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Sipple: Wings’ players frustrated by but still optimistic regarding CBA shenanigans

The Free Press's George Sipple spoke to some of the players participating in tomorrow's Rock Out the Lockout game (to be played at the WFCU Centre in Windsor, ON), and while the Red Wings' players offered usual notes of union solidarity and disappointment about yesterday's Kabuki theatre and/or CBA breakdowns, they still believe the sides should get back to the table--sooner or later, anyway--and get a deal done.

First, here's the solidarity stuff from the Wings' official labor voice, Danny Cleary...

"They have certain goals in their mind that they have to achieve," Cleary said of the NHL. "So do we."

The players who spoke to the media following a skate at the Troy Sports Center today said they are united in support of union boss Don Fehr.

"I'm not saying that because I toe the line with the PA," Cleary said. I-'ve been on calls with 200 players. Trust me, it's overwhelming. Yeah, you're going to have a few players that say, 'hey, let's just sign a deal.' You're entitled to your own opinion, but I'm telling you Don Fehr is as transparent as it gets. This guy tells us exactly what's going on."

Jimmy Howard offered a question as to why the league doesn't believe the PA's "givebacks" are satisfactory, especially given that everything in this "retrenching" involves the PA surrendering a little over a billion dollars of revenue promised to them under the supposedly legally-binding contracts agreed to under the previous CBA...

Jimmy Howard said the players have given up a lot "and it's still not good enough. So, it's just the same thing. How much more do we have to give in order for them to want to make a deal?"


Niklas Kronwall said he was "frustrated" but "I still think a lot of things got accomplished this week."


"I think if we're this close, I don't see the reason why we shouldn't just keep at it until we have something," Kronwall said. "I don't see the reason why we should all of a sudden step away and get all dramatic. Just stick with it and let's get this done."

I remain "hopeful but not optimistic." A 48-game season can still be agreed to, but I get the feeling that the NHL's desire to not only crush the players, but also break Donald Fehr may prevent logic from entering into an equation where big egos and labor lawyers who've lost sight of the sports league they represent as they focus on winning their war (and/or pissing contest, and/or "whip your dick out" measuring competition) instead.

And again, I won't be at the Rock Out the Lockout game, so please say, "Hi" to the players for me. I'm pretty wonked after yesterday's events and am still crawling out from my own "rock" of a depressive episode, but I'm trying to get back to work and slowly get back up to speed. I'm doing the best I can, and yes, I think all of this CBA shit is just as stupid, innervating, frustrating and utterly pointless as you do.

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TreKronor's avatar

GM, thank you for the objective analysis/info.  (Not being sarcastic here).

Posted by TreKronor on 12/07/12 at 03:59 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.