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Detroit’s Cleary: Players think lockout can go a year, “maybe longer”

Sep 24, 2012, 5:02 PM EDT

Dan Cleary AP

Those looking for positive developments regarding the NHL lockout, avert your eyes.

Detroit Red Wings forward Dan Cleary — a veteran of the last lockout — told the Free Press this current work stoppage could be as long, if not longer, than the one that wiped out the 2004-05 season.

“I think people don’t think it can go a year,” he said. “As players, we think it can. Maybe longer.”

Cleary, 33, has been a prominent voice throughout the current strife.

He’s attended numerous labor meetings and while he isn’t on the NHLPA’s 31-player negotiating committee — Henrik Zetteberg is the Wings’ rep — Cleary understands the importance of being an active part of the process.

“It’s important to have veteran presence there, and to represent Detroit,” he told USA Today back in August. “It’s not too far to go, either; the meetings are usually either in New York or Toronto.”

Three weeks before the expiration of the CBA, Cleary put the odds of a lockout at 50/50, saying he was optimistic when the NHLPA made its first offer but less optimistic upon hearing the owners’ counter-proposal.

Now, pessimism reigns.

“Just trying to be realistic,” Cleary said. “I think the league is waiting for us to make the move, and we’re waiting for them to move.

“So someone has to move. And I don’t see it coming from our end.”

On the other end of the spectrum sits Washington forward Mike Ribeiro. He feels the owners are waiting until players miss their first few paychecks — in what would essentially mimic a rollback of around 20 percent.

“This time I think we’re more optimistic,” Ribeiro told CSN Washingon. “Hopefully [this ends] by the end of November, so we can have December with hockey. But [the owners’] game plan, at least in my opinion, is that they’ll start paying guys after a month and a half or two months, after they get the 20 percent they wanted.

“They want their 20 percent [rollback of salaries] and the players don’t want to give it back, so let’s just not play until the 20 percent is not spent.”

NHL players usually receive their first paycheck in late October but, this year, they are expected to receive eight percent escrow checks at that time.

As such, many players won’t feel the financial pinch until well into November.

  1. paledevil - Sep 24, 2012 at 5:29 PM

    The players will not get rusty. Will always be good at hockey… 2 years from now Toews will still be Toews… Whenever they come back superstar players will always be a premeium…

    Of topic to continue the owners segment M&M are some true American self made royality..Where ever they started they ran with the ball I

  2. blomfeld - Sep 24, 2012 at 5:55 PM

    Let’s get down to brass tacks then, shall we ?

    This Cleary is just another cow who eats “million dollar” grass and therefore his opinion is meaningless. Regardless, the way I see it, here’s the deal in a nutshell …

    “there is collaboration between the NHL and the NHLPA … and that collaboration calls for a shortened season which will commence by the US Thanksgiving Day weekend … the reason for that is to stem the financial hemorrhaging of at least 4-6 franchises, which otherwise would not survive the coming 2012-13 season, based on a full 82 game schedule”

    The problem for Bettman & company however, is that their growth projections for the league are grossly over-exaggerated. Yes, this shortened season will stop the bleeding for the teams in question, but it will only do so temporarily. Whether they like it or not, the NHL is going to ultimately “contract” and migrate “northward” and there’s probably nothing that can be done about that now, as it’s too late. Why the fool drew a line in the sand, down there in the land of scorpions and 100 degree temperatures, is a mystery which may never be answered ? But he did, just like Hitler at Stalingrad or Napoleon at Waterloo … and I suspect that in the end, his fate will turn out to be just like theirs …

    • somekat - Sep 25, 2012 at 12:02 PM

      Did you REALLY just compare the Pheonix Coyotes to Waterloo and Stalingrad? really?

      If you read that quote from that idiot, and think that is really happening, you are brain dead. The owners aren’t as dumb as most players, they aren’t trying to fix this system for this year. They are trying to fix it long term. Cutting 20% of the games this year would do nothing to fix the system long term if the old CBA rules are still in place. It’s an idiotic conspiracy theory.

      They ARE going to wait until in to November, because the owners knows, just like the NBA owners did, that the players need the owners, not the other way around. These guys are filthy rich anyway, none of them are living off their NHL income (if they were, most would be in trouble). The players on the other hand, are. Once they start losing checks, they’ll be more willing to deal, it’s just human nature.

  3. id4joey - Sep 24, 2012 at 6:24 PM

    Guys, the whole initiative is being driven by two power owners. Jacobs and Schneider. Everyone else on the NHL side have strings attached to them. No doubt about that.

    • somekat - Sep 25, 2012 at 11:53 AM

      Yes, because I’m sure Ed Snider and comcast is letting those 2 lead him around by the nose. Get a clue

  4. lostpuppysyndrome - Sep 24, 2012 at 10:59 PM

    Whatever. This is getting old.

    • blomfeld - Sep 24, 2012 at 11:24 PM

      get lost you “opinion-less” junk !

      • lostpuppysyndrome - Sep 25, 2012 at 9:40 AM

        Whoa there, fella. Unless you don’t read anyone’s comments but your own, you’d know about my opinions. I’ve had my say and now I’m saying that player comments re: the continuing saga of CBA stagnation is sounding like a broken record. Furthermore, your comments are irrelevant unless accompanied by a youtube video of some dead musician.

  5. somekat - Sep 25, 2012 at 11:55 AM

    You gotta love how he was “optomistic after the NHLPA’s” proposal. He really thought the owenrs were going to eat that? There was nothing to fix any problems with the league in their proposal. They were supposed to be happy with “hey, they won’t get MORE than 57%”?

    This just shows how deluded the players are. It’s ashame when people who have no idea what is going on show up to meetings, get sold a bill of goods from a lawyer in a suit taht will never be delivered, and then pretend to know what is going on and what is and isn’t “fair”

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