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NHL labour talks resume


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NHL talks lasted nearly five hours at Chicago's O'Hare Airport on Wednesday, with the promise to meet again Thursday in Toronto according to a source.

Neither side commented much on how the session went - or had much to say on anything else for that matter. But the fact there will be another meeting is a glimmer of hope. "There was dialogue and communication, and that's what I set out to accomplish," NHL Players' Association president Trevor Linden said after the meeting. Wednesday's session started at 11:15 a.m. EST and ended at 4:10 p.m.

Linden, NHLPA senior director Ted Saskin and outside counsel John McCambridge met in an airport lounge with NHL board of governors chairman Harley Hotchkiss, NHL executive vice-president Bill Daly and league outside counsel Bob Batterman.

The group, which came together at Linden's request, is trying kick-start 11th-hour labour talks. It was only the third meeting between the two sides since Sept. 9.

"We credit Trevor Linden's initiative in requesting this session, which was informal, open and professional and which resulted in a constructive exchange of viewpoints," Hotchkiss said in a statement, his only remarks for the day.

The group will be without Hotchkiss on Thursday. He is expected to attend the Calgary funeral of J.R. (Bud) McCaig, the part-owner of the Flames who died last Tuesday.

Saskin also had much more on his mind than the lockout. His mother died Wednesday morning.

That's likely the chief reason for shifting labour talks to Toronto, where Saskin lives.

Daly and Saskin said very little in a brief Media scrum afterwards.

"I thought the atmosphere was good," Daly told reporters. "But I don't want to add any other than that. We want to continue the process."

Daly later added in a statement that the "parties had a good, candid dialogue, and we intend to talk again. Out of respect for the process, we have no further comment at this time."

Either way, the fact there is another meeting can't be bad news.

"That certainly is a positive thing," Devils CEO and GM Lou Lamoriello said from New Jersey.

Lamoriello, a member of the owners' negotiating committee, reiterated that time is critical as the season slips away.

"It doesn't take anybody who's around the game to know the number of games that need to be played, of what the urgency is right now if there's anything to come about from this," Lamoriello said.

NHL commissioner Gary Bettman, NHLPA executive director Bob Goodenow and the rest of the negotiating teams were not present for Wednesday's talks.

It's the first meeting between the two sides since Dec. 14 in Toronto, when the NHL rejected the union's Dec. 9 proposal and the NHLPA responded by rejecting the league's counter-offer.

More than half of the NHL season has already been scrapped by the lockout, which was announced Sept. 15 by Bettman. Through Wednesday, 662 of the season's 1,230 regular-season games had gone by the wayside.

The league has never announced a drop-dead date to save the season, but few believe there can be hockey this season if there's no agreement before the end of the month.

None of the four major professional sports in North America has ever gone beginning to end without a single game played. The Stanley Cup is in danger of not being awarded for the first time since the Spanish flu wiped out the 1919 final. Even the Second World War couldn't stop the Stanley Cup playoffs.

Source

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:) At least there seems to be some progress. Hopefully they can save the season. Props to Linden for the idea. They were getting nowhere with Bettman and Goodenow arround.

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its nice that they talked, but there's not going to be a season. they should go ahead and cancel the season and try to have a season later this year. maybe the ahl will be the new nhl.

its also sad to see some of the older vets, like Messier and Yzerman, might have to retire because of this.

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I am glad there is no NH:D:D  I wouldn't mind if it dissapeared forever. :devil:l:

585324802[/snapback]

Why? If you don't like it, don't watch it. WHy be happy that there is no NHL?

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I love hockey. It's right after NFL Football for the second best sport. I do not want the NHL this year, however. The season would be too short and it would just be a joke. I don't know why the NHL heads don't realize that doing this every few years kills the sport and hockey wasn't doing so well to begin with.

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i'd love to see nhl hockey this year, miss it alot..dont even bother to turn the tv on anymore..

the nhl will never be the same.

greedy players dont even deserve to play , they make enough fricken money how it is.

ill always watch hockey though,and eventually we'll all [someday] forget about the greedy motherf*ckers

GO OILERS :D :woot:

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I don't care for it at all...but it's not because of the game, but all the expansion that has completely watered down this league. that is where the whole problem with the NHL is. Sure, people enjoy the game, but you can't go and dump a team into a market where hockey isn't popular. You water down a league with mediocre talent, and overinflated egos.

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I don't care for it at all...but it's not because of the game, but all the expansion that has completely watered down this league.  that is where the whole problem with the NHL is.  Sure, people enjoy the game, but you can't go and dump a team into a market where hockey isn't popular.  You water down a league with mediocre talent, and overinflated egos.

585326949[/snapback]

:yes: :yes: :yes:

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I don't care for it at all...but it's not because of the game, but all the expansion that has completely watered down this league.  that is where the whole problem with the NHL is.  Sure, people enjoy the game, but you can't go and dump a team into a market where hockey isn't popular.  You water down a league with mediocre talent, and overinflated egos.

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I have an easy solution to that. It would solve both the diluted talent and reduce team salary expenses.

Players these days are in much better shape than players 20, 30, 40 or more years ago. I say, cut the number of forwards from 12 to 9 (essentially eliminate the fourth line) and cut the number of defence pairs from 3 to 2. Assuming that teams continue to carry two goaltenders and eliminate one of the spares, we'd be dropping the roster from 23 (12 forwards + 6 defencemen + 2 goaltenders + 3 spares) to something closer to 17 (9 forwards + 4 defencemen + 2 goaltenders + 2 spares).

I'm talking about dropping the salaries of six players per team. These will not necesarily be the lowest paid since teams may still want to keep rookies on the big club (for experience) but even if they are, it should still amount to a significant savings and also add to a restoration of the talent pool.

30 clubs * 6 players per club = 180 players off to Europe or earlier retirement.

I know that these are not the players that I would miss.

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Actually, fred, that makes loads of sense. The goofy substitutions and shuffling of playersmakes the game even more confusing and in essence, limits scoring due to the 'specialty' lines. Get them tired! More points! hehe

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Actually, fred, that makes loads of sense.  The goofy substitutions and shuffling of playersmakes the game even more confusing and in essence, limits scoring due to the 'specialty' lines.  Get them tired!  More points!  hehe

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It would actually help to restore the game to its roots. In the old days, the players did get tired, they did make mistakes and the other team capitalized on them. I think it would increase scoring.

The 4th liners only play 5 or 6 minutes a game anyway. The 5th and 6th defencemen don't play much more either.

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the 4th line is often the checking line though, they come out there and lay some big hits.. if the teams only had their star scorers out there all the time, the game would become less physical.

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It would actually help to restore the game to its roots.  In the old days, the players did get tired, they did make mistakes and the other team capitalized on them.  I think it would increase scoring.

The 4th liners only play 5 or 6 minutes a game anyway.  The 5th and 6th defencemen don't play much more either.

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Woah, you're telling me that players don't get tired and make mistakes nowadays in NHL games?

I think the way its set up now is efficient with regards to how many players there are on a team, its fine, you want to have a top line of good players that isn't exhausted and keeps the game fast. The problem is not too many lines in my opinion, it's too many teams, like was said earlier. Expansion is (in my opinion, and in this particular case) a big problem. Instead of trying to convert an unreceptive audience (ie many but not all American fans) to hockey, they should focus on keeping the game strong in Canada and the American cities that have good markets and appreciate the game. The fact that there are teams here in Canada struggling to survive while the NHL creates teams in Nashville/Carolina would almost be funny to me. If Gary Bettman cared about the sport of hockey as much as the business of it, the NHL would be better off today. It would suck for the five or six fans in the States but up here it would be much appreciated I think.

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You can live off a salary of 250,000 USD quite nicely. Cut it down to that. You have players in the semi-pro/farm teams/junior with dreams of being in the NHL who are playing their hearts out every day, then going to school, then going on the road, all while playing the game.

Go back to the roots of the game, this is getting rediculous.

You have 1,000 players waiting to take a spot of a 5th line defenceman who's whining about not getting paid to play 5 minutes of a game. Something has to be done, it's the owners and the players that are both being greedy. Either is being unreasonable and uccanacceptable.

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the 4th line is often the checking line though, they come out there and lay some big hits.. if the teams only had their star scorers out there all the time, the game would become less physical.

585327481[/snapback]

Typically clubs have two scoring lines, one checking line and one extra line (with a rookie, a pugilist and an aging leader) although some clubs, like Toronto, try to go with three scoring lines and a checking line (mostly because they are all aging leaders, but that's another story).

The 3rd line would be the new checking line and players with size, grit and skills would be highly valued (i.e. Keith Tkachuk, Gary Roberts). It would be bad news for a lot of pugilists with minimal skills (although Chris Simon and even Tie Domi would probably escape this category).

Woah, you're telling me that players don't get tired and make mistakes nowadays in NHL games?

I'm saying they don't get as tired as they did 30-40 years ago before the current physical fitness regime took over). Now that being a professional hockey player is lucrative, players take much better care of their bodies.

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