The Malik Report
by George Malik on 04/25/12 at 07:24 AM ET
The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette’s Shelly Anderson reveals some surprising and very good news from the Pittsburgh Penguins’ end-of-season media availability:
The NHL lost a season, 2004-05, to a work stoppage the previous time it had to hammer out a new collective bargaining agreement with the NHL Players’ Association. Penguins defenseman Brooks Orpik, a team union representative, is optimistic things won’t be as difficult this time. The CBA expires in September.
“We’ve had quite a few meetings the last two or three months, which almost the whole team attended,” Orpik said Tuesday. “I know a lot of that hasn’t been publicized. I think there’s been more communication between the two sides than people are aware of. I think both sides are pretty optimistic something will get done. I think there’s too much to lose after the last one we had to have another work stoppage.”
Orpik said the meetings mostly were about familiarizing players with the ideas of new NHLPA director Donald Fehr and that “I’m sure we’ll get a little more intense in the next couple months.”
Veteran winger Steve Sullivan said he hopes “we can get something done very quickly and we can continue to play,” but he believes the players were the ones who made a big sacrifice the previous time, which was when a salary cap was introduced to the NHL.
“We made a lot of concessions in ,” Sullivan said. “I think they got everything they wanted—a 24 percent roll-back [in salaries], a hard cap. I don’t know what else they’re going to ask for this time.”
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