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McKenzie: “not at all optimistic” the season can be saved

Sep 26, 2012, 11:54 AM EDT

Sad Leafs fan

Unlike many pundits, TSN’s Bob McKenzie isn’t one for hyperbole. So when he says the 2012-13 NHL season is in serious jeopardy due to the lockout, the NHL season is probably in serious jeopardy due to the lockout.

And unfortunately, that’s what he’s saying.

“I’m not at all optimistic that there’s going to be hockey this year,” McKenzie said Tuesday during TSN’s Insider Trading segment (video). “I think this season is very much in peril.”

McKenzie’s colleague, Darren Dreger, isn’t very optimistic either, citing the main sticking point in the league’s labor dispute – the NHL is insisting on paying the players less than the $1.87 billion they earned last year, and the players are steadfastly refusing to accept anything less than $1.87 billion.

On the bright(ish) side, Pierre LeBrun stills thinks there will be a season, though he maintains the next phase of negotiations, starting Friday, is make or break: “This is the ballgame.”

Related: Pierre McGuire discusses Friday’s upcoming labor meeting

  1. rsl22 - Sep 26, 2012 at 12:19 PM

    I wonder how many relationships are negatively affected by the lockout.

    I like my girlfriend and all, but not having those roughly 8 hours a week to watch the NHL is really going to put a strain on our relationship.

    • greatminnesotasportsmind - Sep 26, 2012 at 12:36 PM

      Agreed, since my baseball team lost 99 games last year and close to that this year, they are irrelevant. I gave my wife the big flat screen to watch her garbage drama shows, all summer long and when there is no sports on. I was hanging out with her last night and just wanted to cut my eyes and ears out watching house wives of whateverville. I got thinking, damn if there is no hockey, this is what my winter has come to? Ugh

      • rsl22 - Sep 26, 2012 at 12:39 PM

        Honey Boo Boo? Dancing with the Stars? The Voice? X Factor? E!? MTV? Lifetime? Oxygen?


      • greatminnesotasportsmind - Sep 26, 2012 at 2:29 PM

        What the heck is Honey Boo Boo? Sounds like a low budget porno film

      • eastcoastcynic - Sep 26, 2012 at 4:50 PM

        Don’t mean to be facetious, I would recommend checking out as one who lives in a non-NHL league city, but likes and wants a franchise, Roller Derby. It’s got much of the speed, power, explosion and collisions of hockey, and many women who skate in the sport have hockey backgrounds and believe this is potentially a major sport for women-It’s not the Keystone Kop fixed crap sport your dad watched in the past.

        As I said, I’m not trying to be funny, but merely recommending a viable alternative if the NHL doesn’t come back this season.

    • mhazz84 - Sep 26, 2012 at 4:22 PM

      Your girlfriend thumbs-downed this.

  2. sabatimus - Sep 26, 2012 at 12:21 PM

    Yes, this is indeed happening again, and while it’s terribly asinine from most of the media-covered angles, the NHL could benefit from the NFL debacle if there’s an exodus of fans from the latter. Of course, there could easily be an exodus of fans from the former too, given the joke of a CBA offer that Bettman et al put on the table. So, basically, this leaves MLB playoff baseball (shortly, and until November at the latest) and the NBA (vomit; speaking of SERIALLY bad officiating).

    Fans of the major leagues are really being screwed this fall :\

  3. therealjr - Sep 26, 2012 at 12:47 PM

    Cancel the season, huh..

    Go ahead punks….make my day.

  4. raiderufan - Sep 26, 2012 at 2:40 PM

    I fail to understand how negotiations are aided by not being in a room constantly negotiating.

  5. jimw81 - Sep 26, 2012 at 2:47 PM

    This is old news. Howard Berger reported last week.

    “The source I talked with explained the league’s position more clearly.

    “In 2005, Gary Bettman did not want to cancel the season… he went to the last possible moment [in mid-February] before doing so. Gary had taken the same approach ten years earlier and it almost cost him his job. But, he was able to salvage part of that season [48 games, beginning in January 1995]. When he was forced to cancel the entire [2004-05] schedule, he and the owners learned something valuable: the players had no appetite to lose a full year off their careers. This time around, he has near-unanimous support from the owners to kill the season much earlier. Believe me, there are no pressure-points, including the Jan. 1 game [outdoor Winter Classic].

    “I think Jimmy Devellano knows what he’s talking about.”

    Further complicating matters, according to my source, is the dissimilarity between Goodenow and Donald Fehr. “With Bob, it became personal. He couldn’t stand Gary and I don’t think he was acting in the best interest of the players when they began to soften. He wasn’t going to accept a salary cap, even if it wiped out two seasons. Fehr is more composed and he has the resume [from baseball] to support his position. I think the players are fighting a lost cause but I’m not sure they’ll fracture as quickly. That’s why this dispute could come to a head much sooner than the last one.””

    • jimw81 - Sep 26, 2012 at 2:58 PM

      I would add the owners never wanted to neogate from good faith from the beginning and this story tells the owners are willing to do anything to get what they want.

  6. tmoore4075 - Sep 26, 2012 at 4:00 PM

    I hope he’s wrong. The thing is some people say they think there will be, some say maybe, some say no way. Both sides need to be willing to give a little. I do have to say that not having any real meetings for 2 weeks was stupid. Taking a few days off to regroup is fine but it’ll be over two weeks since the last meeting.

  7. turtlematt18 - Sep 27, 2012 at 12:47 AM

    The owners are the ones to blame over this but the NHLPA are beginning to become just as bad.
    There is no sense of urgency at all from either side to resolve this mess. Lets it done for the sake of the game and the fans for we are the ones that generate the money.

    • sunderlanding - Sep 27, 2012 at 2:06 AM

      The owners aren’t exatly to blame. It’s more Bettman and the NHL deciding to expand into all these american markets that don’t make money. Now the league is in a position where they have to get the players to agree. There are 12 teams loosing money and another six barely breaking even. So the owners of those teams don’t want a season unless the players take a cut. Sure fundamentally the players are right, but if they don’t agree the NHL could be in trouble. Do you want a new league, or would you rather they try to fix this one? That’s what the real question is.

      • georgiared - Sep 27, 2012 at 3:02 AM

        There are 18 teams losing money, not 12. That’s over half of the league. Only 5 actually made money, while the other 7 are around the breaking point.

        Take the Sharks who sold out every game, & still lost 15 million dollars( Even the Penguins didn’t make a profit last year & they played above capacity for their arena.

        I admit the owners need to work together, but the owners have ALL the financial risk while the players have none. Why should the players get a large majority of the profits? I think if the players would get off their “we’re not gonna take a penny less that 57%” & the owners would go about trying to help each other, this deal would get done fairly quickly

  8. Doesnotmatter - Sep 27, 2012 at 6:57 AM

    The owners aren’t budging from their position so further negotiations really aren’t necessary. Except if Bettman and Fehr get into a fist fight and someone films the whole thing. The last vote the Board of Governors took came out 30 to none in favor of the lockout. Things are not looking good for the fans.

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