaid as the regular players are. But if they brought in their minor league teams in for some games, I might go see that.
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"I won't pay $36 a game for replacement players."

I won't pay $.36 a game for scab players.

77

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I won't pay $.36 a game for scab players. - 77

I could understand (and even agree with) the statement if the players were part of the working class, but they aren't. Not only that, about 1/2 of them are playing in Europe right now and I've never even been across the pond once.

They'll get no pity from me. I'll buy season tix @ $2/game for spirited play with a puck and free parking... ;)

g!
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"I could understand (and even agree with) the statement if the players were part of the working class, but they aren't. Not only that, about 1/2 of them are playing in Europe right now and I've never even been across the pond once.

They'll get no pity from me. I'll buy season tix @ $2/game for spirited play with a puck and free parking... ;)"



I guess I'll try & see this:

http://www.theahl.com/

77
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................and no pity from me either.

They better look at Baseball & what the strikes almost did to that game.

77
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They better look at Baseball & what the strikes almost did to that game.

77


Not that it matters much, but this isn't a strike. It's a lockout.

Fingers still belong pointed at both sides, as in MLB's last incident.

cd
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"Fingers still belong pointed at both sides, as in MLB's last incident."

That was my drift. A ton of blame, but no answers.

77
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They better look at Baseball & what the strikes almost did to that game.

Yep. People are getting on with their lives and finding other things to do with their time. If the season is cancelled, many people won't be back and the NHL does not have the financial strength to withstand a backlash from the fans the way baseball did.

Bettman and Goodenow, pay attention, you are going to kill the NHL and you will both get the blame.
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That was my drift. A ton of blame, but no answers.

77


At least we all know one answer: everyone suffers.

cd <- misses hockey
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