“I think as many as eight NHL owners would accept the NHLPA’s initial proposal,” said an NHL player agent who spoke to The Dispatch on the condition of anonymity. “And there’s probably four to six others who would find the proposal acceptable enough that they could tweak a couple of things and live with it.”
If Donald Fehr's plan was to bit owners vs. owners, after this revelation it seems that's the direction it's heading in. However, don't expect any NHL teams to speak up during the lockout.
"The NHL has threatened a fine of at least $1 million to any club that speaks out during the lockout. Any disagreement would have to be confined to private talks among owners. One NHL executive told The Dispatch last week that Bettman has the “full support of every owner in the room right now.”
- If there are several owners that would take the NHLPA's deal right now or live it after minor tweaks, then Gary Bettman does not have their full support if nearly half his owners are on the fence. It's a different game than the 04-05 lockout, with too much money and credibility on the line. It will get real interesting if owners start going after other owners.
The reality is that Gary Bettman is negotiating in the interest of small market teams. James Dolan could not care less and might actually prefer a higher salary cap, whereas low or even mid-budget teams probably want it to be lowered. As negotiations go on, the problem won't be getting teams like the Rangers, Maple Leafs, Bruins, etc. to sign on but instead teams like the Islanders, Stars, and Predators.
This whole debacle is tragic and shows that Bettman has absolutely no passion for the NHL or the sport of hockey. I just got back from a trip to Toronto and I had the honor of visiting the Hockey Hall of Fame for the first time in my life. For me it was like a spiritual place, I really felt like I was at hockey's version of Stonehenge or something. I saved the trophy room for last and spent a lot of time going up to the Cup that they had on display, just reading all the bands, seeing all the history, and just enjoying it. When I saw the 2004-2005 engraving as just "2004-05 Season Not Played" it made me want to track down Bettman and smash his face into that band to let him know just how detrimental his hard-line stance is in these things. It's truely disgusting and he is abundantly the wrong man to lead the NHL. I wish we, as fans, could somehow impeach him. I hope smehow the owners find the passion for hockey that will drive them to save the season. It's disgusting that the most storied trophy in all of sports has one black eye, let's not give it 2!
@TheWrage Sad that NHL teams on welfare are the ones that could cause the lockout. That is Bettmens' legacy, teams that shouldn't exist
@gravey94 Well said.
@nickgrgas I don't fault Bettman for expansion. You want the sport to grow country wide. Its a matter of keeping those teams profitable.
@TheWrage Expansion wasn't the problem, expanding to places like Phoenix which will never be profitable is...