Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 12/08/12 at 11:05 AM ET
from Elliotte Friedman of CBC,
The Winnipeg defenceman is a constant part of these negotiations. He hasn't always had a large public presence, but he's heavily involved.
There are no heroes in the Implosion of 2012, but both sides have made sure that one or two of their opponents are known villains. Even the Mashco-Piro are aware that Bruins owner Jeremy Jacobs sent one Governor to the corner and made employees pay a hefty tax bill on their 2011 Stanley Cup rings.
Meanwhile, the Andromeda Galaxy can see how much the league loathes Donald Fehr -- the man "with no skin in the game who is about to ruin the season."
Full disclosure: I don't know Hainsey at all away from the rink, but I've enjoyed my limited dealings with him around practices and games. He's one of those players who likes to know what's going on around the league, so he's insightful to talk to.
But, something has gone very wrong between Hainsey and and the league's negotiating teams. It is believed one of the reasons Mark Chipman was added to the mix -- in addition to his moderate nature -- is that it was hoped the defenceman would be more "in line" with his owner present.
I stress I've never heard it on- or off-the-record from any owner, general manager or negotiator -- but there is a rumbling going around that Hainsey will never again get an NHL contract. (He is an unrestricted free agent next summer.)
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