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Report: “Growing feeling” among players that “Black Friday” game might start season

Sep 4, 2012, 6:25 PM EDT

New York Rangers v Boston Bruins Getty Images

Jimmy Murphy caught up with three unnamed players who have a “growing feeling” that a Nov. 23 Boston Bruins-New York Rangers game will kick off the 2012-13 season.

(Their phrase: the feeling is that the league “circled” the date.)

That contest would kick off NBC’s slate of nationally televised NHL games, drawing an informal nickname as the “Black Friday” game.

One of the anonymous players promoted the NHLPA’s resolve to Murphy.

“We’re ready for that or anything,” the player said. “Not folding this time.”

Kicking off a shortened season during a holiday weekend would echo the NBA’s own lockout from last year.

As you may remember, the basketball league came to a late agreement that kicked off its 66-game schedule on Christmas Day in 2011. This forced the NBA to wedge training camp and the entire free agent period into a small window of time before its season started.

The NHL would likely need to give teams time to tweak or trim their budgets and hold abbreviated training camps if the “Black Friday” game does indeed kick off the season.

  1. trom09 - Sep 4, 2012 at 6:31 PM

    I’m confused here. Everyone keeps saying that this situation is much better than what happened in 04-05. Yet the players are saying their resolve is better this time around and they are not giving in. But last time an entire season was lost.

    With this situation I guess the thought is the owners will give in quickly.

    • tatdue - Sep 4, 2012 at 10:57 PM

      Black Friday is the official start to the Americans holiday shopping, but the reason they are saying it will be the start of the season is because that is the first game that NBC will broadcast and this TV contract is worth too much to the League to mess with because if they do they might not get another chance at it…

  2. blitzburghbrian - Sep 4, 2012 at 6:43 PM

    NBC Sports is reporting that NBC Sports will broadcast the first NHL game of the year?

    Grain of salt taken.

  3. hockeyflow33 - Sep 4, 2012 at 7:17 PM

    I would guess it’s Ference, Seidenberg and Lucic since Ference tweeted a pic of all of them hanging out yesterday

    • hockeyflow33 - Sep 5, 2012 at 8:44 AM

      Who’s thumbing this down haha? I just thought There’s not even any opinion here

      • tealwithit - Sep 6, 2012 at 6:01 PM

        My favorite is when someone just states a fact, especially if it’s a simple statistic, and it gets 25 thumbs down.

  4. gmenfan1982 - Sep 4, 2012 at 7:32 PM

    I hope the players don’t cave. It doesn’t sound like they are going to. They are the ones who bring in every last dollar all 32 owners see in their pockets. The players deserve everything they can get.

  5. martysbetter - Sep 4, 2012 at 7:50 PM

    Maybe the owners should just hold open tryouts for all 30 franchises and sign those who make it to 1 year league minimum salaries.

    • martysbetter - Sep 4, 2012 at 7:59 PM

      Better yet, have Vince McMahon swoop in and start up the XHL – headshots legal!

  6. icelovinbrotha215 - Sep 4, 2012 at 9:23 PM

    Lame. Bettman is to blame for the NHL losing money. Just like his BFF Stern, both are enamored with expansion. Well guess what? Not every city likes hockey (or sports in general). This lockout was avoidable but the Commish has been greedy. It’s catching up with him and the league is suffering because of his actions. Black Friday? That ain’t right. I like my Eagles (unfortunately) and Sixers (Bynum!) but nothing is better than Flyer hockey. Need my fix of NHL OTF.

    • nyrangersnation - Sep 5, 2012 at 12:46 PM

      The NHL hasn’t lost money. The owners and Bettman have been saying all season that every year has been a record year in terms of revenue and exposure

      • icelovinbrotha215 - Sep 5, 2012 at 6:51 PM

        Did you read the article prior to this one?

      • tealwithit - Sep 6, 2012 at 1:55 AM

        Revenue does not equal profit.

  7. id4joey - Sep 4, 2012 at 9:37 PM

    We, the fans MUST strike. We MUST not spend a dime on game packages or NHL merchandise. This is it! It’s our time to stand united.

  8. jmebro - Sep 4, 2012 at 10:16 PM

    I concur! Boycott the NHL!!

  9. thedavesiknowiknow - Sep 5, 2012 at 12:02 AM

    Welp- the NHL game is stale as it’s ever been (to the tune of Jr. hockey is waaaaay more interesting in every way)- so I’m in with the boycott in the event of a lockout.

    • nyrangersnation - Sep 5, 2012 at 12:46 PM

      Stale!? What games are you watching?

  10. chiadam - Sep 5, 2012 at 7:19 AM

    There’s nothing to this. Ownere have not circled this date or any other date. NBC is paying the league for broadcast rights with or without a season. That’s already been determined. So why would the first NBC game motivate anyone?

    • atwatercrushesokoye - Sep 5, 2012 at 11:19 AM

      You are correct about the league getting the tv money regardless, however if they don’t play this year then automatically NBC gets an 11th year on the contract at the cost of $0, and just based on inflation the tv contract will be worth more in 10 years so the owners would be costing themselves a lot of money.

  11. nyrangersnation - Sep 5, 2012 at 12:44 PM

    I’m sorry but I’m not going to boycott the NHL. I’m all for the protests and all that but I’m a Rangers, Jets, Mets, and Knicks fan born in 91. I don’t count the Rangers Cup in 94 because I was way too young to remember it. So none of my teams have won a title in my life. Not only that, they’ve tortured me with it. I’ve been teased for 20 years with hopes of a title and nothing. The Rangers are just too close to a Cup that I can’t boycott it. There’s no guarantee I’ll see any of my teams win a title in the next 20 years so if the Rangers won it this year and I boycotted, that would be the ULTIMATE torture. You say want to boycott the league and I understand it, but let’s get serious, if you really loved hockey you wouldn’t be ABLE to boycott it. If you do decide to boycott all the more power to you.

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