Kukla's Korner

The Malik Report

Red Wings overnight report: charitable happenings, scattershot observations and even more CBA fun

This morning’s crop of news, both Red Wings-related and otherwise, is a little different than usual, even for the summertime, so let’s begin our little survey with Red Wings color commentator Mickey Redmond’s charity golf outing to benefit the Escanaba Area Junior Hockey Association at the Nahma Golf Club, where he spoke to the Escanaba Daily Press’s Justin Marietti about his endeavor…

“I’m good friends with the owners of the Nahma Inn, and they know the Escanaba hockey gang, so the word came out and they wanted to see if I could come up to help raise money for the hockey program. And here we are three and a half months later on a beautiful day in Nahma,” Redmond said.

Although he is a resident of Detroit during hockey season, Redmond is no stranger to the U.P.

“I have property in the Eastern U.P., and my wife and I are regular visitors,” he added. “We love it up here. And if you’re in my business (hockey), it’s great because there’s plenty of Red Wings fans up here.”

His take on why hockey’s a great participatory sport…

“Hockey is a great game,” he said. “It teaches a lot of life skills to a lot of people from young to old. For every level of the game, no matter what the level is, there is a value. It teaches tremendous core values to help people in life, which I think is important. It’s also important for them to be a part of a team and part of a competition, although being a sportsman is most important. The values in the game really are immeasurable.”

And, of course, the state of the Wings:

“It does amaze me that (some Detroiters) think that we’re going to be no good at all without (Lidstrom). It’s kind of funny, kind of interesting, because we still have some pretty good hockey players in Datsyuk, Zetterberg, Helm, Kronwall, and so on. It’ll be a real adjustment and transition year, but I think we’ll be fine,” he said.

He does not believe, however, that the Red Wings are without their flaws. He said that he thinks that part of the issue with the Wings is that they always finish the season well and make the playoffs, which leaves them low on the totem pole when draft time comes around.

“In my opinion, we need more grit,” Redmond added. “We got a bit of it with (Jordin) Tootoo from Nashville. We need more of it. But we’ve been unable to draft in high positions because of the success. It’s like the team has really been punished from their own success. And again, if you wish for high draft positions, then you’re going to have to finish low, and I don’t think they have expectations of doing that.”

Across the pond, the Red Wings’ Facebook page posted a pair of photos taken by Jonas Koel at Niklas Kronwall’s charity hockey game to benefit his youth hockey team, Jarfalla HC, and Marie Hallman provides a cursory recap of the game’s events (roughly translated, of course):

Just a short update on Kronwall’s game in Jarfalla, where revenue from sponsors and voluntary contributions went to Jarfalla HC.

1,300 people attended, it was so crowded that people really had to pack themselves in, and since these are players who go along with the fans’ autograph-signing before the game before the game so reliably on time that the game got underway a little late, and with no warm-up for the NHL team.

But eventually the game started, and it was actually big AIK sponsor and also Jarfalla guy Ronnie Smith who started the scoring for Kronwall’s team, assisted by Mattias Nordstrom and Daniel Rudslatt.

Here are the goals:

1-0 Ronnie Smith (Mattias Norstrom, Daniel Rudslätt)
1-1 Daniel Andersson (Marcus Nilsson, Marcus Nybladh)
2-1 Johnny Oduya (unclear who assisted)
2-2 Dmitry Naumov in pp (unclear who assisted)
3-2 Gabriel Landeskog (Jacob Josefsson, Marcus Krüger)
3-3 Niklas Bergekrans (Mikael Karlsson, Philip Jonsson)
4-3 Gabriel Landeskog in overtime.

Notably, Landeskog scored two goals despite this being his third game in three days for him. Good form already for the 2012 rookie of the year.

Jonas Gustavsson was in Kronwall’s goal in the first period and until five minutes into the second period, plus the overtime. The rest of the time Daniel Angman from Jarfalla was in the cage. Good effort by both, the Monster gave up a goal.

Many thanks to Jimmie Jephson and Mr. Claesson for assistance with the game facts! They were there, not me. I’ve been promised great photos, too, and they’ll come on Saturday. I hope.

 


Trying to keep a little parallelism rolling, DetroitRedWings.com’s Bill Roose noted that another Red Wings alumnus will be engaging in a little youth hockey development, albeit not for charity, later this month:

• And regarding the Red Wings’ youngsters, given that the Free Press’s sports staff oh-so-delicately reminded us that NHL.com’s John Kreiser offered the following assessment of the “Key Question” facing the Wings this season…

DETROIT RED WINGS: Who will fill the holes on defense?

Nicklas Lidstrom is back in Sweden, Brad Stuart is back in San Jose—and Detroit will spend training camp trying to find replacements. Lidstrom retired this summer and Stuart went back to Northern California as a free agent, leaving the Red Wings with four defenseman who have significant NHL experience. That means a there’s a lot of pressure on youngsters Brendan Smith and Jakub Kindl to step up and fill some pretty big skates. If they can’t, the Red Wings could be headed for their biggest drop since they joined the NHL’s elite two decades ago.

• Somewhat ironically, while the Hockey News’s Adam Proteau hinted that the Hockey News’s Western and Eastern Conference’s order-of-finish predictions won’t include the Wings in the upper echelon of NHL teams in an, “Ask Adam” column…

Hey Adam, with the Red Wings and Sharks fading, who do you think will take control of the Western Conference next season?
Dan Cearns, Janetville, Ont.

Hey Dan,

Considering Detroit and San Jose finished fifth and seventh respectively in the West last year, you could make the argument new rulers have already established themselves atop the conference.

Without giving away THN’s continually unfolding pre-season predictions, it’s safe to say many of the teams that were the beasts of the West last year – namely, Vancouver and St. Louis – have a very good chance of repeating that dominance in 2012-13.

As well, you have to put the defending (and virtually intact) Stanley Cup champion Los Angeles Kings into the mix. And the Chicago Blackhawks are only a few years removed from being the best team in the world, so you can’t count them out either.

But in the modern-day NHL, there are few teams you can completely count out of making an impressive run. Remember, even the Minnesota Wild had a strong stretch last year before bottoming out. If this season is shortened by a couple months due to a lockout, there’s no telling whether a team like Detroit or San Jose might surprise people the way the New Jersey Devils did in 2011-12.

NHL.com’s Dan Rosen, as noted by RedWingsFeed, offered some eybrow-raising Twitter quips of the positive and positively surprising variety regarding his and NHL.com’s slate of season preview articles about the Wings, which are slated to hit on Wednesday:

 

• Jeff Angus of “Angus Certified” also believes that Brendan Smith merits “sleeper pick” status as a potential breakout candidate…

Brendan Smith, D:  Since turning pro a few years ago, Smith has been developing, and developing, and developing down in Grand Rapids for the Detroit AHL affiliate. Had he been a member of another NHL organization, he would likely be an NHL regular by now. The Wings will get rewarded for their patience this fall, as they both want and need Smith to be ready to step in and play a top-four role. Nicklas Lidstrom has retired, and Brad Stuart was traded to San Jose.

Smith starred at Wisconson playing under Mike Eaves. The Badgers have been producing NHL defensemen like mad in recent years. In addition to Smith, they have churned out the likes of Ryan McDonagh, Justin Schultz, Jake Gardiner, and Cody Goloubef. Smith has the potential to be the best of all of them. He’s a throwback defenseman like former Wing Chris Chelios –  mobile, feisty, skilled, and physical. He loves to throw his weight around, as is evidenced by this (illegal) hit below:

Young defensemen typically don’t step in to the NHL and make a difference at both ends of the ice, but Smith is ready to do more than just get his feet wet with the Wings in 2012-13.

• And down the line, it should be noted that while he did not fare in the scoring for either of the two Canada-Russia Challenge games played in Yaroslavl, Russia, Red Wings prospect Xavier Ouellet, perhaps the next best thing since Smith in terms of his high-end offensive potential, is on what is essentially serving as Hockey Canada’s World Championship evaluation camp, as noted by NHL.com’s Mike G. Morreale.

 

 

In news of celebrations of the Stanley Cup variety, I could have sworn that Los Angeles Kings defenseman Matt Greene was bringing the Stanley Cup to Grand Ledge later this month, but he brought it to mid-Michigan on Friday, as noted by the Lansing State Journal’s Barb Mondrack. If you missed out and want to see the Cup, Kings enforcer Kevin Westgarth will be bringing the Cup to Amhertsburg, Ontario on August 21st...

 

 

And in much less cheery news, the CBC News reported on the potential of an impending lockout on Thursday, Bobby Orr spoke to the CBC about said possibility, Pro Hockey Talk’s Ryan Dadoun took note of NHLPA members taking to Twitter to react to the NHL’s hard-line stance backing its harder-line proposal, and SI’s Stu Hackel pondered the possibility of an entirely lost 2012-2013 season on Friday…

But with the owners essentially basing their league’s well-being upon a player salary-fed “bailout,” Winnipeg Jets defenseman Ron Hainsey told ESPN New York’s Katie Strang that the clock doesn’t have to strike midnight, nor does the NHL need to go nuclear, for a deal to get done, especially with the PA’s counter-proposal coming on Tuesday:

“I think it’s absolutely possible to get something done with no time missed,” said Winnipeg Jets defenseman Ron Hainsey, who spoke on behalf of the NHL Players’ Association after a fourth consecutive day of negotiations.

Although the league’s statement Thursday left many fearing the possibility of another lengthy work stoppage, NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly shared Hainsey’s optimism Friday.

“Look, I always try to be optimistic about these things,” Daly said. “I truly believe a deal can be done, but it will require a lot of work. We’ve got a lot of issues still open. We haven’t even heard from (the union) on the economic issues and we have a month, so it will require hard work and commitment on both sides. But certainly the NHL is committed and we hope the players are committed as well.”

Although the owners and players have forged common ground on smaller, secondary issues—player safety and hockey-related items among them—there is believed to be a significant gulf with respect to the economics of a new deal. Just how wide the gap remains will become more clear when the NHLPA submits a counterproposal Tuesday.

The NHL submitted its first proposal July 13, which contained player salary givebacks and a decrease and redefinition of hockey-related revenue and significant changes to the entry-level contract system. The union will make its first official response when talks reconvene in Toronto next week.

“I think it gives you a much better sense of how close or how far apart you might be,” Daly said. “We’ve talked conceptually for a while now about our respective views of the world and the financial conditions of the league, and what we need to make this thing healthy. ... We’ll see how far apart we are.”
...
“We knew that was an option, a choice they were able to make,” Hainsey said. “We’re focused on getting to them our proposal Tuesday and getting them our view of how we see things going forward. That’s what we’re looking forward to.”

Are Daly and Bettman, “Good Cop, Psycho Cop?” Not so much. NHL.com’s Dan Rosen got Daly’s thuggish side…

“There are a variety of other issues that are involved in collective bargaining and this Collective Bargaining Agreement that we’ve also been able to engage on where we do have counter proposals going both ways, where we’ve exchanged views and ideas on proposals, made movements and had some agreements,” Daly said. “It’s all part of the big process, but obviously the critical part of this negotiation will come down to the economics. We’ve talked conceptually for a while now about our respective views of the world and the financial condition of the League and clubs, and what we need to make this League healthy—at least in our view—going forward. We’ll see how far apart we are.”

The NHL made its proposal on the core economic issues to the NHLPA on July 13 in Toronto. The Union’s anticipated proposal to the League’s owners next week is the focal point of the negotiations now after NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman reiterated to the Union on Thursday that the owners are not willing to play another season under the current CBA, which expires Sept. 15.

“We knew that was an option, a choice that they were going to be able to make,” said Winnipeg Jets defenseman Ron Hainsey, who spoke on behalf of the Union after the negotiating session ended Friday. “We’re focused on getting them our proposal Tuesday and giving them our view of how we see things going forward. That’s what we’re looking forward to. Obviously, we know that’s a choice that can be made on the 15th and they made that clear (Thursday). That’s not our focus. Our focus is getting them our proposal Tuesday and getting a deal done in plenty of time so that no time is missed.”
...
Daly said the two sides have scheduled meetings through Sept. 15. He expects the pace of those meetings to increase.

“Certainly the urgency increases every day,” Daly said. “We all want to be in a position where we start the season, and this doesn’t affect business and it doesn’t affect the momentum we’ve generated. We’re all working toward that goal.”

If anything, I have to admit that I’m pissed off that the media seems to think that the PA’s been dithering—if not dicking around—by trying to hammer out the guts of the CBA based upon issues both sides could find some common ground to tread upon, slowly but surely ratcheting up the rhetoric to dealing with player discipline this week. It’s a thorny subject, as a disinterested AP writer (I looked for the author but could not find one) suggested…

The league and the NHLPA met for nearly three hours Friday at the NHL offices. The session was centred around hockey issues, specifically an appeals process for supplemental discipline and the lengths of training camps.

“We thought it was a good session,” said Winnipeg Jets defenceman Ron Hainsey, who spoke for the NHLPA following the session. “Constructive. We reflected on the whole process. Discipline, ice conditions, training camp, travel.”

The league and players have routinely said during the negotiations that the sides have found agreement on many non-core economic issues. However, the lack of an independent appellate process for supplemental discipline is a point of contention for the players. Under the current CBA, only Bettman hears appeals of NHL Senior Vice-President of Player Safety Brendan Shanahan’s rulings.
...
As for Friday, the big issues were clearly skirted around. Discipline rose to the surface, and in particular, the case of Phoenix left wing Raffi Torres, who was suspended 25 games for elbowing Chicago right wing Marian Hossa under the chin in the playoffs. Torres appealed the suspension May 17, and the league announced July 2 that the suspension had been cut to 21 games.

“Raffi has come up in conversation,” Hainsey said. “(The players are) very interested in the whole process.”

Which is no surprise.

“They want some changes,” NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly said. “We’re still in a process of exploring what they proposed.”

More than anything else, though, it seemed like posturing as the counterproposal continues to be waited on. Time is of the essence for the players and owners after Bettman’s Thursday vow of a lockout.

Uh, no. The PA’s negotiating strategy has been straightforward even prior to the NHL’s tabling of its proposal: tweak what’s tweakable as a foundation, move slowly but surely to areas of disagreement, wait for the NHL to finally deliver those damn independent audits of their teams’ books and hockey-related revenues so that the PA could analyze them and then respond in a meaningful manner (who knows whether those books could have been ready before last week, but there’s no doubt that there would be no counter-proposal without the NHL agreeing to share its financial information, and that probably wasn’t going to happen until the conclusion of the Stanley Cup playoffs at the earliest).

Is the elephant in the room still the elephant in the room, as the Sporting News’s Jesse Spector suggests? Of course…

The fact that Hainsey, rather than Donald Fehr or his assistant Mathieu Schneider, spoke for the union after Friday’s negotiations was indicative of the fact that the NHL and NHLPA wrapped up their week with meetings about issues other than the core principals at the heart of a new CBA. The peripheral subject matter was expected after both sides sounded a contentious tone on Thursday about revenue sharing. With the players ready to present their proposal next week, it was wise to end this week on a friendlier note.

“We thought it was a very good session,” Hainsey said of talks that centered on the NHL’s supplementary discipline system, as well as other on-ice issues. “A lot of constructive conversation and viewpoints. I think on the stuff we talked about today, we made definite progress. … Really good, good session.”

The big question, though, is whether things will remain so positive once the players make a counterproposal to the plan put forth by the NHL on July 13. That plan centered on a cut of the NHLPA’s share of league revenues from 57 percent to 46 percent, along with other owner-friendly morsels in the areas of free agency and salary arbitration.

“Our focus is getting them our proposal on Tuesday and getting a deal done in plenty of time, that no time is missed,” Hainsey said. “I think it’s absolutely possible to get something done where no time is missed.”

That also is the goal of the league, of course. The absence of a counterproposal from the players in four weeks since the NHL’s first offer has made everyone antsy, but with that counterproposal now in sight, spirits are somewhat rejuvenated.

“I think what we’ve proposed had a variety of different elements to it,” deputy commissioner Bill Daly said. “My guess is what they come back with will have a variety of different elements to it. A lot of the elements will be the same subjects, and then the question is, you gauge it from there, how far apart you are on the elements. I don’t think the elements will be that vastly different. I think they’re all related to the overall solution. … It will require hard work and commitment on both sides, but certainly the NHL is committed, and we hope the players are committed as well.”

But the fact that Spector proceeded to answer his “Five Hole” mailbag while ensuring that the players get painted as of equal responsibility for a “work stoppage” because of supposed dithering…Frustrates the *#$%@& out of me:

What is the NHL’s endgame in not allowing the 2012-13 season to open under the current agreement if the September 15 deadline rolls around? One would think that they would want to keep the season going while working out the new CBA rather than sacrifice the revenue and fan interest that both disappear during a labor stoppage. Are they gambling that the players will once again fold? I wouldn’t think so under Donald Fehr, but maybe Gary Bettman and the owners see it differently? Seems totally counterproductive to all the progress that the league has made since the last time the two sides allowed it to crash and burn.”—Derek Fetters

It does seem totally counterproductive, doesn’t it?

Nobody will be free from blame if the NHL and NHLPA cannot come to terms on a new deal by Sep. 15. Owners are enjoying record revenues under the current CBA, yet they opened labor negotiations by proposing a huge cash grab. After Thursday’s bargaining session in New York, Gary Bettman made the owners’ main point clear when he said, “We need to be paying out less in player costs.” He’s right: $110 million for Shea Weber over 14 years is a ton of money, as is $98 million over 13 years for Zach Parise and Ryan Suter.

There are two explanations for how those contracts, to be paid by the Nashville Predators and Minnesota Wild, mesh with the owners crying poverty. One is that Weber, Parise and Suter all spent their adolescence training killer bees to sting anyone who refused to do their bidding. The other is that the owners really like money, but cannot mesh financial reality with their competitive nature when it comes to running a hockey team, and need a new CBA to save them from themselves.

See: 1994, 2004.

Whether it’s the threat of killer bees or a lack of self-control that drove the owners to make a first CBA proposal that was widely regarded as bonkers, the NHLPA has taken four weeks now without offering a counterproposal—one is expected on Tuesday, exactly a month after the owners suggested cutting the players’ share of hockey-related revenues from 57 percent to 46 percent.

Even though the NHLPA had to wait for the NHL to deliver independently audited financial documents that will inform their counterproposal, a month is an awfully long time to wait when negotiations begin two months before the expiration of the CBA. Fehr’s constant refrain that Sep. 15 does not represent a deadline under the law might be factually accurate, but the idea that the NHL would continue playing under the current CBA has been laughable from the start.

The owners’ opening offer did appear to be designed to test the union’s resolve, and the union passed that test. The players’ slow pace in formulating a counterproposal also appears designed as a test, to see how the owners would react to a ticking clock, and Bettman made it clear on Thursday that no deal by Sep. 15 means no hockey.

Now that both sides know that the other is not going to cave in, maybe they can get to the task of actually negotiating. That starts with the NHLPA’s counterproposal. There is still time to get a deal done, but a lot of work to do to prevent a lockout. If they can’t, those record revenues might be a thing of the past.

If you want a little more irony, the Winnipeg Free Press’s Ed Tait and Gary Lawless delivered some very solid commentary on both sides’ behavior, as well as a “tale of the tape” in the Bettman versus Fehr bout we’re about to witness, and the Winnipeg Sun’s Paul Friesen delivered a “WTF?” of his own on Friday, so there’s something to be said for the fact that even the NHL’s oldest new market’s media cohort finds the concept of a lockout being somehow necessary downright laughable…

But I very openly stand with the players here, so I’d prefer to give the last word to Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Steve Montador, who spoke to the Chicago Tribune’s Chris Kuc about his experiences thus far as a member of the NHLPA’s negotiating committee (and Henrik Zetterberg will do some time on said committee sooner than later):

“To compare it to hockey, you have two teams and you’re doing the best you can and you want the best results,” Montador told the Tribune on Friday of the negotiations. “It’s different in that we’re working together, but they have their point of view and we have ours. It’s a little poker, it’s a little chess, it’s a little schoolyard battlefield.”

Montador plans to attend some of the scheduled meetings next week in Toronto, where the NHLPA will present a proposal that’s likely to be quite different from the one the league presented. That one called for major financial concessions from the players, including a reduction in their share of hockey-related revenues (HRR) from 57 percent to 46 percent.

“There’s a new definition to HRR that they want to implement, so it really takes the percentage from 46 to 43,” Montador said. “We proposed to them what it would look like with their new system, and you can see that with any team that has to up its revenue sharing, that all of the cuts come directly from the players’ reverse compensation. It shouldn’t just have to come from players’ cuts. We feel we’re in a position that we can put a proposal in we can work together with. We don’t feel what they offered is workable, even from a starting point.”

Every indication suggests that the NHL’s proposal put lipstick on its pig of a revenue-sharing program and has simply chosen to restrict the players’ share of revenues and players’ current contractual mobility and malleability. That’s it.

Speaking of, “That’s it,” oh, looky here!

The urgency to hammer out a deal increased Thursday when NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said the league would lock out players if a new CBA isn’t agreed to by Sept. 15, the date the current one expires. Bettman said the NHLPA knew that was the plan all along, even though the law allows the season to begin under the old agreement if the sides are negotiating.

“That was more news to us than Gary alluded to,” Montador said. “I don’t recall ever hearing specifically that if we didn’t have a deal done, we wouldn’t be moving past Sept. 15. It’s not what anybody wants to hear because we want to get something done. It just puts the importance on the next four, five or six weeks.”

Having gone through the lockout that caused the cancellation of the 2004-05 season while a member of the Flames, Montador has no desire for a repeat.

“Our careers are short enough,” he said. “To miss two years of a potential 10- or 15- or whatever-year career … that’s a lot of time. At the same time, we’re not going to sacrifice our beliefs just to play a game under a system that we don’t feel will benefit the league, the fans or even individual clubs.”

Note that Montador mentions a party that the league has yet to acknowledge exists.

Fans.

As in you and me, the people Bettman probably sees as walking dollar signs, the people who fuel that $3.3 billion business and pay the salaries of the players, the coaches, the support staff, the management, the executives, and ultimately the teams, owners, Board of Governors and Bettman and Daly—as well as the salaries of the people who’re really going to hurt like hell if there’s a “work stoppage” in the ushers, concessions workers, ticket counters, security and other game-night staff for whom 41 nights of part-time work help pay the bills.

Yes, this is a business, but a business whose model for the last eighteen seasons has involved, “Okay, we’re gonna throw that CBA in the fire and ask the players for concessions in terms of salary and mobility” on the part of the management, and a business whose players’ December 9th, 2004 proposal actually forms a significant chunk of the backbone of the current CBA because it was thorough and soundly written.

One side needed time to access uncooked books to figure out how to respond to, “Hey, let’s throw things back to 2003!” The other deemed those uncooked books “irrelevant,” and their Chairman then stated that you and me won’t be watching NHL hockey this fall (speaking of people whose livelihoods depend on the game, how the *#$%@& do I start a prospect camp fund if I don’t even know if there’s gonna be one? I’m literally in the income bracket where I can’t afford to defer that cost, and you can sure as hell believe that I won’t stop working my ass off if there’s no hockey because I’ll be following the Wings’ players and prospects wherever they end up playing, but I’ll probably be doing so at a loss for the boss, so yes, there are “media types,” especially partisan bloggers, as professional as we might pretend to be, who depend on this game to even make an attempt to get by, too) the following week.

I’m not going to tell you what to think or who to believe, because there is indeed propaganda being spouted off by both parties, there is blame on both sides of the aisle, if you will, and on a day which is likely going to divide the U.S. even more than it’s already divided politically speaking, you’re sure as hell free to hold and form your own beliefs and stand behind whoever you choose to stand behind, but this is my job, this is my passion, the Red Wings are “my team” and I care about their players, their coaches, their management, and sure as shit I care about the ushers and game-night staff, but most importantly, I do this for my fellow fans—you—and I’m not gonna stop offering you my take on what’s going on…

Because the only way we’re going to get through this is by talking it out together, and as I’ve said before, if there is a lockout, by…“Perhaps somewhat ironically” on a day that we’re going to be talking about war and peas, starting something of an insurgency that finds high school locker locks on the NHL headquarters’ doors and fans chanting and holding signs and reminding the parties involved that they are not walking dollar signs when they convene if they continue to do so into September, October and beyond. We may not have much power in this battle, but we can sure make ourselves annoying and make ourselves heard in creative ways.

If that’s what it comes to, find me a pot, a pan, a spoon, a passport and a posterboard to stick a target of Gary Bettman’s head upon (or, hopefully, something more clever), because I’m gonna make some noise on your behalf. But in the interim, let’s hope that the sides involved engage in realistic collective bargaining so that people like me don’t have to engage in a little insanity to do our jobs properly.

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Comments

MsRedWinger's avatar

Trying to get excited about the upcoming season, but the CBA stuff takes the wind out of my sails.  Not getting a good feeling…

Posted by MsRedWinger from Flori-duh on 08/11/12 at 09:45 AM ET

RWBill's avatar

As I wrote a couple of weeks ago, the players would just as soon start the season while negotiations continue because that would continue the current revenue sharing slice.  If the owners are serious as the midget greaser is, it’s no surprise that September 15 is a do or die deadline.

Does anyone believe the owners can’t survive under the current structure?  If franchises like Nashville and Minnesota can throw down $100 million contracts that doesn’t support that notion.  I’d like to see a crack, or a gulf, emerge in the owners’  camp that says “We’re fine like this, let’s get it on.”

Posted by RWBill from the open bar on The Hasek. on 08/11/12 at 12:09 PM ET

Avatar

I would enjoy watching what the Red Wings could do with a top 5 pick once every 5 years or so. Some of these teams get several in a row including multiple 1st overall selections (Edmonton, Pittsburgh). I think parity hurts the game and the amateur players when it rewards bad management with heaps of top end draft picks. I’d rather see them force some of the terrible managers out of position than send promising young players to hockey purgatory for the majority of their adult lives. A little off topic i know but what else is there to talk about? I just get bothered when the Wings go toe to toe with Pittsburgh, or Chicago and finish the season with similar results when both of those teams have had chances at TOP end talent multiple times in consecutive years. Pitt-Staal, Malkin, Crosby, Fluery. All first or second overall selections. Where is Pittsburgh now if they werent so freaking terrible for several consecutive years? Where would the wings be if they had a chance to grab any one of those guys? Makes you wonder who “parity” is actually for.

Posted by NHLrick on 08/11/12 at 02:40 PM ET

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The Malik Report is a destination for all things Red Wings-related. I offer biased, perhaps unprofessional-at-times and verbose coverage of my favorite team, their prospects and developmental affiliates. I've joined the Kukla's Korner family with five years of blogging under my belt, and I hope you'll find almost everything you need to follow your Red Wings at a place where all opinions are created equal and we're all friends, talking about hockey and the team we love to follow.