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Hartnell on NHLPA strength: “The solidarity is absolutely awesome to see”

Aug 26, 2012, 11:30 AM EDT


The way Scott Hartnell sees it, the biggest difference between this (impending) lockout and the one that wiped out the 2004-05 season is simple:

The players’ union is better than it’s ever been.

“There’s a lot more communication than there was during the last lockout. I remember not really hearing a thing and being uninformed,” Hartnell told USA Today. “This time, every meeting we’re getting calls from player reps, union heads…we’re having conference calls.

“A lot of different guys are showing up to meetings and it’s great to be apart of it. It’s fun. It’s interesting. You’re going against some very powerful people that own multimillion-dollar companies and hockey teams.”

The NHLPA does appear to be much more organized than the last lockout.

The creation of the 31-player Negotiating Committee plays a big role in that — comprised of players from 19 of the league’s 30 teams, it includes a wide range of tenured players like John Tavares (21 years old) all the way up to 38-year-old Adrian Aucoin, the oldest committee member.

There’s also a handful of Ivy Leaguers — George Parros and Kevin Westgarth went to Princeton, Dominic Moore and Craig Adams went to Harvard, Douglas Murray went to Cornell — and reps from both the Ukraine (Ruslan Fedotenko) and Sweden (Murray, Henrik Zetterberg).

Hartnell says the way in which NHLers have rallied around each other during this difficult time is a positive sign for the future.

“The strength and the solidarity is absolutely awesome to see,” he said. “We want to play. The fans want to see us play.”

  1. silversun60 - Aug 26, 2012 at 11:33 AM

    The simple truth is that the owners can out wait the players. Happens every time in every league.

    The union will start to crack once the paycheques aren’t coming in.

  2. canucks18 - Aug 26, 2012 at 11:38 AM

    You gotta remember that the owners will be losing BIG money too, and they a a group of people who don’t like to lose money.

    • getadealdonealready - Aug 26, 2012 at 12:35 PM

      Yes, however none of these owners made their money in the NHL. Owning teams are their hobby, they will still have money coming in from their main source of revenue, unlike the players.

    • tealwithit - Aug 26, 2012 at 3:17 PM

      Some teams/owners actually lose less money during a lockout than they would if the games were to be played under the current CBA.

  3. dadawg77 - Aug 26, 2012 at 11:45 AM

    The MLBPA didn’t crack when missing checks. That’s Fehrs history and he is using what he learned there with the NHLPA. Also don’t think players won’t give him more benefit and more willing to stick it out if union leadership says that’s the best course because his track record in baseball.

  4. vindicatus - Aug 26, 2012 at 12:07 PM

    So according to Hartnell, the impending lockout is “fun.” I’m sure glad the players are enjoying themselves. The season is doomed.

  5. jacketsfan7 - Aug 26, 2012 at 12:29 PM

    Finally he got a haircut!

    • speedstickmusk - Aug 26, 2012 at 12:50 PM

      Certainly looks better but i think that’s an old pic… the flyers don’t wear the blacks anymore…

  6. mrwings787 - Aug 26, 2012 at 1:06 PM

    I know the owners have other options but so do players… Ahl, KHL and all other 500 leagues in Europe. Plus a lot of the players are European so im sure they’ll love to go home for a year and play in front of their families

    • freneticgarfieldfan - Aug 26, 2012 at 2:40 PM

      not so much – they only earn a fractional amount overseas compared to the NHL

      • mrwings787 - Aug 26, 2012 at 7:26 PM

        im pretty sure the KHL pays more than the NHL… Isnt that why Hudler left the Wings in 09, for the money?

  7. bobhpine - Aug 26, 2012 at 2:27 PM

    Didn’t Jeff Carter bang his wife? Now that’s fun.

    Well funny at least

  8. jacketsfan7 - Aug 26, 2012 at 2:28 PM

    @speedstickmusk yeah I noticed that too , he better get a haircut , Ik the fans luv it and so does he but he looks UGLY! Lol

  9. mclovinhockey - Aug 26, 2012 at 3:31 PM

    They do only get paid a fraction of what they get here, but if the KHL sees all the money they can pull in from players going there, they can afford it.

  10. unknowneric - Aug 27, 2012 at 1:45 PM

    Meh, we hear this every time from both sides. Somebody’s going to have to budge eventually.

  11. joeyg88 - Aug 29, 2012 at 2:20 PM

    the players will fold if they are smart. the owners are soo rich that they don’t care if theres no season. have fun playing in Europe everyone ha

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