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A dramatically shortened season is the only chance for NHL hockey this year. What it would mean for the Stars?
The aftermath from last week's disastrous negotiations could wash away the rest of the season as well as Gary Bettman and Donald Fehr, both of whom share some blame from what has happened.
A lost season would put Dallas right in the mix for the No. 1 overall pick in a draft with two franchise-caliber players in it, one of whom is from the DFW Metroplex.
The NHL lockout continues without any true common ground being found between the league and the NHLPA.
Both the owners' and players' sides sounded some hopeful notes at a sports management conference in Toronto as the league's lockout lurches on.
After four days of serious negotiations last week, it's becoming clear that the fate of the 2012-2013 season will come down to the decision-making process of the NHLPA.
With a new agreement nowhere in sight, the NHL is expected to cancel the entire November schedule on Friday afternoon.
With games being cancelled on a weekly basis, how much longer do negotiators have before it's to late to save even a shortened season?
The NHL lockout has caused all games through Nov. 1 to be canceled.
The NHL put forth an offer to the NHLPA on Tuesday, with the union not responding favorably.
After previously canceling only the first two weeks of scheduled games because of the lockout, the NHL is expected to "go big" with its next round of cancellations, according to Sporting News, with speculation looming that the league could cancel (or postpone) an additional month off the calendar. Any cancellation could come after Tuesday's negotiations, unless an unlikely deal is reached.
The Dallas Stars have already seen their first 10 games cancelled, with the earliest possible still-scheduled game set for Oct. 25 against the Vancouver Canucks. If all games through the end of November are cancelled, as is speculated, that game plus games against the Blues and Flyers would be cancelled for October, as well as a whopping 15 additional games on the Stars' November schedule, including a Nov. 25 home date against the defending Stanley Cup champion Los Angeles Kings.
The Sporting News report doesn't see a deal resulting from Tuesday's negotiations, especially after the last round of talks about secondary issues were so disastrous.
With a negotiated settlement no closer to resolution, SB Nation Dallas and Defending Big D discussed whether the season will be saved and where the NHL goes from here.
The Dallas Stars' minor-league affiliate will look to improve on a last-place 2011-12 campaign.
Stars forward Tom Wandell and the Severstal Cherepovets play just one game this coming week.
The NHL has announced the cancellation of its 2012-13 regular season schedule through Oct. 24. Dallas Stars fans will lose the team's first two scheduled home games.
The Dallas Stars' Jamie Benn will play for the Hamburg Freezers during the NHL lockout.
The NHL is expected to announce the cancelation of the entire preseason due to the lockout.
The NHL may be closed for business for the foreseeable future, but that doesn't mean there won't be places for Stars fans to watch many of their favorite players.
We're now in the sixth day of latest NHL lockout -- and there is no end on the horizon. Despite the fact that the league has already cancelled all September preseason games, there are no meetings scheduled between the league and the NHLPA, something that is both baffling and frustrating to fans of the sport.
To make matters worse, Friday was supposed to be a joyous day for NHL fans.
NHL training camps were scheduled to open on Friday; that obviously won't happen. Also not happening anytime soon: formal CBA talks as the two sides have nothing planned.
It's both amazing and unfortunate that we've already reached this point. The sport of hockey is coming off of an excellent 2010 Olympics, and have followed it up with Stanley Cup finals featuring some of the largest markets in the United States and Canada (Chicago/Philadelphia, Boston/Vancouver, New Jersey/Los Angeles).
The aforementioned CBS report also states that the league could cancel the entire preseason slate of games by Tuesday.
Hopefully, both sides come to their senses and begin negotiating -- and negotiating quickly.
With the NHL lockout now in full swing, NHL stars have started to look overseas to find possible playing time in Europe. Three Swedish NHL players have reportedly been approached by Frölunda of the Swedish Elite League, including Dallas Stars forward Loui Eriksson. The team has also approached Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist as well as Senators defenseman Erik Karlsson,
All three players played for the club in the past before joining their respective NHL squads.
Eriksson put up 71 points for the Stars in the 2011-12 season, tallying 26 goals and 45 assists for the squad. He has been a member of the Stars since the 2006-07 season after playing for Frölunda from 2000 until 2005.
No movement has happened on either side regarding the lockout since it began, and preseason games have already been cancelled around the NHL. It looks very likely that a good chunk of the season, if not the entire season again, will be lost to the stoppage.
The NHL has already cancelled all of its preseason games in September, and if a resolution doesn't come quickly between the league and the NHLPA, regular season games won't be too far behind.
One of the juicier games that could wind up being cancelled, assuming the league plays a shortened season, is Dallas' visit to Philadelphia -- which normally, it wouldn't be a big deal. However, the Stars signed NHL legend Jaromir Jagr, who spent the last year with the Flyers.
The folks over at SI.com highlighted some other games that could end up being cancelled:
If so, a number of highlight games would be lost, including . . . Nov. 11: Wild visit Devils, as Zach Parise returns to New Jersey; Dec. 1: Wild visit Predators as Ryan Suter returns to Nashville; Oct. 30: Stars visit Flyers, as Jaromir Jagr returns to Philadelphia; April 5: Rangers visit Blue Jackets, as Rick Nash return to Columbus. Another interesting casualty will likely be the Islanders-Devils preseason game at Brooklyn's new Barclays Center on October 2. It would have been a kind of coming-out for the arena's ability to host hockey...Ah, well. We can always look forward to the KHL tilt between Dynamo Moscow and CSKA Moscow (Alex Ovechkin's current and former teams) at Barclay's scheduled for Jan. 19 and 20.
We'll see if any of these games end up occurring. It'll take a minor miracle at this point to see Jagr return to Philadelphia.
The NHL has announced the cancellation of all preseason games through Sept. 30, which includes the 2012 Kraft Hockeyville preseason game that was originally scheduled for Oct. 3. In total, 61 games across the NHL were canceled due to the ongoing labor dispute between the NHL and NHLPA.
The cancellation of the schedule was necessary because of the absence of a Collective Bargaining Agreement between the NHL Players' Association and the NHL.
While the Kraft Hockeyville game has been postponed, many of the scheduled celebrations in the winning community of Stirling-Rawdon, Ontario, will proceed as planned beginning on Sept. 30.
This cancellation includes four Dallas Stars games that were to be held from Sept. 25 to Sept. 29. The exhibition game between the Stars and the Minnesota Wild in Boise, Idaho is included in these games, which was meant to help promote the sport in the home town of the Stars' CHL affiliate.
The exhibition game between the Stars and the Phoenix Coyotes in San Antonio, Texas has also been canceled.
The NHL lockout is now in its fourth day on Wednesday, and there doesn't appear to be an end in sight quite yet, which is unfortunate for owners, players and hockey fans alike.
It's also quite unfortunate for NHL employees as well as team employees. Some NHL teams, namely the Florida Panthers, have already started laying off workers. Now, per a CBS Sports report, the league will start having its employees work four-day work weeks, beginning Oct. 1.
Per Chris Johnston of the Canadian Press, the NHL met with its employees and let them know they will be working four-day work weeks starting Oct. 1. That's great, right? Of course not. It also comes with the commensurate drop in salary. So now the league employees will get 80 percent of their salary instead of the full amount due.
The good news is that it could have been much worse for the staffers. Losing one-fifth of your salary isn't easy, but it certainly beats the alternative of losing all of your salary and benefits.
The article goes on and states that layoffs haven't been ruled out yet.
It's unfortunate for fans of the sport that the lockout has occurred -- but it's even more unfortunate for those who are losing their salaries and jobs as a result of another unnecessary lockout.
The NHL officially locked its players out on Sunday, Sept. 16, when the collective bargaining agreement between the league and the NHLPA expired.
Unfortunately for hockey fans, the lockout hasn't created any urgency between the two sides to negotiate -- not yet, at least.
SI.com reported Monday that there has been no progress made on the second day of the lockout, and that talks remain unscheduled.
NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly and NHLPA special counsel Steve Fehr have spoken informally since the lockout began, and may do so again on Tuesday. But nothing official will resume until at least Wednesday between Commissioner Gary Bettman and NHLPA executive director Donald Fehr.
The two sides haven't met for face-to-face talks since last Wednesday.
Over the weekend, the league issued a statement to fans on its website that it was "committed to negotiating around the clock to reach a new CBA that is fair to the players and to the 30 NHL teams."
The Dallas Stars are still scheduled to open up the 2012-'13 season on the road in Phoenix on Oct. 13. If a deal isn't consummated in the immediate future, the league will be forced to start cancelling games.
A second NHL lockout in the last seven years looks inevitable, as the NHL and NHLPA remain far apart on terms of a new collective bargaining agreement. The current collective bargaining agreement is set to expire on Saturday, Sept. 15, giving officials from the league and NHLPA just over a day to negotiate.
As unfortunate as it is, it doesn't look like a resolution is coming in the immediate future.
The Associated Press ran a question and answer with information about the lockout, and provided some pretty excellent answers for fans.
Q: WAS THE NHL HURT BY THE LAST LOCKOUT?
A: Attendance did not suffer at all, lending credence to the notion that hockey has a committed fan base that will retain its season tickets. The league's regular-season average increased from 16,534 in 2003-04 to 16,954 in 2005-06, according to STATS LLC, and was 17,454 last season. Only seven teams experienced substantial decreases from 2003-04 to 2005-06: Columbus (17,369 to 16,796), Dallas (18,355 to 17,829), Edmonton (17,678 to 16,833), New Jersey (15,060 to 14,230), the New York Islanders (13,456 to 12,609), St. Louis (18,560 to 14,213) and Washington (14,720 to 13,905). In contrast, Major League Baseball has larger venues and nearly twice as many games and is far more reliant on single-game sales. After the 1994-95 strike, MLB's average attendance didn't recover to its pre-walkout level until 2007.
Though the diehards will attend games, the average or casual fan could lose interest.
Q: HOW ABOUT THE NHL's WIDER AUDIENCE, AS MEASURED BY TELEVISION RATINGS?
A: Tampa Bay's win over Calgary in the 2004 Stanley Cup finals averaged 3.3 million viewers on ABC and ESPN, according to Nielsen Media Research, while Carolina's victory over Edmonton in 2006 averaged 2.8 million on NBC and OLN. Average viewers rose to 5.2 million on NBC and Versus when Chicago beat Philadelphia in 2010, then fell to 4.6 million on the same networks for Boston's victory over Philadelphia in 2011 and 3 million on NBC and the NBC Sports Network for Los Angeles' win over New Jersey this year. Just for comparison with other leagues, last February's Super Bowl was seen by 111 million people and the World Series and NBA Finals each averaged more than 16 million viewers.
Of course, with the league coming off three straight Stanley Cup Finals with large market U.S. teams involved, it's conceivable that the NHL might not have too much of a hit come playoff time.
Still, it's unfortunate that we're even discussing whether or not casual fans will lose interest, rather than the season -- which should be getting underway soon. Hopefully, it will get underway at some point in 2012.
Hockey fans hoping for a resolution between the NHL and NHLPA prior to Saturday are going to be sorely disappointed. According to the latest report from Stu Hackel of SI, the latest offer from the owners is unacceptable to the NHLPA, and thus, a lockout looks all but certain.
Don Fehr sounded as if the league's latest proposal is not any more acceptable to the players than the players' latest was to the owners.
He confirmed some of the details of the NHL's latest offer, which would start at 49 percent of HRR and fall to 47. This is from the current level of 57 percent. "They've moved from an extraordinarily large amount to a very big amount," he said, and Fehr was quick to remind listeners that prior to the salary cap, the players' collective "free market" value was 74 percent of all revenue; it is now 51 percent under the salary cap.
The owners' offer to the players comes with an ultimatum -- the NHLPA has until Saturday to accept it, and once the lockout starts, the deal is then off the table.
Though it's not a guarantee, and there's still time, it certainly looks like the second work stoppage in the NHL in seven years will occur this Sunday. It'll be a very, very, dark and sad day for the league, and the sport.
The NHL and NHLPA met Wednesday afternoon in New York, as the two sides try to come to terms on a new collective bargaining agreement, before the current one expires on Sept. 15.
While no deal has been agreed to, the NHL has given the NHLPA an offer, which is more like an ultimatum. The NHL's offer to the NHLPA will expire when the current collective bargaining agreement expires.
"The players' proposal was not much different and was not acceptable," Bettman said.
So instead, the NHL countered with an ultimatum.
"What we did do today will be off the table if we don't have a deal by the expiration of the CBA," Bettman said.
Ultimatums seldom are a wise way to negotiate, so NHL fans shouldn't be terribly optimistic about the NHL's latest take-it-or-leave-it offer.
Hopefully, the two sides will come to their senses, but it appears that a lockout is imminent.
As the Sep. 15 deadline looms, there's been almost no progress in negotiations between the players and the owners. At this point, the season is clearly in jeopardy.
Another NHL lockout could destroy casual fans' interest in the league -- again.
"So, you're saying there's a chance." -- Lloyd Christmas.
According to a CBS News report, behind the scenes talks have taken place between the league and the NHLPA to restart talks, as the two sides desperately attempt to reach an agreement on a new collective bargaining agreement, prior to Sept. 15.
"From our perspective, there has been a sense of urgency all summer," Daly said in an email to The Associated Press, "but, obviously, it becomes more real as we get closer to September 15 with no meaningful progress being made."
The first NHL preseason games are scheduled to begin Sept. 19, with the regular season slated to open on Oct. 11 with four games.
At the least, hopefully the two sides will agree to restart talks, to at least give fans some hope that there will be a season this year. Unless negotiations begin soon, it at the least, looks like the season's start will be delayed.
Still, this recent news gives fans some hope. Let's hope both sides hammer out a deal, for the sake of the fans and the league.
Unless the NHL and the NHL Players Association come to terms on a new collective bargaining agreement, the NHL will be headed to a lockout, starting on Sept. 15.
It looks like the NHLPA has prepared for this unfortunate circumstance --and even sent a letter to players, outlining how the lockout will affect them.
The lockout will have some odd effects on players, including this strange bit of information:
"If you are unfit to play because of a hockey-related injury when a lockout begins, you are entitled to receive your salary until you are fit to play," the memo said. "If you are currently injured, you should make sure that your condition is fully documented and that your club is aware of it. If you do not receive your salary payment when it becomes due, you should contact your agent and/or the NHLPA legal department immediately."
To break it down simply: hockey players will continue to receive a paycheck if they're hurt, and once they're healthy enough to play hockey, they'll stop receiving a paycheck.
Players, however, will receive signing bonuses.
The NHLPA informed players that signing bonuses, buyout payments and return of escrow payments will be paid even if there is a lockout. Escrow payments are expected to arrive in mid-October.
Lastly, players have been warned about signing with teams in other leagues.
The memo also explains that players can sign to play in other leagues when they are locked out, but could face problems with their current NHL team should they be injured while playing elsewhere.
"We expect that your NHL club would suspend you without pay until you are fit to play," the NHLPA memo said. "There also is a possibility that the club might take other disciplinary action. The NHLPA may be able to dispute such suspensions and disciplinary actions under the grievance and arbitration procedure.
The NHLPA is certainly ready for a lockout. Here's hoping that the two sides someway, somehow get a deal done prior to Sept. 15.
Hockey fans aren't actively rooting for an NHL lockout -- they'd be borderline insane to. If there is a work stoppage in the NHL this year, though, it could benefit the Dallas Stars.
Jeff Angus over at Defending Big D, SB Nation's Dallas Stars blog, has three reasons why the lockout could benefit the Stars.
1) Derek Roy's injury
The Stars lack depth up the middle. It is no secret - after Jamie Benn and Derek Roy, things fall off very quickly. Roy had his shoulder cleaned up this summer (a procedure that was pushed for by the Dallas management and ownership), and because of that he is on the mend until mid-to-late November. If the season is pushed back a few months, he should be returning around the same time as the rest of his teammates.
Angus also cites less wear and tear on veteran players, as well as more developmental time for young players, as other reasons why the Stars would benefit from a delayed start to the season.
This assumes, of course, that the entire season wouldn't be cancelled.
The read is well worth the time for any Dallas Stars fan, so be sure to check it out over at Defending Big D. Sign up and join the discussion while you're there.
Donald Fehr, executive director of the NHLPA, dropped a bombshell on Friday when he announced that talks between the Players' Association and the NHL have broken off. From SB Nation's Steve Lepore:
Fehr: at this point, talks have broken off.— Steve Lepore (@stevelepore) August 31, 2012
Fehr: players are not prepared to see a reduction in their salaries.— Steve Lepore (@stevelepore) August 31, 2012
The big dispute in current negotiations is over Hockey Related Revenue and the players' share, currently at 57 percent under the current CBA. The NHL is trying to get the players to take a 50/50 share, something the players are unwilling to do under the current definition of HRR. When the NHL proposed a higher share for the players, the league redefined HRR to take away from the overall "pie" being shared; this was something the NHLPA was not willing to concede.
Fehr stated that talks have broken off for now and that no further negotiations are scheduled. The current CBA expires on Sept. 15, with the NHL promising to lock out the players on that date if no agreement has been reached.
With the Sept. 15 deadline for a possible NHL lockout looming, negotiations are beginning to heat up between the owners and the NHLPA.
On Tuesday afternoon, the NHL gave its latest proposal to the players, which moved the proposed revenue split from 53-47 to 50-50. This is a sign that the league may be willing to compromise in order to avoid the third lockout of Gary Bettman's tenure.
Now, according to a report from SB Nation's Steve Lepore, the NHLPA will respond with a counter-proposal by Friday:
Fehr: NHLPA is in the process of a counter-proposal that the PA wants done tomorrow or Friday.— Steve Lepore (@stevelepore) August 29, 2012
Donald Fehr, the NHLPA's chief negotiator, has expressed skepticism about some of the league's financial statements -- especially how they are calculating the proposed hockey-related revenue the two sides would split.
But with the owners at least hinting that they're amenable to compromise, we should get a much better idea of the mood in the NHLPA when we see their counter-proposal in the next few days.
The NHL looks like it's headed toward its second work stoppage in seven years.
The Associated Press reported on Friday that no further progress has been made between the league and the players association, making another lockout "inevitable."
The parties attempted to make some progress Wednesday by clearing the meeting room of everyone but the key figures: Bettman and deputy commissioner Bill Daly along with Fehr and his brother Steve Fehr, the union's No. 2 man. They soon discovered there was little common ground.
Those same four men will reopen talks next Tuesday in New York during what promises to be a key negotiation session. The sides have tentatively blocked off the rest of the week for meetings as well, but they must first determine if there's anything worth talking about.
The issue, as always, is money. The owners believe they are paying too much (shocker), and the players aren't looking for a pay cut, and wanted to be fairly compensated as they are the ones who actually play and drive the sport.
With the two sides failing to make any progress this week, it's probably unreasonable to expect significant progress next week when the two sides meet in New York.
If the players and owners are unable to agree on a new collective bargaining agreement by Sept. 15, we'll have the second NHL lockout on our hand of the last seven years. Unfortunately, players are already preparing for a lockout.
If this unfortunate situation does come to fruition, the AHL could see an uptick in attendance and a rise in demand, according to the Sports Network's Daniel Fung.
Already, though, fans are starting to look at alternatives to getting their hockey fix in the event of a lockout.
For many of them, that means turning their attention to the American Hockey League, which provides an opportunity to retain some sort of connection to their team even if the NHL season is derailed.
The extra attention certainly won't go unnoticed by the AHL who, in recent years, have taken steps to make in-roads into NHL markets in Canada by staging a number of regular-season games in NHL buildings.
Much of Fung's article discusses how the AHL would grow in Canada, where Canadian cities have focused on bringing and marketing AHL teams. The AHL, however, probably wouldn't be terribly in demand in the United States -- and a lockout would only further ruin hockey's popularity in the United States.
The AHL, though, does have three teams in Texas: the Houston Aeros, San Antonio Rampage, and Texas Stars, located in Cedar Park, Texas.
For the latest on the Stars and the lockout, be sure to check out Defending Big D.
The sixth in a series looking at how a potential year-long lockout would affect the Dallas Stars as a team and an organization.
This might be the only part of the lockout that may turn out in the Stars favor. Roy underwent shoulder surgery in July and is assured to be out until at least the end of November. The loss of training camp and time playing with teammates probably means he won't really get into the flow of the offense until January.
Now Dallas knew about his injury and told him to get the surgery so they had to have had some sort of inkling that a lockout was likely. A lockout means that his surgery won't hurt the Stars at all during year and allows him to return fully healthy and with a full knowledge of the team next year. It's still a small consolation though.
The NHL and NHLPA will be burning the midnight oil trying to hammer out a deal so hopefully it gets done. They might even have a shortened season like the NBA had this past season. In any case, the Stars and Stars fans have to be hoping that no lockout comes to pass.
This could get ugly in a hurry.
NHLPA head honcho Donald Fehr said that the players are "prepared for the eventuality of an owners' lockout," assuming a new collective bargaining agreement can't be reached.
The NHL, of course, last had a lockout in 2004, when the league cancelled all of its games for the 2004-05 season, becoming the first league in North American major sports history to cancel all of its games for a season because of a work stoppage.
According to Fehr, the players are well aware of history.
Players understand what is going on, understand what the issues are and understand how the owners' proposal will affect them, understand how this compares to what happened seven years ago. ... understand that this will affect their lives if we can't find a way through this in the immediate future.
Hopefully, cooler heads prevail and the NHL can avoid another work stoppage. A second work stoppage in eight years would be tough to recover from, for a sport that already has waning interest in the United States.
The fifth in a series looking at how a potential year-long lockout would affect the Dallas Stars as a team and an organization.
GM Joe has only been around since 2009, but he's been in a number of controversial moves already: The non-trade of Brad Richards, letting Mike Modano walk away, trading for Alex Goligoski, trading away Steve Ott. He was handcuffed at the start of his GM career by the Tom Hicks mess, but he's still not getting a lot of leeway with the fans.
The moves he made this past offseason really signaled the changing of the guard and the beginning of the Nieuwendyk stamp on the team as the young players on the team would be brought in under his tenure. This looked like the critical year in his plans and a lockout could shoot that all to hell.
What happens in the next couple of seasons will determine whether the team extends him or whether his time is up as GM of the Stars.
The NHL lockout could get very ugly in a hurry.
Our friends over at SI.com relayed a story from The Columbus Dispatch, stating that the league could cancel the 2012-13 NHL All-Star Game, set for Jan. 27, in Columbus, Ohio.
One of the first major casualties of another NHL lockout could be the All-Star Game, which the Blue Jackets and Nationwide Arena are set to play host to on Jan. 27.
The collective-bargaining agreement expires Sept. 15. With the league and the NHL Players' Association hardening their stances and ramping up the rhetoric, many expect training camps - set to begin Sept. 21 - and the exhibition season to be delayed amid a lockout.
If the lockout extends even a month into the season, it could scuttle one of the biggest sporting events ever planned for central Ohio.
Though it's difficult to call the All-Star game one of the highlights of any professional sports season, the NHL All-Star experience is somewhat unique, as the teams are picked in a sandlot manner, and the skills competitions serve as a highlight for fans.
Hopefully, players and owners can come to an agreement prior to Sept. 15. If not, things could get ugly in a hurry for NHL fans.
The fourth in a series looking at how a potential year-long lockout would affect the Dallas Stars as a team and an organization.
Dallas was in a difficult position after the past season finished. They were a non-playoff team filled with older players on the downside of their careers or young guys who just weren't ready for the NHL just yet. The organization had to find a way to put out a team that could contend for a playoff spot while still allowing the young guys to grow at their own pace.
By the end of the offseason they had done a magnificent job in completing that plan. The older players that they brought in (Jagr and Ray Whitney) are better than what they sent away (Mike Ribeiro and Sheldon Souray). They would have gone into the season with a solid top-six group of forwards and watched their solid young prospects grow at the AHL level or as a fourth line player in the NHL. The team of the future would have been set to go next year with this plan in place.
That plan goes out the window if the season is locked out. Jagr and Whitney have been around since Moses parted the Red Sea and while they may still be in good shape; I can't imagine them going for another year, especially Jagr.
At least one, probably two of the top-six forwards on the team are gone next season and the expectation would be for the young players to step up.
Would they be ready though? A lockout in the NHL won't cancel anything in the AHL, but it could really jumble up rosters. Current NHL players that have two-way contracts could conceivably spend their time in the AHL next year if they wanted to. Jason Spezza of the Ottawa Senators absolutely tore up the AHL during the 2004-2005 lockout and was the MVP that year (he had already been in the NHL for two years).
Guys with two-way contracts that had expectations of playing in Dallas this season include: Reilly Smith, Tomas Vincour, Cody Eakin, Brenden Dillon and Jordie Benn. I'd imagine that all of them would head down to play in AHL. Dillon, Vincour and Eakin are guys that shouldn't be spending any time in AHL anymore as they all are NHL ready (possibly Smith as well).
As it is at the moment, the AHL roster looks to have a solid collection of youngsters that will all get ample playing time. Throwing in a mix of five more NHL players could mean less time for the new kids. It may not change the Stars plans that much, but I'd still prefer that guys like Jamie Oleksiak, Radek Faksa and Alex Chiasson get as much time in the AHL as they possibly can. They're the guys that need the time and experience to get used to the higher speeds of the pro game.
An influx of NHL talent in the AHL levels should raise the intensity of play and could help out the young guys. I just feel that the team actually had a great plan for the future and I'm worried how a lost year changes it.
NHLPA Executive Director Donald Fehr took part in a conference call with the media on Friday, taking the time to explain just how far apart the Players' Association and the NHL currently sit in the ongoing CBA negotiations. The two sides have not met since Wednesday, with the NHL expected to formally respond to the NHLPA's proposal next week.
The biggest hurdle in agreeing to a new CBA is tied to the share of hockey-related revenue between the league and the players. Currently the share sits at a 57/43 split in favor of the players, yet the league is fighting for an even 50/50 split similar to what the NFL and the NBA currently share.
According to Fehr, however, the players believe that the current split is actually closer to 50/50 when you factor in all revenue.
"Let me caution you when you start taling about 50/50 splits," Fehr said. "If you start talking about all revenue as opposed to hockey-related revenue, the way we calculate it the players are already at just about 50/50. Hockey-related revenue begins by subtracting some amounts of revenue. They don't count. What I'm saying is that if you add those things back in and then take what the players get, we calculate that to be about 51 percent."
The players have made it known that they are willing to take a smaller cut of revenue if the owners would also be willing to work on a better revenue sharing plan between teams, so that the players are not the ones being asked to take the full brunt of helping out the teams that are currently struggling financially.
Fehr also made it known that the players are not the ones threatening to delay the season and that the owners are fighting to pay the players below fair market value. Be sure to read the full report on the conference call here.
The third in a series looking at how a potential year-long lockout would affect the Dallas Stars as a team and an organization.
This has been an ongoing problem now for the past two or three seasons. What do the Stars do with their captain? Should they or should they not trade him, especially now that he's probably the most recognizable player on the team with Ott gone?
Morrow will be 35-years-old by the end of the 2013-2014 season. He's dealt with recurring injuries for the past three years and has been slowly losing productivity. This was probably the last season that the Stars had of trading him and expecting a good return.
How many teams are going to be willing to trade for a 35-year-old third/fourth line winger with a big cap hit ($4.1 million) in what's expected to be a reduced salary cap? I don't expect a lot of eager hands waving in the air.
It's going to be tough to see Morrow go, but he just doesn't have a future on a team that is retooling. It looks like Dallas missed a chance to get anything in return for him.
With less than a month remaining before the NHL's collective bargaining agreement expires, a hockey fan would hope talks between the players and owners would show progression towards an agreement. But that wasn't the message Wednesday form commissioner Gary Bettman.
"There's still a wide gap between us with not much time to go," Bettman said Wednesday.
"I do think it's fair to say that the sides are still apart — far apart — and have different views of the world and the issues," he added.
Currently, negotiations between the two sides have hit a stand still as the owners rejected a proposal from the players on Tuesday. The offer was to decrease the percentage of revenues for players over the next three season, while in return getting an expanded revenue sharing system to help struggling teams.
In the end, the players and owners stopped talks with almost opposite offers on the table and no meetings scheduled until sometime next week.
The second in a series looking at how a potential year-long lockout would affect the Dallas Stars as a team and an organization.
At the moment, Jamie Benn is still without a contract. There's a zero chance of him leaving Dallas, but it's obvious that the Stars are waiting to see what happens with the new CBA before signing him.
Anyone that watches the Stars knows that Benn is the future captain of the team. He's the best player and has the on ice-passion and work ethic to eventually have that ‘C' stitched across his chest.
He hasn't quite grown enough on the off ice stuff just yet though (he's only 23-years-old). This ties in somewhat with the fan base thing as the captain is the face of the team. That means dealing with the media. That means locker room presence. That means knowing that the burden of winning and losing falls on his shoulders.
Benn needs a year or two as an assistant captain and slowly taking on more responsibilities with the team and to become more of a public figure. He needs to take in as much as he can from Morrow and Robidas before they're gone (and Alex Goligoski as well, though he won't be gone anytime soon).
Most of all though, it's a crime to steal a year from the fans of watching Jamie Benn play hockey in person.
The first in a series looking at how a potential year-long lockout would affect the Dallas Stars as a team and an organization.
The Dallas Stars mismanagement and their overall poor play as a whole in the last few years have killed the team's casual fan base in the city, although the recent success of the Mavericks and the Rangers hasn't helped either.
Dallas fans like a winner and that showed near the end of the season last year, when the AAC actually had some filled seats while the Stars played some of their best hockey. The diehard fans will always be there, but no sports franchise can survive without the support of the casual fan.
The addition of a guy like Jagr added more ticket sales and there was actually a nice buzz about the team. This actually looked like a team that could sneak into the playoffs and put themselves back on the map in the Metroplex.
Now what? Take away this team for an entire year and how does it change the sales landscape? The NHL as a whole has struggled with attendance and viewing numbers and a lockout will do that absolutely no favors. The excitement of last year's playoffs dissipated quickly, especially in a year with the European Championship and Olympics.
For a non-playoff team like Dallas, that could be devastating. The team traded away one of their most popular players this offseason in Steve Ott. Longtime franchise players in Brenden Morrow and Stephane Robidas can't be far behind.
Jamie Benn should be the face of the franchise, but he hasn't quite reached that level of popularity yet with the casual fan. He and Loui Eriksson are the best players on the team, but neither are the public figures that Ott and Morrow are. Benn always seems uncomfortable with the media and when's the last time anyone heard Loui speak.
This team could conceivably be without that franchise face that's easily named by the casual Dallas fan when the NHL returns. This team needs the upcoming season to continue building back its fan base in North Texas.
As negotiations continue toward a new Collective Bargaining Agreement in the NHL, the league and the NHL Players Association are beginning to get creative, as the two sides work to desperately avoid another lockout.
According to the New York Daily News, one proposal by the union is to eliminate the salary cap, and install a luxury tax to facilitate revenue sharing between teams.
With just over a month until the threatened lockout of the NHL, the union is planning to put an "alternative view," on the negotiating table Tuesday, likely to include eliminating the salary cap and instituting a luxury tax to create revenue sharing between clubs. It will definitely be a vastly different proposal for a Collective Bargaining Agreement than the one they received from the NHL on July 13.
Speaking to reporters in Toronto after a meeting to discuss "business issues," NHL Players Association head Donald Fehr would not call Tuesday's presentation a counter proposal.
"I think (a counter proposal) is within the framework of what the other guy said. This is a different approach," Fehr said.
As the Daily News points out, the proposal is similar to Major League Baseball's salary structure, which Fehr was behind when he was head of Major League Baseball's Players Association.
Players and teams alike could benefit from the proposed idea, as the players could see an increase in salary without a cap, and smaller market teams could earn revenue sharing from the larger market teams.
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