Oct 2, 2012, 12:14 PM EDT
On the one hand, it would further damage the reputation of the NHL.
On the other, just think of the comedy!
Monday night on Josh Rimer’s radio show, former Leafs assistant GM Bill Watters speculated that league commissioner Gary Bettman could bring in replacement players – possibly by mid-November – in an attempt to break the union and end the lockout.
Some in the media are skeptical.
But it’s not the first time Watters has touched on the subject of replacements.
“There are enough free agents around and players under contract in junior, on reserve lists and in the AHL to ice a team in every city,” he told the Toronto Sun in September. “It is conceivable. It wouldn’t be a long-term thing but a union breaking move.”
OK, first question: Would that even be legal? Surely there are labor laws that cover this sort of thing. Replacement players have been used before in sports, but we imagine it took a few lawyers to usher them in.
Next question: Assuming the NHL finds a way to jump through all the legal hoops, what kind of player would cross the picket line and be willing to wear the “scab” label the rest of their careers?
—- A fringe player who knows he’s not good enough to make the NHL except as a replacement.
—- A veteran that’s on the verge of retirement and has nothing to gain from a lost season.
—- A player with a beef against the union.
Sounds like a fantastic product.
It’s also worth wondering if this sort of move could seriously backfire for the NHL. We all saw what happened when the NFL attempted to use replacement officials. The product suffered and the league became a laughingstock.
Plus, it might not be a good idea to give hockey fans a means to gather in the thousands and demonstrate their unhappiness with the NHL. Lest we forget the extended “bull****” chant a few weeks ago in Baltimore.
May 19, 2013, 8:38 AM EDT
“He screws it up.”
May 19, 2013, 12:44 AM EDT
Trevor Lewis doesn’t think it was a penalty.
May 19, 2013, 12:12 AM EDT
Logan Couture goes from injured to game-winner.
May 18, 2013, 11:27 PM EDT
His Halifax Mooseheads topped Seth Jones’ Portland Winterhawks.
May 18, 2013, 10:49 PM EDT
May 18, 2013, 10:40 PM EDT
At least Scott Hannan’s OK?
May 18, 2013, 10:19 PM EDT
These moments hurt in games with small margins of error.
May 18, 2013, 10:00 PM EDT
After falling to it in Game 2.
May 18, 2013, 9:09 PM EDT
Matt Greene isn’t playing in Game 3, either.
May 18, 2013, 8:11 PM EDT
Dennis Seidenberg likely out, Wade Redden’s a game-time decision.
May 18, 2013, 7:22 PM EDT
His club’s down 0-2 to the Kings…
May 18, 2013, 6:33 PM EDT
Their critical press release fund must be dry.
May 18, 2013, 6:01 PM EDT
Is that “grossly unfair,” too?
May 18, 2013, 4:50 PM EDT
The captain cares not for the rough stuff.
May 18, 2013, 4:22 PM EDT
Flying through the air going five-hole? Yes.
May 18, 2013, 4:00 PM EDT
It’s their first finals appearance since 1935.
May 18, 2013, 3:35 PM EDT
The comments are now open.
May 18, 2013, 2:44 PM EDT
Lineup shuffles are on the way.
May 18, 2013, 2:10 PM EDT
It’s his call whether to go or not.
May 18, 2013, 1:45 PM EDT
On-ice chatter at its best.
- Penner blasts refs for having ‘gall to guess’ on goalie interference call 35
- Discuss: Sharks win in OT, draw series to 2-1 16
- NHL fines Sharks $100K for Torres suspension critique 41
- Toews has beef with officiating after Game 2 loss 52
- Discuss: Red Wings even up series, take down Chicago 4-1 26
- No surgery needed for Eric Staal following injury at Worlds 3
- Playoffs tonight: Detroit and San Jose look to change things up 3
- Bruins’ Hamilton: ‘I don’t feel like a rookie anymore’ 26
- Penguins’ Murray: ‘We need to be better’ 8
- Senators’ coach MacLean: Karlsson ‘wasn’t one of the best players’ 4
- Alex ‘they wanted Game 7′ Ovechkin to address media today before heading to Worlds (110)
- Question for commenters: What’s the hardest team to support? (93)
- Video: Crosby scores hat trick, hits playoff milestone against Senators (91)
- Capitals discuss ‘lopsided’ penalty calls (82)
- Bryzgalov thinks Stalin did a good job, wishes Philadelphia wasn’t so old, and believes poor people don’t want to work (79)
- Oxbow ends Orb's Triple Crown hopes
- PBT: Pacers top Knicks, punch ticket to conf. finals
- PST: Teary Beckham likely plays final game
- PFT: Pre-draft fears about Gronk coming true
- MST: Carpenter wins pole for 97th Indianapolis 500
- CBT: Chance Coach K returns for '16 Games
- PHT: Couture strikes in OT, lifting Sharks in Game 3
- Play Video: Highlights: Sharks take critical Game 3 in OT
- Play Video: Stuart lands huge hit on Williams
- Play Video: Toffoli gets Kings on the board
- Play Video: Sharks take advantage of early penalty
- Play Video: Highlights: Red Wings even series, thump Blackhawks
- Play Video: Filppula scores impressive, unbalanced goal