While the owners continue to wait on word from the players if they're interested in doing a sit down without Gary Bettman or NHLPA Executive Director Donald Fehr, Rangers players Henrik Lundqvist and Marc Staal give their thoughts on the plan...
Here's Lundqvist (via Daily News)...
“If the plan is to have meetings between players and owners to solve this mess, maybe it’s time to allow teams that actually are carrying the league financially to get involved. So far I have not seen any invitations to the meeting room. Without the big market teams the NHL is in BIG trouble so explain to me why they are not invited? in these meetings?”
Marc Staal adds (also via Daily News)...
"I think that it's not going to have any negative impact on the negotiations if we decide to do it. I think any new blood in the room will help, get some high profile players & big market owners in there and see where it goes."
Staal adds that he won't play in Europe unless the season is canceled.
The owners most of the players would like to see out of these talks are those from NHL's negotiating committee including Jeremy Jacobs (Boston Bruins), Craig Leipold (Minnesota Wild), Ted Leonsis (Washington Capitals) and N. Murray Edwards (Calgary Flames).
According to Mark Everson at the New York Post, the Players Association will require the talks not be a negotiation, but rather a conversation in which participants can express themselves.
...probably a smart move by the players not making this a negotiating meeting considering almost all the owners are shrewd businessmen while the players are, well, hockey players.
...which begs the question, what is the point of this meeting? It's not like Bettman has been going rogue in the past negotiation sessions, so the owners are not very likely to move from their stance. Even if moderate owners were present, I doubt they'd risk destroying their relationships with the small market owners by brokering a deal with the players.
...just another ploy to get the fans hope up, which will lead to an inevitable let down.
I would think that the lockout is hurting the small market teams more than the larger ones. Isn't this the source of the economic problems in negotiating a new CBA? I also believe these markets will be hurt the most post-lockout, in terms of lost fans...besides, they were already hurting before the lockout. I think relocating some teams to a better hockey market should be considered...of course I'm not expert on logistics or anything but you're only as strong as your weakest link..
@TheNYRBlog Owners want it because they think Fehr isn't truthfully relaying their offers. Players don't mind cause they distrust Bettman.
@RothmanHockey As far as Fehr goes, players are also in those meetings, so they should be well aware of what he's doing.
@TheNYRBlog And the players all say Fehr is being completely honest. Bettman/owners don't believe them. There's distrust on both sides.
@TheNYRBlog There are owners not in favor of this lockout. He's taking orders from the hawks, not listening to the moderates.
@RothmanHockey @TheNYRBlog well both sides are lisong now...losing big b/c the fans are sick of this already and most of them will stay away
@TheNYRBlog Just saw that. But he didn't blast ownership stance, just said he wants in on that meeting. Nothing fine-able in that story.
@RothmanHockey Looks like Dolan does think going to media is a useful tool. Check out Brooks article.
@RothmanHockey No doubt which is why I don't see moderates going behind hawks backs in player/owner meeting.
@RothmanHockey Sure it does. Starts media saying owners are fractured & hopefully puts pressure on cmte to bring in moderates.
@RothmanHockey @TheNYRBlog but how much is he losing by having no season? Not sure that's such a good logic....
@TheNYRBlog He's not on the negotiating committee. Giving a statement to the press serves no purpose, accomplishes nothing.
@RothmanHockey But he'd rather sit back do nothing and lose $50 million when the season is canceled?
@TheNYRBlog Because he'll get substantially fined for it. He's a businessman, and doesn't want to lose $250K for no reason.