Realignment shot down; league and players begin CBA war

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Here are the official statements:

From the NHL:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE / JANUARY 6, 2012

               NHL REALIGNMENT DELAYED; NHLPA DENIES CONSENT

      NEW YORK (January 6, 2012) – The National Hockey League announced

today that it will not move forward with implementation of the Realignment

Plan and modified Playoff Format recently approved by the NHL Board of

Governors for the 2012-13 NHL season because the NHLPA has refused to

provide its consent.

“It is unfortunate that the NHLPA has unreasonably refused to approve

a Plan that an overwhelming majority of our Clubs voted to support, and

that has received such widespread support from our fans and other members

of the hockey community, including Players,” said NHL Deputy Commissioner

Bill Daly.  “We have now spent the better part of four weeks attempting to

satisfy the NHLPA’s purported concerns with the Plan with no success.

Because we have already been forced to delay, and as a result are already

late in beginning the process of preparing next season’s schedule, we have

no choice but to abandon our intention to implement the Realignment Plan

and modified Playoff Format for next season.

“We believe the Union acted unreasonably in violation of the League’s

rights.  We intend to evaluate all of our available legal options and to

pursue adequate remedies, as appropriate.”

As a result of the League’s decision today, the NHL will maintain its

current alignment and Playoff Format for the 2012-13 season.

**********************

From the NHLPA: 

STATEMENT FROM NHLPA EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR 

DON FEHR REGARDING PROPOSED NHL REALIGNMENT

Toronto (January 6, 2012) – National Hockey League Players’ Association (NHLPA) Executive Director Don Fehr issued the following statement this evening regarding the League’s realignment proposal:

“On the evening of December 5, 2011, the NHL informed the NHLPA that they proposed to put in place a four-conference format beginning with the 2012-13 season. As realignment affects Players’ terms and conditions of employment, the CBA requires the League to obtain the NHLPA’s consent before implementation. Over the last month, we have had several discussions with the League and extensive dialogue with Players, most recently on an Executive Board conference call on January 1. Two substantial Player concerns emerged: (1) whether the new structure would result in increased and more onerous travel; and (2) the disparity in chances of making the playoffs between the smaller and larger divisions.

In order to evaluate the effect on travel of the proposed new structure, we requested a draft or sample 2012-13 schedule, showing travel per team.  We were advised it was not possible for the League to do that. We also suggested reaching an agreement on scheduling conditions to somewhat alleviate Player travel concerns (e.g., the scheduling of more back-to-back games, more difficult and lengthier road trips, number of border crossings, etc.), but the League did not want to enter into such a dialogue.  The travel estimation data we received from the League indicates that many of the current Pacific and Central teams, that have demanding travel schedules under the current format, could see their travel become even more difficult. On the playoff qualification matter, we suggested discussing ways to eliminate the inherent differences in the proposed realignment, but the League was not willing to do so.

The League set a deadline of January 6, 2012 for the NHLPA to provide its consent to the NHL’s proposal.  Players’ questions about travel and concerns about the playoff format have not been sufficiently addressed; as such, we are not able to provide our consent to the proposal at this time.  We continue to be ready and willing to have further discussions should the League be willing to do so.”

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82 Comments

  1. Think I forgot this after the last win:

    “Ad the difference between me and you carp, is that if this team came out and looked great, i would be the first one to eat my words and say i was wrong about turderella, and be happy i was wrong. You,n the other hand, refuse to even acknowledge that there is a potential Ranger disaster here, and that the clueless coach “in charge” might be implicit in what is happening, or more accurately what is not happening.”

  2. really ecstatic the the playoff format will stay the same as always. hated the conferences. now we bring all east teams back into the mix.

    now a montreal boston is a game of interest we have again. with the leagues realignment we essentially have to concern ourselves with pitt phil wash isles devs and carolina the rest of the league means squat to us. why would i then watch a buffalo tampa game. now with things being normal i could watch all east games cause they impact the rangers

  3. “In all seriousness, Michael Del Zotto is emerging as one of the TOP defenseman in the league….

    Del Zaster averted.”

    Kid is getting better every game. Kept his offensive swagger too (which “Turdurella” told him to never lose). MCLOVIN IT!

  4. seriously the people that called him a bust his sophomore season… LOLOLOLOLOL

    HE’S A DEFENSEMAN! DO THEY UNDERSTAND HOW MUCH HARDER IT IS TO BE A YOUNG DMAN LEARNING THE GAME THAN A FORWARD?

    OH MY GAWD SO UNHAPPY WE DIDN’T GET CAM FOWLER SATHER IS SO STUPID!

  5. I see the Miami Pimp hasn’t shown his face! LW3H they,re not even firing on all cylinders. I can’t wait till you eat your words.

  6. I’m happy that the realignment has been averted, albeit probably not forever – the league will come back with it over the negotiating table, and they will get some of it past the players, who, in the end, don’t care about the same things that the fans do.

  7. The thing that excites me about Del Z is he never rests on his laurels. I really think his sophomore slump helped him. That Rangers team had no business having such early success and he benefited from it rookie season.

    You can see the fire in his eyes interviewing on 24/7 and how ferocious he can be battling along the boards. And then he makes unselfish plays when he jumps in on the offense. He’s becoming a complete hockey player. Could even use him as a forward in a pinch like Streit–kid has crafty moves.

    Del Zotto is learning to play responsible D while being a straight threat on offense and a playmaker + earning PP time (needs more!)

    He literally wants to improve no matter how good he is playing. There is no plateau for this kid right now.

    Look at how freaking JACKED he is here: http://www.zimbio.com/pictures/c_dUyFyjZyL/NHL+Combine/NZFJQe83qV_/Michael+Del+Zotto

    Better. Stronger. Faster. Longer!

    (Was searching Del Zotto bust for LULZ and that image came up)

  8. He is so much tougher than I thought he would be. Kid has balls, bite, and jam!

    He wasn’t spectacular tonight but he was allowing Hank to see pucks…

  9. Our Del Z, drafted in the twenties, has more goals and/or points than a lot of the d-man drafted in the top 5, including…

    Adam Larsson [Devs] – 4th overall
    Victor Hedman [Bolts] – 2nd overall
    Erik Gudbranson [Cats] – 3rd overall
    Erik Johnson [Avs] – 1st overall
    Drew Doughty [Kings] 2nd overall
    Zach Bogosian [Jets] – 3rd overall
    Alex Pietrangelo [Blues] – 4th overall
    Luke Schenn [Leafs] 5th overall
    Karl Alzner [Craps] 5th overall
    Jack Johnson [Kings] 3rd overall

  10. “I hope there is a season next year.”

    Do you mean the world is ending? What would the earth be without seasons?

  11. Give the Fowler gripes a rest. Wait till we see if McIlrath is a bust. Even if turns out to be a run of the mill defenseman he will still be bigger and tougher than Fowler will ever be. Del Zotto is twice the player Fowler is! -19 to +25 no contest.

  12. “Our Del Z, drafted in the twenties, has more goals and/or points than a lot of the d-man drafted in the top 5, including…

    Adam Larsson [Devs] – 4th overall
    Victor Hedman [Bolts] – 2nd overall
    Erik Gudbranson [Cats] – 3rd overall
    Erik Johnson [Avs] – 1st overall
    Drew Doughty [Kings] 2nd overall
    Zach Bogosian [Jets] – 3rd overall
    Alex Pietrangelo [Blues] – 4th overall
    Luke Schenn [Leafs] 5th overall
    Karl Alzner [Craps] 5th overall
    Jack Johnson [Kings] 3rd overall”

    I think MDZ has more upside than any of them. Hedman, JJ, even DD.

  13. Great point, BANJ! Does anyone know witchcraft or sourcery?

    By the way, did anyone pick the Rangers to win the President’s Trophy?

  14. I would honestly rather talk about what a great accountable coach Tom Renney was over the possibility of there being no NHL season next year. I’ll give anyone 2-1 odds up to 1k because the season is going to happen. Not even Bettman is stupid enough to put us through another strike–especially after all the market share we can steal from the NBA.

    Did you noobs also freak out over the possibility of no NFL season?

  15. I think Brooks wrote an article this week aboot the similarities between this years team an the 94 cup team. There was quite a few.

  16. Bolts really screwed up, taking Hedman over Duchene. Royally screwed up. Everyone compared Hedman to Lidstrom, but that’s a horrific comparison. The guy barely puts up any points. They also pass on Evander Kane, another good forward.

    Then there’s St Louis. Took EJ 1st overall. Passed on Toews, Staal, Backstrom, and Kessel. Ouch!

  17. DZ has really turned it up a notch, it was always no problem to see the potential, but I wondered at the first of the season if he would ever get it. Well he has to the tune of one of the best in the league right now. This ranger team has been winning in differant ways right along, thats a good sign for sure, but without the goaltending they have been getting they would not be where they are. The thing I like about this team is that nobodys pushing them around. They are a tough lot, and that makes them hard to play against.

  18. Fehr is very smart and was hired for a reason. The scheduling concept of the schedule is ridiculous, and as with the lockout that costed the fans one year, geared to help small market clubs. Glad to see this happen. I like the conference format and playoffs, but the entire idea is vetoed in my mind due to the schedule.

  19. “Scheduling concept of the realignment” is what I intended to say. Never drink rangers report and drive

  20. Realignment is stupid!

    And I’m too excited about winning to sleep!

    But I have to work tomorrow!

  21. If realignment is really necessary I think it should be done according to something that actually matters. Like, realign all the teams alphabetically or EVEN BETTER… color-coordination!

  22. “Bolts really screwed up, taking Hedman over Duchene. Royally screwed up. Everyone compared Hedman to Lidstrom, but that’s a horrific comparison. The guy barely puts up any points. They also pass on Evander Kane, another good forward.

    Then there’s St Louis. Took EJ 1st overall. Passed on Toews, Staal, Backstrom, and Kessel. Ouch!”

    Lightning doesn’t usually strike twice but they hit lightning in a bottle with Stamkos. PUNS INTENDED! Can’t blame them for trying to get a big stud D. He looks soft for his age and he’s not getting any younger but he can generate points.. too early to call it a bust. TB isn’t known for its defense either.

  23. I would like to see a Flames – Flyers – Bruins – Wild – Rangers – Kings (I can’t think of a purplier team) Division. Some teams may need to rebrand so that all divisions can have an equal amount of RAINBOW.

  24. OMG THE NHLPA AGREES THAT THE REALIGNMENT SUCKS AND THERE COULD BE A STRIKE!

    are you people serious?

  25. No, seriously though, my brain is coming up with so many amazing activities right now but I really need it to be quiet so I can sleep.

  26. Rangers won 62 percent of the draws tonight

    and they held Malkin to one shot on goal

    Girardi and McD each plus 3

    all good

  27. “Lockout?”

    People were talking about it in this thread regarding the title I assume? The assumption is so absurd it took me 10 minutes to put it together.

    Did they feel like being useful idiots or did they just want to sound the alarm first in case it’s talked about?

  28. Boom Boom Bathgate / "Sloppy Firsts" on

    It WILL be implemented, the Union just wants a big CBA kick-back concession for holding it up. What else is new, besides the tail wagging the dog, yet again?

    By the way – the “Lina Sands for President” campaign is in full swing around my house.

  29. “How is McIlrath a bust?”

    HE’S NOT NOT A BUST IS HE? HE HASN’T PLAYED YET HAS HE?! BUST! FLYBOIZ 4 LYPHE~!

    lulz other poster was joking too ;)

  30. Malkin did hit a post though and Henke robbed him on his one shot.

    Small markets and small minds rule the NHL and Bettman panders to them because they keep him in office. It’s a complete joke – neither the players nor the fans like the realignment concept one single bit and yet they continue to try to ruin the entire league for the benefit of the freaking Carolina Hurricanes, Phoenix Coyotes and their ilk. Rather than raise the weaker organizations up somehow, lets drag everyone down to their level and ruin the whole thing. And there will be a lockout because the owners don’t care about a single one of us or about the sport.

  31. Boom Boom Bathgate / "Sloppy Firsts" on

    Fowler was -3 in a game last week, the only -3 on his team. Plus he doesn’t add much offense. He may yet make it but has been around awhile now, and if he is “developing” it is at quite a slow pace.

    Certainly hope MAC is a stud cruncher, if and when he gets here. But will he get the chance or is he the next Sanguinetti?

  32. With a young hockey club in such rarified air, the veterans on this team, the cup winners – Richards, Rupp and Feds – are going to be called upon to lead the way through the second half of the season and throughout the playoffs

    These guys know what it takes to win big games

    Richards is a Conn Smythe winner and Stanley Cup winner
    Both Rupper and Feds have scored Cup winning goals

    Look for more big goals by all three of these players as we move along here

  33. Last year, it took 93 points to make the playoffs as the 8 seed. We already have 56, so assuming the same cutoff, we only need 37 points in our last 43 games. So we could play well below .500 and still get in.

    We’re bound to have a cold streak at some point, so it’s nice to have such a big cushion built up so we can easily withstand it. Looks like this year we won’t have to be biting our nails, needing help, or relying on Olli Jokinen in game 82 to make it, so that’s definitely nice.

    Hopefully that also means we won’t need Hank to play the last 25 games straight, so he can have something left in the tank for the playoffs.

  34. IN 264 GAMES WITH NYR CHRIS DRURY HAD 10 GAME WINNING GOALS.

    BRAD RICHARDS ALREADY HAS 6 IN LESS THAN HALF OF A SEASON.

  35. Stranger Nation on

    Dubi found his range – both points tonite from the goal mouth. Go to the net and good things happen.

    Thought Stralman got pushed aroung some more in this game.

    Love B Rich knocking down Vitale and Boyle has just been a hitting machine. Hands of Roberto Duran, but finishes his checks and wins face-offs

  36. I’m really wondering what Sather will do between now and the trade deadline. I’m sure he’ll do something the question is–what and how much? Any predictions?

  37. “We’re bound to have a cold streak at some point, so it’s nice to have such a big cushion built up so we can easily withstand it. ”

    LET ME KNOW WHEN THAT COLD STREAK HAPPENS, BRAH! I’LL BE HERE!

  38. At this rate, 3 overtime losses would be a massive losing streak.

    Also, Sather has generally been good with trades, so if he does anything it’s likely to be ok. Always get nervous with FA’s, but we’ve had some very pleasant surprises with trades.

  39. >>>Boyle has just been a hitting machine. Hands of Roberto Duran,

    I wish that he was the kind of guy that would use those Duran hands on an occasional opponent’s face, but he just isn’t that type of person, I guess!

  40. Beats me!! they’ll screw it up somehow!

    I was getting pretty bummed when they went ahead in the 3rd period – I thought they might win this game. Man, the Ducks are awful this season – they have like 10 points less than the Fishsticks!!

  41. Thanks for the video link, ORR – I was listening on web radio to the Anaheim radio feed…

  42. ORR how about that Dublowsky kid? you had to know he’d break out of it. he’s shown his skills the last few years. It was in him all the time. he’s just not too bright. my nephews played against him. my brother coached the alaska all stars with his dad. I got a soft spot for the kid, can’t help it.

    OK. Im sending out emails to my family and friends about how the Rangers are leading the NHL. I hope I dont jinx anything

  43. +1, ORR!

    Tomb, I know what you mean – I’m afraid I’m going to wake up one day and find that this whole first half of the NYR season was a dream!

  44. Boom Boom Bathgate / "Sloppy Firsts" on

    Damn if “Feds” is leading the way it will be over a cliff.

  45. I kept waiting for someone, anyone, to put something on Cooke………..this is one nasty individual, and is long overdue for some “administering to”/

    Throughout the game, settling as it was and listening to the game with the Pitt announcers ( that’s how blocked out I get), and it was satisfying the way they drooled over Lundqvist, almost as though he’d come from Krypton, or some such place, and noted how Dupuis had been with Rangers “for a cup of coffee”, and I recalled how ticked I was after Rangers had cut him loose for not much. They also admired the Ranger’s pace and style, and were quite frankly wondering if it was possible for Pitt to beat such a team. None of them seemed to note the item that was really bugging me, and that was Rangers refusal to take shots on goal when the opportunity arose, instead they kept making passes, til the chance disappeared. They kept ooohing and ahhing over the Rangers not getting any shots on goal without noting that they just weren,t shooting. This tendency is going to really bite them sometime ahead.

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