“Still a wide gap between us and not much time to go”


Those  above are the words of Gary Bettman yesterday, foreboding words indeed.

The CBA expires Sept. 15, and it’s almost a certainty IMO that there will be a lockout. How long that lasts is anybody’s guess. I’m taking the liberty of translating the commish’s words yesterday thusly:

“Nice try with¬† your interesting proposal, NHLPA, but not close.”

Here’s TSN’s coverage of the day in bargaining … or non-bargaining.

Looks like some autumn golf for yours truly.


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  1. Doesnt look good after that does it? The players also made no attempt to restrict the term/structure of their contracts either – but then again should they? Thats a problem the owners created with their attempts to find loopholes in the old one.

  2. Good morning, boneheads!

    Well, no one expected the NHL would embrace that proposal either. Now they start real negotiations. The fact that Fehr and Bettman aren’t meeting until one week from now is to show that they’ve entered the stage of “blinking” contest. It also shows there is no real urgency to get it done before September 15th. Too bad people who are really paying for their services have no leverage in that process.

  3. True Fans Bleed RW&B on

    The Bettman is wrong though.
    Fehr is correct in saying “Rollbacks didn’t fix it last time, what’s going to change now?”

    The other problem is that the players aren’t the ones offering themselves $100 million contracts, but they are the ones expected to fix the problem? Asinine.

    This will not be a fun journey.

  4. I also like how Bettman talks about the problems in the wider world, but he’s failing to point out that the NHL has made revenue increases DESPITE financial problems in the world outside of the NHL.
    It seems like the NHL doesn’t want to even talk about increased revenue sharing which would help the smaller franchises and expects them to continue with the current system. So what essentially he wants is for the players to give back more money so that the big franchises get even richer and the small franchises to lose a little bit less than they are now.

  5. And congratulations once more to Mr Snider for signing another player to a six-year extension, while standing behind the owners’ proposal for five-year term limits.

    Deserving of another display on the Empire State Building. On two faces of it perhaps most appropriate.

  6. So much for the , ahem, season.

    But then again, this IS New York after all.

    This is the city of a few thousand scams.

    When I think of New York, I automatically think of Broadway. Remember the old song, The Lullaby of Broadway? And then I recall an incident that happened to me there many years ago. I was sent by
    someone I worked for to make a purchase at one of the large stores downtown, ( details are lost in time) but I had to park my car. I cruised up and down the side streets and it was solid parked cars.
    Finally reached a side street where I found a few guys standing around who apparently worked in one of the shops there and were on a smoke break, and then I spotted what looked like a space, so I crept up to it and saw an old guy in a Colombo raincoat sitting on a folding camp chair against the building, and I noticed that the car space was taken up by a steel trash barrel.

    When the old guy spotted me he raced out into the space and pulled the can back to the sidewalk, and said, to the effect of, ” five dollars, and Pincus has your space for you. Park right here sir..( not all day…then I got to charge you more.) I was so overjoyed at finding a spot that I assured him, that I only had to go into one of the nearby stores and would be back shortly.
    He gave me a big grin, and said “Don’t worry about your car, Pincus has it under protection…Pincus has full control.”{ I gave him the five bucks and then I looked around, and was curious about the whole thing, and probably looked a bit nervous ( five bucks back then is not what it is now) One of the smokers was taking this all in and he said that I needn’t worry, Pincus has been doing this for years…created his own tiny parking lot in the midst of the city. And I recall making a comment that he seems to have a pretty good racket here if he can get away with it. One of them said that he’s been here for years and put three daughters through college.So I took their word and went on my errand, and came back shortly and sure enough the car was still there, and so was Pincus, and when I got in the car and waited for him to replace the barrel, he come over and said something to the effect, If I’m ever again in the city ( he noted the CT plates)
    be sure to stop and see Pincus…..if the spot isn’t taken he’d have it ready for me. I’ve often wondered what ever became of him, for I never went by there again.

  7. Same Ed Snider who pays the NHL $200M per year and will still pay them $150M if there is a lockout? That can’t be the case.

  8. Looks like the Phlyers went ahead and signed Wayne Simmonds for a while. Won’t help their defense at all but he’s a darn good player.

  9. How pathetic is it for the Mariners that King Felix throws a perfect game and still only wins by 1 run. Ouch.

  10. ILB

    It was right after my return from having lived a year in Chicago, that would have put it in the early fifties. It was also during the period when I hauled citrus on the round trip runs for Jimmy Battz and his brothers out of New Haven. I grabbed a job of any kind almost; as long as it was legal, and it seemed like I was always on a job hunt. That’s also probably the reason that some folks find it easy to believe that I was a Bullshtr par excellance…but every item I’ve ever put down on paper has been stone wall reality and truth’ I sometimes find it hard to believe that I crammed so much into such a short time period, but some of my jobs only lasted a day or so..often due to a screw up on my part, or the crappy equipment I had to operate with on some of these gigs. Just as a side note, I took a driving job from a guy who wanted a truck load of wooden clothes cabinets, to Providence RI from New Haven. I got to the place and started unloading these cabinets, and the store owner came raging out at me and said “get this garbage outta here….it’s crap!” I told him I had to leave it here. He said he’d call a cop and have me tossed in the slammer. I reloaded the cabinets back aboard, went back to the office of the guy who hired me, and he flew into a rage…I told him I had no choice, and he called me every name in the book and included the one thing that really ticked me off..he said I was stupid. He jumped out of his chair at the desk and started around the corner and I was sure he was gonna take a shot at me, and man oh man I couldn;t wait.
    But I don’t know, maybe it was my attitude or a bit of caution on his part, but he stopped, went back and sat down and left me quite frankly a bit disappointed because I felt I’d missed my chance.

    I told him to give me my pay and I’d be gone, he flung a handful of bills on the floor and I picked them up, counted them slowly in his face and walked out. Still fuming.

    You know that incident in NY…no way in hell anything like that could happen in Chicago.

    CHI is still very laid back compared to NYC and I do believe it always will be.

  11. That’s crazy stuff about Snider ilb and LW. I just learned two facts that make me dislike the Phlyers even more!

  12. Fehr is absolutely right. The owners proposal was so outrageous that any counter proposal by the players would have them far apart. I can usually side with the owners in a lot of CBA negotiations, but not this time. The owners are not being realistic.

  13. Nobody thinks you’re a BC’er, Fran. Perhaps people do not realize for how long you’ve been walking on this planet. I enjoy every hockey and non-hockey related story you’ve told us immensely. Privilege to have you on the blog.

  14. ILB

    That was mighty brotherly of you to make that statement…it is greatly appreciated. For the record, I went into the Marine Corps at the tail end of WWII, cause I didn’t want to be drafted, served my duty tour 3 yrs, but no combat, because I was an airborne Radio man in a transport squadron. I really wanted the Air Force but they were not hiring, and I didn’t want the Navy ( scared of blue water), but I was soon to find out how much time Marines spend at sea. Got discharged and awarded the free college so went to NH Teacher’s college ( idiot…I could have gone to Yale),
    Two years at school, and no teaching position for me, I headed for Chicago and Signed for a position with an industrial engineering school at Chicago Tech, but didn’t like that either, and then spent the rest of the year driving a cab. That’s where I REALLY learned how to drive. I am now going on 84 years, and tbw and I celebrated our 57th anniversary last Feb. I think it’ll last.

  15. It’s funny to think of the Air Force as “not hiring” but it makes total sense. Maybe I am going crazy because I am looking for a job and the market is horrendous. Thanks for the stories Fran.

  16. Bettman has ZERO public support. He will be BOO’d everytime he takes the ice – for a very long time!

    It sucks the only way to protest, is to not buy tickets to the game. Perhaps a few years of a 10% decline in revenue, will really help the small market teams get smaller.

    I doubt ESPN will miss the highlights on their network.

  17. Manny I’ll get you a job in the oil fields out here in North Dakota :)

    Head west my friend.

  18. Duke has basketball, Florida/Texas have football, and North Dakota has hockey.

    It’s a new concept in hockey out here. Where players play for PRIDE.

    And the building, will nock your socks off!!!

  19. Settle in Boys, this one is going the distance. The etrnal optimist that I am, I recommend we all look on the bright side…..Oh, my bad, there is no byfuglin bright side!!!

    Does this mean there will be no AHL season as well?

  20. Has anyone found a place where you can buy Brandon Prust Rangers shirts/sweaters at a discount?

  21. If you’re really frugal, Cheapest way to get a Prust sweater is to pick up a discounted Zubrus sweater, use a dark blue marker to remove the ZUB, add a P and a T, and sew on a Ranger emblem.

  22. Manny

    about getting jobs…….
    the military is often the last resort to unemployment. tbw and I were both scrambling for jobs shortly after our marriage in 55 and those were according to TV the Happy years….uh uh. recessions constantly. Jobs hard to find. Finally told her I was going back into the Corps because then they’d pay for the birth of our first born, and I’d have a steady income. But when I went to the recruiting office the Marine on duty told me I’d have to drop a rank, which would have brought e from Corporal to PFC, and the Corps is very stingy about making rank. And I had second thoughts and decided that I really didn;t want to go back to a unit that is always at war, but doesn’t always know who the enemy is. Did I want to be back in a situation where you gert a sudden call, gather up your sea bag, go check out your 782 Gear ( Rifle, Cartridge belt, Bayonet, canteen, medical bandage holder, etc.) and be ready to move out. Where? You’ll know when we get there. You see with Marines, every single Marine, no matter his dutyh assignment is basically a
    rifleman/ This holds true of ALL Marines.And shooting isn’t a sideline, it’s a religion. And this holds true for all officers up the entire chain as well. Ahhhh….no. Not again. The Air Force recruiter came out ans
    d asked me if I was prior service, I told him I was, and he asked which branch, and I told him, his eyes lit up. “How about the Air Force? Yeah…how about that. He said that indeed I’d have to drop a stipe, buit rank is much easier to obtain in AF than the Corps…how well I knew. I said hell yes why not. So I did. And They sent me off to San Antonio the AF boot camp, and you’d laugh your butts off what we had there. All ex service guys looking for jobs were there, but they wouldn’t take guys with kids. tbw and I were safe for my son wasn’t due for months from then. One guy, a former paratrooper, divorced his wife, and then applied and they took him, some months later they re married, but he was already in. It was riotous..AF drill people trying to show ex army and Marines whow to drill.They quite simply could not control us for we had tons more experience in the service than they, and they knew it’
    So we did what we wanted to do when we wanted, and the left us alone. Saved embarrassment. Those crazy paratroopers when we were mustered out of the barracks for some event or other the paratroopers didn/t use the stairs like us . they jumped out the 2nd floor windows. But it all worked out. they assigned me to a radar site on Cape Clod, and we rented a place in Provincetown, and enjoyed the Cape, but then got my transfer to Panama Canal Zone, and we spent two quiet but hot years there, but no baseball and surely no hockey. That was the year before we left that Lew Burdette won three world Series games against ( I think it was the Yanks). But then they split up the squadron was dismantled and we were all reassigned. They sent me to the other end of the Canal to the Gulf side, as radioman on the huge WWII PT Boat that chased weather balloons into the Gulf. I couldn’t believe it’ I avoided the Navy and Mariens so I’d not have to go to sea. But fortunately, another guy in my unitlearned abokut my assignment, and he thought it was neat. I asked hijm where he was going, he said Duluth Minny, and asked me If I wanted to trade slots. I leaped at it and bingo..I was outta there, and sent to Duluth for my final two years. I was going for 20, but they were discharging command pilots, let alone lowly Operations dispatchers ( fighter ops dispatchers on the scrambles was my job, but NO PRoMOTION, and it was tough to get by financially, so I took my discharge, went back to CT, and began my second job hunting routine’ etc etc

    I know that you folks all see each other and know each other, and all I have are a few photos, but if you want, I’ll make some copies and send them. to Ilb.

  23. Thanks, Fran! That’s a great story. I appreciate the response. I can’t believe all the awesome places you have been. It really is a great way to see the world.

    That is crazy about people getting divorced and then remarried. I can’t imagine what my wife’s reaction would be to a request like that!

  24. Manny

    You’d be surprised at how desperation can force you to do things that normally you would not dream of doing.

  25. I am so disappointed in this mess. I think if there is a lockout, I will be done with hockey. I feel like I have spent too much time and both sides ( I think the owners more than the players, though) are just smacking us fans in the face. If there is a lockout, it shows that they have no interest in the fan base. Unforgivable in my opinion.

  26. Look at the POSITIVE. Look how much MONEY that saves us fans.

    Personally – No need to fly to NY, buy Delta 360 Club tickets, hotels, food. NY isn’t cheap. No need to drive to Winnipeg and drop more money to see the Rangers. They weren’t playing the Wild this year, but I was thinking about checking out Matt Cullen and Parise for a game or two on the weekends. More money saved. Won’t need the Center Ice package this year – the wife will REALLY be happy.

    I’m curious. Who has season ticket to the Ranger at MSG? How much will this save you for the year? total, games, food, beers, transportation……?

  27. Carp, are you going to Flushing Meadows to the US Open or you dont have any business with that ?

    i was there for the last time in 1989 with a german winning, forget his name:)

  28. I hope this blows up in Bettmans face.

    The players take a year off – Play in Europe & KHL. Let the owners sit on their buildings all alone.

    We will have to get our Nash highlights from Swiss league. I’m sure HC Davos fans will be happy. Maybe we can grow the NHL in Europe. They will get the best players for a year.

    Isn’t that why we are starting the games at the beginning of the year over there? Why not sell the Coyotes to someone in Sweden.

  29. how stupid could i be?

    on my way to work today i stopped off at nassau coliseum because isles individual game tix went on sale at box office for general public ( hate paying ticketmaster fees) for the ranger game on nov 13th as a bday present to my dad. we live 10 mins away.

    tix go on sale at 930 get there 920 only one in the parking lot.

    two things

    1. the isles have zero interest and 2. im a moron for buying tix to a game that wont be played.

  30. Bettmann cut a fart when it comes to the start the season on time……he just care about the money…no hockey until at least January. hockey fans will go over to watch weight lifting !

  31. Fran – love hearing your stories, it keeps me from thinking about the impending work stoppage, although being on or around the Greenwich Meridian means i might get more sleep than i would normally in October and November!

  32. I can’t wait till my sons are old enough for me to take them to a Rangers game. What’s the best age do you reckon? (Bear in mind one is 3 and the other 5).
    (and also bear in mind i live in England, so its a 6-7hr flight plus hotels etc..)

  33. So lets do the math. 3.3 Billion / 30 teams = $110 Million per team. Bettman wants to limit the league to half of what the average is. Why not get the welfare teams out of “NON HOCKEY” markets, and this problem wouldn’t exist.

  34. Bettman is repulsive. He obviously is only interested in the money. His pay comes from OWNERS. So he only listens to them. He has created an “us vs. them” scenario, and really it is “my way or the highway.” No way to run a business. And the worst part is the owners got what they wanted last time, and here we are 7 years later IN THE EXACT SAME SPOT. Their way has not worked.

    If the NHL had any brains, they would tie his pay to BOTH owners and PLAYERS. I.E in case of lockout he does not get half of his salary. Lockouts, the owners seem to think, the fans will rebound from. WE will, but what of all the fans that never really became hardcore fans because they don’t see the game on ESPN anymore??? Add that to the cost of this new lockout and you may lose a lot more.

    His demeanor seems to indicate his distaste for the fans. All bobble-heady and full of tics bought on by facing the hostile masses, his public appearances are ghastly.

    It is a joke for Bettman to hand out the trophy and I will rightly boo him everytime. He does not care about fans, nor the players, (IT’S THE $$$) …so I do not have any respect for him.

    Carp, Why couldn’t this CBA have been worked out in advance? Why such a small window? Is that a Bettman tactic?

    Obviously Donald is willing to play FAIR, and is presented some real solutions to real problems that the NHL is saying don’t exist or don’t need changing. I think he did that work ahead of time.

    It is the teams themselves that make these deals that they are bi+ching about. The problem is clearly within in the NHL office, and their lack of control regarding owners behaviors and performances, both on ice, and fiscally.

    Personally, I think Snider should not be allowed to own both the team and the network. Conflict of Interest. So glad we beat them in their own house on 1/1. Sunk that gloat boat before it sailed, the disaster on comcaster. Love that Sather press conference with Snider.

  35. UK did you some events from the Olympics ? I have seen a lot in TV and i was dissapointed not beeing able to travel because of a sickness despite finding a good airfare not to exspensive hotel at Earls Court…..

  36. UKR,
    My sons already played yard/pond hockey on a natural ice at 5. However, full understanding and ability to follow a game comes to preliminary prepared kids probably after 10. But building emotional bond with your sons during a games or watching together (that I would start right now) has no age boundaries and, as they say, is priceless. Cost efficiency of those events is, of course, your call.

  37. First Pro Game I think he was 5. He was a termite. He had already grown out of tin foil pucks on the kitchen floor, and moved outside. It was a preseason game Wild vs Blues.

    Funniest thing ever. We are sitting on the ice. He has his hands full with popcorn, coke, and something else. He puts his coke on the dasher boards while he takes his coat off. Sits down. And Pronger smashes someone into the boards. His entire coke end up in his lap, it’s on the big screen and everyone is laughing!!!

    During a break the ref skates up to the glass, points at him, and tosses a game puck over the glass. Great stuff.

    My answer is, when they are old enough to remember it :)

  38. I’m taking my son who will be 22 months to rangers blues on dec 8th 12 pm start. Only Saturday matinee all year.

    Just seeing his face with noise lights etc worth it for me since he won’t remember anything.

    My luck season starts dec 10th

  39. Cool – thanks guys. As it involves a tourist trip as well i’m going to wait till my youngest is 5 and try it then – if they’ve signed a new CBA by then!
    I take my 5 year old to the occasional soccer game, so he’s used to the popcorn, 7up, sausage roll or pie (an English sporting institution) and sitting and watching the game although its a bit different in the NHL with all the stoppages in play – soccer is 45 minutes pretty much non-stop then 15 minute break then another 45.

    Olympics – couldnt get any tickets!! Saw the flame pass by my office which was cool and would have gone to see the cycling road race or TT if it wasn’t so far away.

    p.s. I would be interested in doing a guest post if anyone wants to hear one (i could do one on my life as a soccer fan or the time Gretzky made me a Rangers fan for life?)

  40. Isn’t it just such a Rangers moment that when they finally have a legit chance of winning it all, there may be no season? It never ends with this team.

  41. Good thinking. I totally forgot that most sporting events are too late for kids. This is why I am not a father!

    I was at a concert in Prospect Park a few weeks back (Ghostface Killah) and as the show was ending (around 11PM) some people were wheeling their babies out. Kids that were 3 and under. WAY too young to be out that late or in that type of environment.

  42. The owners need MOE money first, or there wont be a season. Go Figure, the life of a Ranger fan.

  43. UKR,
    Of course, the best is to play sports with your sons, if you can. I played hockey with my sons in different periods, from their childhood thru manhood and let me tell you: Staals brothers can relax in locker-room, compared the satisfaction and pride my sons were always taken of hitting or overplaying me. There is no better recipe from taking odor of sanctity out of fatherhood.

  44. Hipbone and others: I dislike Bettman as much as everyone. I hate what he does for hockey and his rule changes and his annoyingness. That said, this is exactly why he was hired. He wasn’t hired for his hockey sense. He was brought in to help make the NHL profitable. Remember, if the sport becomes not profitable then we will never have hockey. They have to make enough money to make it worthwhile for all these people who don’t care about hockey at all but own teams or run the league.

  45. Tony!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Keep on Refreshing Tony. It will get here soon!

  46. The one time I got to see Wu-Tang (when they were touring with Rage Against the Machine) ODB was too eff’d up to come on stage so they replaced him with Cappadonna’s 5 year old son.

  47. Never give up Tony!!! Youre family is the best!! And youre gonna get better!!!

    And the Rangers are scheduled to win the Cup in June 2013.

  48. Tony-

    I’m recovering from a stroke myself. Glacially slow but the recovery does happen.

    Hang in there. You do get better.

  49. hip bone, it’s pretty basic. the CBA expires Sept. 15. Both sides know they are going to be miles apart. There is no possible way to get anything done, therefore, until there is a deadline … and in most cases in sports/labor history, until after the deadline passes. The players won’t start bending until they start losing paychecks. The owners won’t start bending until they start losing game revenue. So, in short, no, there is no way to get this done ahead of time.

    Atta Boy, Tony!!!!

  50. UK, great question. I used to have this debate with my buddies all the time. They would bring their kids to games as early as infants! Kids didn’t know what was going on, just ate, and fell asleep. Never got that once-in-a-lifetime moment that would last forever. I would tell them how memorable my first game with my Dad was and how I would wait until my son was old enough to have the same experience.

    First it was baseball. My first game was Mets vs Padres. I was 8. We got there late so the game had already started. Shea was packed (yes, the Mets used to sell-out games a million yrs ago). I vividly remember, while we were still outside, hearing the crack of the bat on the ball and the crowd roar. I tugged on my Dad so hard to hurry, he inadvertently (I think) let go and I fell to the ground. To this day, that moment when we walked down the ramp and I saw the field for the first time is one of those moments in life that I can close my eyes today and still relive. I don’t remember much about the game but I will always remember the experience.

    I wanted my son to have the same feeling so I resisted his pleas to take him to first Yankee game until he was 7. What a great experience for me! I don’t think I watched any of the game, I just watched him – from that first walk out to the field to the last out, I soaked that in and couldn’t help feeling what my Dad must have felt back at Shea.

    That same year was his first hockey game. Although he had been playing hockey since he was five, and had been around a fair share of Islander players, both on and off the ice, he still had a similar awe-struck moment when we went to the Garden for the first time. Not the same as my first Ranger game with dad back in the 70’s (seeing my idol Eddie Giacomin live was certainly not the same as watching a game on TV in a pre-HD world) but another priceless experience for both of us.

    I imagine it’s harder today but if you can hold out until the kids are old enough to truely appreciate the experience, you won’t regret it.

  51. People approach hockey from so many angles and conditions, and many are lured to the sport at the minor league level. My parents brought me to the old New Haven arena on Grove St ( now a parking lot), and every saturday night we knew there’d be AHL hockey with the old Ramblers a farm club for Rangers and Emil Francis was his cat like self as goal tender. I, at the time, was still in the formative period of courtship of she who would become tbw. She was really quite shy and knew absolutely nothing of the game. I recall that first game, I’m sitting beside my parents, and tbw between us. At the end of the game, I asked her how she liked the game and let me know her opinion. She replied that she saw it as fast moving and wonderful skating, but didn’t understand the point of the game. I told her that the skaters were trying to put the puck into the goal net of the opposing team. Long pause…..then ?Puck? what is that? I told her it was that little black disk that they passed back and forth and shot at the goal with. Long pause…….then a soft voiced,
    puck? She never saw the puck. because she was self conscious about wearing glasses so never put them on for the game. never saw a puck. I felt her angst, and could have kissed her right then and there, but she just laughed and said,….next time I’ll wear them…to see the puck.

    Try justifying this game with every activity involved in the game, but without a puck.

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