Here’s my story for and The Journal News


By Rick Carpiniello

So much for the Rangers needing to start the season with eight games on the road due to Madison Square Garden’s renovations.

The first five of those games were, not surprisingly, among the 82 games canceled by the NHL on Thursday due to the league’s lockout of its players.

Gone from the original schedule are Rangers games in Los Angeles (Oct. 12), San Jose (Oct. 15), New Jersey (Oct. 17), Buffalo (Oct. 19) and Tampa Bay (Oct. 23).

However, in the event of a new collective bargaining agreement being reached, the NHL schedule wouldn’t necessarily – and probably wouldn’t – simply begin at that point. Indeed, once there is a settlement, or if, the NHL would most certainly reconfigure the entire 2012-13 schedule in an attempt to squeeze in as many games as possible.

But the fact remains that the Garden, which was supposed to be ready for habitation with the Nov. 1 game against Dallas, should be open for business earlier in the schedule than originally planned.

According to, NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly said “if we reach a deal, we will be looking to reconfigure schedule in a way that would maximize season consistent with health and safety concerns for players.”
A later start date might also benefit the Rangers as they await the return of their leading scorer, Marian Gaborik, from shoulder surgery (he was expected back in late November or December) and as newcomer Rick Nash recovers from a bruised shoulder injury he suffered this week while playing in Switzerland.

Donald Fehr, the executive director of the players union, said, “The decision to cancel the first two weeks of the NHL season is the unilateral choice of the NHL owners. If the owners truly cared about the game and the fans, they would lift the lockout and allow the season to begin on time while negotiations continue.  A lockout should be the last resort in bargaining, not the strategy of first resort.  For nearly 20 years, the owners have elected to lock-out the players in an effort to secure massive concessions.  Nevertheless, the players remain committed to playing hockey while the parties work to reach a deal that is fair for both sides. We hope we will soon have a willing negotiating partner.”





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  1. Re-post:

    there’s not a prayer that this could get done while they play and everybody gets paid, Meshuggah. There needs to be leverage to get something done, especially something so contentious as this. if they can’t bargain now, why would you expect they could bargain under status-quo?

    they couldn’t.

  2. re-post:

    Like I said before, Buttman and the owners don’t know who there dealing with, this isn’t the same type guy who lead the players when they were locked out in 2004. Fehr is a hard nose negotiator and won’t take any crap. The owners and buttman better be careful or they are going to damage the nhl for a long time. Buttman was always talking about how they wanted to expand the fan base, well, you can forget about expanding the fan base because the NHL is going to lose the die hard hockey fans and ruin the league and all because Buttman wanted to expand the league with more teams in areas that aren’t hockey towns, therefore owners losing money while they still gave enormous contracts out and now they want the money back, incompetent idiots.

  3. the owners know exactly with whom they are dealing, tommy. That’s why it’s so hard-line so early. … and the diehards aren’t going anywhere. They will be back buying tickets, buying Center Ice, buying jerseys and hats and prime rib sandwiches ($18.95 or more in ’12-13?) … they will be back.

  4. Gravy, Everything's Better With... on

    The title 3 posts ago scared me…I thought the whole season had gotten cancelled already.

  5. Fehr should announce that in the interest of fairness to players trying to make a living and support their families by signing long-term somewhere, they have decided to cancel the entire season. Radical, dynamic, and expensive move, but you can bet Bettman would plead for immediate and serious discussion.

  6. Because I am so far removed from that inside NYC, and so lacking in the inside stuff that you all seem to have, I’ve been hesitant to make any comments at all… but I do have some wondering about one aspect of this all. I understand that several of their star players have signed contracts to play in the overseas leagues, and do they just walk away from those teams and the contracts that they have with them? Can they get away with that? everything about all this has a murky quality to it, and it leaves me at any rate not quite knowing what is really going on. Now for instance,
    let’s say Joe Smith, a top Ranger player wants to come back and join the team and is unable to do so due to his foreign contract…do they then just fill in his place with minor leaguers for openers?

    And if so…do they charge minor league ticket prices for the games? The Whale for instance… I have no idea what tix for their games go for, but would they just charge Whale tix for the rest of the season? This is all so confusing.

  7. Fehr also knows who he is dealing with. He probably realizes that the closer they get to Winter Classic, the more he can get from NHL. No wonder most of the players think January 1st will be the start of this season. The NHL will lose a tremendous amount of money and exposure if WC isn’t played. If the deal isn’t done by then, I doubt they’ll play this year at all.

  8. agreed, ilb.

    fran, I believe those overseas contracts release the players if/when the NHL reopens.

    interesting, coos. Announce that the players are striking and that, if there is no deal by Oct. 31, for example, they will not play this season. Would take onions as big as the building to throw away that kind of cash, though.

  9. Fran, their KHL/European leagues contracts have an “out” clause in case the NHL season resumes.

  10. Id be interested to know what James Devellano thinks about the lockout and possibility of the WC not being played. He holds some position in the Red Wings organization. Ive met him a few times in the past year and spoken hockey with him, but I havent seen him in the past couple months.

  11. fran…not much coverage here either….same stuff you can get via the net….with yanks in playoffs and the nfl in full swing,very little hockey material in the media…just gives creedence to the clowns who like to say “hockey doesn’t matter”…unfortunately for us,it does matter….

  12. “Announce that the players are striking and that, if there is no deal by Oct. 31, for example, they will not play this season. ”

    That would be the end of the NHL as we know it….might be a good thing, though…

  13. Aha! I knew that someone would have the answer to my inquiry, and almost immediately. That being the case it would seem that the only ones who apparently come thru this relatively unscathed, are the players themselves. Very interesting…. a contract that is a highly conditional one……
    at the end of it all ( if there is an end to it all), and it seems that eventually they will have to
    persuade the inventor of the Rubik Cube to unwind it all..

  14. The owners’ stance is similar to Gannett avoiding difficult corporate responsibilities and simply forcing their most valuable writers in a lucrative area to give back large personal dollars so that Gannett can use that money to prop up failing papers in Smyrna, Georgia and Bumfork, New Mexico.

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