That was fun … let’s do this again in 2020


When the 1994-95 lockout ended, Nick Kypreos traveled with Glenn Healy from Toronto to New York. When asked by a customs agent if they had anything to declare, Kypreos said, “No, the owners took it all.”

And so it is with every lockout under the Lockout Commissioner. The owners win. Win big. Win by a landslide. Then when the agreement expires, or when the opt-out year arrives, the owners cry how badly they lost last time and have do it all over again.

I’m going over to the rink today to talk to some of the players about starting up again. At least, that’s the plan. Fair warning, my piece of cooke Mac laptop failed the last time I tried to post audio and failed again last night as I ran a test. So if no audio, there will be minimal posting from the rink (I am not going to transcribe a lot of babble about the lockout 30 hours after the fact). Though I may have an alternate, and therefore different-looking, way to put the audio on the blog.

I must say that you guys are completely nuts with the amount of traffic we had here yesterday, and all weekend, really. For some brief moments, I wondered if youse would all come back, and now I’m sure you will.

Do me two favors. Round up some Rangers/hockey fans who don’t know about this place and tell them to stop by. And follow me on Twitter, because during this stoppage I became a tweeting fool @RangersReport.


In the meantime, here’s my column from The Journal News and

By Rick Carpiniello

Mark this down. The NHL will have another labor shutdown in 2020, and everybody will, once again, forget the drill.

Because the lockout that ended in the early hours of Sunday morning, the 113-day owners lockout, went exactly as scripted — with a deal only able to be done at the deadline.

Big surprise. It is pretty much how every labor dispute has ever gone, pulling along everybody on the emotional ride.

You can say it was unnecessary, that it could have been avoided, or it could have been settled sooner. But it could not have been, because neither side would have taken the deal that ended the lockout until it absolutely had to take it.

Remember when NHL executive/negotiator Bill Daly said that the demanded five-year limit on the length of contracts would be “the hill we will die on?”

Well, free-agent contracts will now have a seven-year maximum (or eight for a team to re-sign its own player). The sides split hockey revenue 50-50, which is where we knew it would be (and down from 57-43 in the players’ favor previously). The players gained on pensions (for those in the real world, you can Google “pension” to learn what that is).

The owners got revenue sharing, contract limits, the 10-year CBA length, and the language that will limit the vogue front-loading, salary cap-circumventing money in contracts.

The teams all got two buyouts next summer so they can comply with the salary cap ($64.3M next season, down from $70.2M).

But none of that could have been agreed upon until we got to the deadline, which was the coming weekend before Gary Bettman — the Lockout Commissioner now responsible for three major work stoppages — threatened to cancel the season as he did in 2005.

The difference this time was that cancellation was not an option, moderate owners reportedly told Bettman. Last time, the owners were willing to kill a season to get their salary cap, and the players didn’t blink. But, like the players’ strike in 1992 and the lockout in 1994-95, once there was a drop-dead date, the script called for an agreement. So plan on that script again in 2020, the eighth year of the new 10-year CBA, after which either side can opt out.

Owners lost hundreds of millions of dollars; the players more than 40 percent of their salaries (they average about $2.5 million).

The NHL — once the new CBA is ratified by the approximately 740-member players union and the owners — will go to training camp in the middle of this week, and next week begin a 48- or 50-game season with intraconference play only, and a full four-round Stanley Cup postseason starting in April.

The Rangers, poised to be serious contenders for that Cup with newcomer Rick Nash (who played in Europe during the stoppage), will skate at their Greenburgh facility today — though they can’t officially begin camp yet.

They may have benefited by the lockout in that A) Marian Gaborik’s surgically-repaired shoulder is now healed; B) their demanding, physical, shot-blocking style might be better suited for a sprint than a marathon; and C) goalie Henrik Lundqvist can play a greater majority of the games.

The NHL dragged the hearts of their most loyal, most passionate customers through this smelly mud. If either side really cared, this could have been done before the script called for it to be done.

But the fans, some of whom swore off hockey, some of whom said they no longer cared, will be right back on opening night, emptying their pockets on “NASH” jerseys and $18.50 prime rib sandwiches, lining the owners’ pockets again.

Thank you, sirs, may I have another in 2020?



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  1. okay. now it’s just byfuglien lonely here.

    oh well………..

    as i said in today’s previous thread
    i’ll probably end up returning and cheering but
    right now
    i don’t feel all that excited.
    so much going on in my life since this stupid lockout
    that i’m just not ready to pull on my jersey and start yelling at the tv screen
    again for someone to SHOOT on the power play.
    we’ll see
    maybe as i get closer to the date
    but it feels a little bit numb right now.

  2. Matty"DepthisWhatisNeeded!!!"Boy on

    Carpy, I have learned when you prognosticate about hockey, nothing else but hockey, you carry a high rate of being correct. I agree with you on this one.

  3. Article dated April 2012

    *”Lundqvist has often struggled to find the elusive nexus of concentration and relaxation. “He’s so competitive,”* says New York forward Brandon Dubinsky. “If I score on him in practice, it feels like winning the Stanley Cup.” In Lundqvist’s first NHL playoff series, against the Devils in 2006, he was having trouble tracking pucks, especially when he moved laterally. Doctors found he was suffering migraines and blurred vision from grinding his teeth. “I tried everything: contacts, relaxing my jaw muscles,” he says. “I thought it was my heart or my brain at first.” To deal with his problems, he began taking medication, which he dropped this season. His pregame routine, from the way he tapes his stick to his choice in music—the punk-pop band Blink 182—is nonnegotiable. Even Tortorella leaves him alone. Despite his intense pregame focus, *Lundqvist sometimes catches himself daydreaming on the ice.”* *Between whistles I’ll think about my wife, or maybe my parents coming into town,” he says. “I lose my thought and my mind will go where I don’t expect it.”*

    Like I said, only the greatest athletes can maintain focus nearly all the time. Tom Brady, Michael Jordan, Mariano Rivera. Hopefully one day, Henrik can be put in that category.

  4. Even though i put aside my anger from last year’s ECF exit behind me a while ago, I dont think I can ever be angry with Henrik’s performance again. It’s obvious he cares a lot about winning, some might say too much, it’s just his focus that’s sometimes the issue. I had equated a focus on games with a desire to win. I was very wrong in that. His focus is a mental aspect.

  5. Our players, already prone to lose focus and to to suffer from fatigue, have been traveling the world for months, eating at Dunkin Donuts and living out of suitcases. Other top teams first and second lines rarely suffer from fatigue or focus-drain because almost none of them have wives or children or meddling in-laws. We are up against it.

  6. It’s about time. What a freeken waste of a season. Bettman, what a great way to promote Hockey. Why didn’t they start negotiations in June or July. Bettman loves to play chicken

  7. Johan Santana pitches a no hitter, but gives up a long fly ball out to left, and Tiki writes an essay on how he lost his focus.

  8. ThisYearsModel on

    Well, we’re back. Will be spending a lot of time on the internet because I plan to keep my promise of no center ice and no game center this year after these dopws dragged us through this.

  9. I’m hearing the Gamecenter free rumours again – please tell me a) its true and b) available outside of N.America

  10. …oh and i hope that no big free agent players sign in Boston, Calgary, Toronto or Minnesota anytime soon. Its not often we can say our owner was amongst the sanest of NHL owners in this lockout, but he was. And as Carp says now back to the insanity of the $18.50 prime rib sandwiches!

  11. Overall did not miss hockey as much as I thought I would. Last seasons playoff run was extremely draining.

  12. I hope so Hammer, now that the expectations on Kreider are lower and there is less room for a slow start we’ll need his goals straight from the start.
    Finally we’re going to get to see Nash in Broadway Blue – bring it on!

  13. Jlone2Bubblehead on

    I predict a slow start and a slow finish with some great winning streaks in the middle.

    I hope there is some venue to watch the games that is free because I wont be paying to watch this year. Thats not a protest, I will be working in CT and living in a hotel that doesnt get MSG for most of the season. I just cant justify the $ for a handful of games.

  14. You can guarantee it. By Saturday I will have owners who are frustrated by the new CBA.

  15. No Gary – you can bet by Saturday that your owners will be trying to sign players to contracts circumventing some of your new CBA rules.

  16. Bring on the season! I know that Tort’s players will be saying that so they might not have to go through his training sessions…wonder if these sessions will be less intense this year?

  17. Be interesting over the next few days to see how quickly Ovechkin, Kovy, Malkin, Datsyuk and co get there a$$ens back Stateside

  18. Good morning, boneheads!

    I doubt it, wildplaces. In fact, it may be more intense, considering how short the camp will be. Expect it to be all business.

  19. Just a thought – on the buyout thing. Could Slats buy out Nash and then re-sign him to a more cap-friendly contract? (If Nash was willing to do that to help the team contend)

  20. UK- the expired CBA prohibited teams from signing their bought-out players for one year, I suspect this will be the case again.

  21. I’m back, or more appropriately, I’m raising my head above ice level to be counted among those returning. I’ve actually been here all along but felt no need to add my disgust to the chorus of unhappiness here. My opening volley is a declaration and a question.

    Since I couldn’t watch hockey, I started playing it. Starting a second career at 57 w/ aspirations of making it to a pro level is daunting but I’m not giving up my dream! I’m learning to skate and I might add shooting to my CV later this season. Playing this unbelievably difficult game has given me new found respect for my Blueshirt heroes. I might write up my experiences for you guys if you all have any interest.

    Question: Will the Stanley Cup winner hold the same stature and allure for you coming off this abbreviated “regular” season?


  22. Thanks ilb – i thought there might be something like that. I’m guessing our 2nd buyout will be whoever performs worst out of Pyatt, Rupp or Stralman this year.

    Looking forward to a week of discussing line combos, free agent frenzy part 2 and getting into game-mode!!

  23. Ps. I can’t wait for this dogs-breakfast-of-a-team to stink up the league. These clowns likely didn’t hit the gym one time during the break … They’re going to get destroyed come next week.

    No playoffs. Mark my words.

  24. opening night MUST WIN. if you all think im nuts during 82 game schedule imagine me during 48 games. playoff race is on

  25. Hi there, ‘heads!

    With the exception of those of you who are friends with me on FB, I’ve been quiet throughout this lockout. Here’s my short deal: In 94-95, I was but a middle school student, with no idea what a lockout really meant, and focused more on my awkward desire for girls than hockey. In 04-05, I was just coming out of college trying to figure out what the hell I was going to do with my life, and working as a teacher for the first time, going to grad school, and not really having much time for hockey, anyway. I knew what was going on, but it didn’t get to me because I wasn’t “all in” at the time. This time around, after watching the boys make a run to the conference finals, and then seeing the Kings winning it all for the first time, I was eerily reminded of 1994. “Wow – Bettman is going to do it again. He’s going to kill all the momentum this sport has generated in favor of the owners being able to keep more of what will ultimately be a smaller pot.” Well, these owners (and this commissioner) will not see another dollar out of my pocket until the worst of them are gone. That means I will not be buying any tickets, I will not be buying any sports packages, I will not be buying any merchandise, and I MAY even turn down the free tickets to the Bruins my boss gives out to us employees. I will still follow these blueshirts, and when they are on NBC (because I only have an antenna on my roof, no cable to support these Byfuglien owners), I’ll probably watch because I’m not part of the Nielsen system. Carp, I’ll be happy to continue to follow you because I wouldn’t want your job to suffer because of those —holes.

    If the owners want to know how they can win my support back, they can start by firing Gary Bettman. Then I’ll start thinking about it.

    And Heave, no one with any dignity in the sport considers the Devils’ 1995 Stanley Cup victory tarnished, so this year’s cup winner will not be tarnished, either. The playoffs are grueling and they won’t be lessened.

  26. Tiki, after each game could you please provide us with a psychoanalytical breakdown of Lundqvist’s performance? Thanks.

    You’ve cut and pasted enough about this topic already. Time to put a mini cap on your flame.

  27. I have to ask this question, ‘heads. Just imagine for a second that everyone is true to their words and we stop supporting the league by not buying merchandise, tickets, not subscribing to Center Ice etc. The league’s revenue instead of going up will go down. Let’s say it gets so miserable that they, instead of making upwards of $3B, they barely make $1B. What do you think will happen to this sport in US?

  28. ilb – I am only not supporting the NHL financially (e.g. buying merchandise) until Bettman is FIRED. Then I will be back to spending $15-$20 per year on Rangers merchandise.

  29. I will take a “daydreaming” Henrik over almost any goalie in the NHL. Gee, during that INTENSE triple overtime 2-1 win (during the pressure packed) playoffs; Henrik seemed pretty focused. ;-)



  30. Boomer thinks our top line will be: Nash – Richards – Gaborik


    Nash – Richards – Gaborik
    Callahan – Stepan – Kreider
    Hagelin – Boyle – Pyatt
    Miller/Haley – Halpern – Rupp

    Who did I forget?

  31. It’s been an ugly few months, but having the Rangers back is a beautiful thing!
    Now, down to business: it’s been almost 8 months since our last power play goal – suggestion: 5 on 4 drills ad nauseam once camp begins.

  32. They are actually talking about Tort and the Rangers on WFAN. Talking about Blocking shots…

  33. Paul in sunrise on

    Too stop spending money is to punish the players too. At the end it looked like the players had all of the leverage. By the looks of the deal it was the owners scratching and clawing for all their dimes. The players may not have recognized it but they had the leverage once the 50/50 split which was inevitable was agreed upon. The owners looked desperate and did a lot of dying on mole hills.

    I am happy hockey is back and yes I am buying the hockey package because I don’t want to miss a game of this sprint to the cup for our rangers.

  34. Carp will teams drop ticket prices and offer special ticket deals? They should, but only team I’ve heard from so far is the Dallas Stars. Will fans boycott? Fans who pledged to Just Drop It have to sit out the first 10 games.

  35. Paul in sunrise on

    Also no reason to punish the rangers. You have to believe that the NYR organization never wanted to miss a game.

  36. What can I say. When the B -man cancelled the winter classic. I said “its over johnny”. NHL Hockey season was over. Carp ,you where right about the drop dead deadline. What a waste of time this has been. I cant wait to sit and see my new 36% higher price seats from last year. No matter what they say about bringing back the Blue Seats,the upper 400’s are gone forever but not the FANS i hope. Hay, these pretzels are making me thirsty. could you bring me that 1/2 a CUP. I am True Blue. Lets Go Rangers.

  37. Paul, if the Rangers organization were so against the lockout, then Dolan should have come out and broken that stupid gag order. Meekly following orders is just as bad as rallying the troops to commit crimes.

  38. Paul – in no way was this a win for the players (in my humble opinion). The pension may be a small gain and the min. salary may be counted as a small gain, but it was mostly about the level of givebacks to the owners.

    Fehr has managed to stop them from getting utterly trounced like they did with Saskin/Goodenow etc..

    As Carp said all along, this thing didnt get done until both sides were at the cliff edge and nearly writing the season off – the players need the disclaimer as leverage and the owners were getting twitchy at losing the season, hence their climbdown from the ridiculous “hill we will die on” remarks and $60m 2nd yr cap.

    Finally its over and we can look forward to 5 months of mayhem – and a worthy Stanley cup winner.

  39. Rob in Beantown on

    Carp, any chance the league gives us the Game Center app for free, as has been rumored? Would make watching the Rangers’ 48 game PLAYOFF SPRINT easier in Beantown. But this is the NHL so it probably won’t happen, right?

  40. Carp – am i right in thinking that the teams are OK to contact players etc and use facilities now – or does that have to wait for a signed complete CBA?

  41. Pretty sure it’s signed and completed, UK. I am only answering for Carp because I think he answered that question yesterday and I think I properly remember his answer.

  42. UK-it is when the CBA is fully ratified. Techinically, the lockout is still on, pending full ratification.

  43. Players are on the Ice? Where Carp? Are they allowed back at the training facility for informal workouts now?

  44. They are allowed there but I think they have to pay for it. The same way we would have to rent the facility if we wanted to have a bonehead team skate there.

  45. I will never attend a live game ever again, nor purchase any piece of NHL paraphernalia. If I do, may our lord and savior Catholic Jesus Christ take me from the earth ASAP. Sports are no longer important to me. The only thing I can’t leave without is internets access. God bless the internets!

  46. People who say they will never attend another live game only deprive themselves and nobody else.


  47. Some marketing strategies to attract more fans:

    After 5 rounds of shootout, teams have to use celebrity fans as shooters
    In between periods fans get to pelt a Gary Bettman shaped Pinata with pucks or Sumo wrestle a Bill Daly lookalike for free tickets
    112 free Prime Rib sandwiches per home game (one for each day of lockout)
    Free tickets to anyone from below the 35th parallel
    Biznasty presents NHL Dance Party live
    Ilya Brzgalov replaces Sir Patrick Moore on “The Sky at Night”
    Shane Doan presents a new show on CBC called “Pimp my Pickup”
    Expansion teams in Seattle, Quebec, Havana and Oahu
    George Parros presents “NHL Mastermind”
    Matt Barnaby presents “NHL Mr & Mrs”

  48. People who attend games regularly are usually the greatest offenders of substandard syntax and grammar. They have been shown to exhibit vocabulary levels on par with 4th graders, and many will suffer from NIH (noise induced hearing loss). The only good thing about hockey returning is this blog.

    We could have played MSG stock as way to play lockout ending…stock up 1.5 or so.

  49. Gravy, for Beckenbaugh on

    Hi again all. As annoyed as I am by this whole bullcarillo fiasco, I will fully admit that I will be glued to MSG for any training camp coverage and opening night. I just love this sport too damn much.

    Anyway, it will be nice to be back on here to just talk about hockey again. Hopefully the NYR have another run in them and can take it to the next step. Will be an interesting year to see if the foundation of their style of play from last year will hold up with several new faces.

    Go time?

  50. Correct CCCP. I believe the team will not even release ticket information until to plan holders until the CBA is ratified.

  51. How awesome was Chris Neil in the Ottawa series? Other than the concussion cheap shot on Boyler…


    I am starting a cyber push for all fans to boycott their team’s home opener, in the stands and on t.v. I am disgusted by the league and everyone in it for squabbling over their millions while tens of thousands of low-income employees were sent to the unemployment line and had no means of income through the holidays. Imagine the statement that all those empty arenas will make!!! Just one night. Players skating to silence and owners worrying, even if just for a night, whether the fans will come back at all. Because that is exactly how they get away with this B.S., knowing the money will come back.

  53. if the NHL home openers are played but no one is there to see them, are the games actually played?

  54. Mr. UKRanger, your are partially correct. The GMs will be circumventing the CBA by overpaying players, thus frustrating the owners, who will then lock out the players in 8 years to take the money back.

    It’s the circle of NHL life.

    The only mechanic that will never change is ticket pricing. We promise to keep raising prices consistently.

  55. Rob in Beantown on

    Is KREIDER skating with the Rangers or is he still with the Whale? Will he be in NY for the opener?

  56. Great to have hockey back even though I really hate most of the owners. Hopefully Gaborik is healthy and ready to contribute game 1, a small but important unintended consequence of the lockout.

    Looking forward to all the great posts all season by the most insane fans I know of, hockey fans!!

  57. Any truth to the rumor that the Rangers have waived Biron and signed Gov. Chris Christie as backup goal blocker?

  58. i for one can’t wait for the first eric meltdown after one loss in a row due to the shortened season.

    also, i didn’t realize how much i missed miami until he called us the dogs breakfast

    happy to see everyone falling into place!

  59. CCCP, I wasn’t referring to you, but seeing as you openly engaged me. I speak English, Spanish and some italian, french and also was getting quite good at Mayan when I was living in Mexico. So not sure what your point is besides maybe feeling insecure that I was speaking directly to you.

    Are you mad, bro?

  60. 3C!!!!
    We are “friends” on PS3, but your message didnt’ get read until yesterday.
    Guess there is no notification that you sent it…guess I need to check it more often.
    BTW how do I update rosters?

  61. Morning Carp!!! At least in Central Time :)

    Nice to see the whole gang is back and READY to RUMBLE.

    Just think it’s been 19 years since the Rangers won the Stanley Cup!!! How many times did you watch the story during the lockout. 2 – 3 – 4 times?

    Excited as ever to watch, the table is set for a LONG Run. Rangers have to be one of the Favorites!!!

    Have a Sioux-per Day Boys!!!

    Carp we need a top 10 list on something……

  62. One assistant coach – Ray Lewis, who constantly paces back and forth behind bench, slapping players on the shoulder, saying, ‘Let’s Pick It Up, Gentlemen.’

  63. Gravy, for Beckenbaugh on

    Boy, the lockout hasn’t even officially ended, and we already have posters dropping the virtual gloves.

  64. I ain’t mad, mao bro ;)

    Staal Wart

    You do get a little pop up notification in the top right upper corner when someone sends a message. Roster updates for online play? EA does it for you…you’ll see when that happens. As far as vs computer play I’m not sure since i mostly play online…check in settings

  65. Excuse me while I pull out my effin syntax, right here right now for all to see…you can all look, and don’t pretend you’re not impressed.

    Really, though, what the heck was THAT about?


    Sorry ilb. But I haven’t seen anyone sign on the dotted line yet! I am still *LOCKED OUT*

  67. iWicky "Rupp Yours!!!" on

    Neil was a beast!!

    Will mcilrath get a shot if sauer isn’t healthy?

    Is sauer healthy?

    Gabby 100%?

    I think Nash is with brich, gabby has proven over the years to be able to score plenty without a top centre

  68. Carp -Its been WAY to long. I am so glad to be back and reading all of the, ahem, ‘expert analysis’ here on the blog. In all seriousness, its awesome to be back and the fact that hockey is back is just crazy. THe owners did win big from what I can glean from the new CBA. In any event, its great as I stated and I have added two new readers – one a has been ranger fan and one a Flyers Ja*# a** – so , all is right in the universe once again.

    Bring on Nash and the explosion of Rangers scoring!!! Hahahha right

  69. Sry – I dont know why the last post is showing as line thru – I will get the tech guys on it –

    I did have a question: Do we know the health of Sauer?

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