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NHL bubble player: “No way” he’d be a replacement

Oct 3, 2012, 10:00 AM EDT

Gary Bettman Getty Images

Yesterday, we touched on the possibility of the NHL employing replacement players.

Let’s push aside questions of how likely or even possible that is for the moment and ask ourselves just this: How good would the replacement players be?

Given that this is a lockout and not a strike, it seems unlikely that many, if any, current NHL players would be part of this. Still, some might think that players on the AHL/NHL bubble would be warm to the idea.

Hold that thought.

“There’s no way. That kind of thing stays with you for your entire career,” said one such player in Joe Haggerty’s CSNNE report. “Guys want to make it to the NHL the right way and be accepted by the brotherhood of players. That would never happen for anybody that crossed the lines while the lockout is going on.

“Good luck finding players willing to do that.”

So if the NHL really attempts to put together replacement player teams, the quality of the players might not even be at the almost-made-it level.

  1. freneticgarfieldfan - Oct 3, 2012 at 10:33 AM

    That would never happen for anybody that crossed the lines while the lockout is going on.
    “Good luck finding players willing to do that.” – oh yeah, for sure.
    That’s why all the players stay and show solidarity with each other, rather than taking the very first opportunity and fly to Europe, in order to take a job away from a guy who usually makes 1/10th of the NHL’ers salary.
    The whole NHLPA propaganda begins to fall apart.

  2. bcsteele - Oct 3, 2012 at 10:35 AM

    I agree with his point. And Bettman would really be an idiot in my point of view to explore this route. Just get the deal done and get this season started because I’m already in withdrawal…

  3. mpg44 - Oct 3, 2012 at 10:58 AM

    Some players crossed the line already when they stole jobs from their European counterparts. The NHL players helped cause the mess here and instead of fixing it , they feel its ok to steal the jobs from other players overseas.

    • elvispocomo - Oct 3, 2012 at 11:43 AM

      The players aren’t on strike, so technically they aren’t crossing any lines in that regard. I don’t necessarily agree with them going over and taking jobs from players who need it to make a living, but that’s a different situation from a player who may/may not make the NHL signing on to be a replacement player with a league and ownership that has locked out its regular players.

    • paperlions - Oct 3, 2012 at 5:13 PM

      This is akin to saying European players that play in the NHL are stealing jobs from North American hockey players. They are all simply seeking employment within the competitive global mart of professional hockey.

      • kitshky - Oct 3, 2012 at 7:38 PM

        Not really …

        It’s more akin to saying that NHLPA unionized players aren’t respecting the solidarity of their own association by breaking rank and bolting to play elsewhere while they’re supposed to be (collectively) fighting for their collective bargaining rights … all the while disrespecting the right to earn a living of members in other professional hockey associations.

        Associations made up of members who’s only option to earn a living in their chosen profession is playing in lesser quality leagues than the NHL.

        European players (as well as US players, Canadian players, and players from anywhere else in the world) who come over to play in the NHL become members of the NHLPA because they qualify to be so … this isn’t about geography.

  4. falstaffsmind - Oct 3, 2012 at 11:13 AM

    The players have every right to sell their skills overseas when there is no market for them here. If somebody places an embargo on your goods, you take those goods, and find new markets for them. That is especially true when those goods are perishable, as is the case of a Hockey career. The owners don’t like it because it means the players have leverage in negotiations and the owners aren’t holding all the cards.

    • barkar942 - Oct 3, 2012 at 3:37 PM

      Personally, I find the players, especially the highest paid NHL players who have to do nothing for the rest of their lives to survive financially, are the first to jump ship and take someone’s job away in the KHL, European leagues, etc., to be the biggest hypocrites of all.
      They show up at meetings here, claiming that they are standing up for the lower echelon players in the NHL, but go take jobs away overseas for the same people they are “standing up for” here.
      Now not only are the lower echelon players here not able to go overseas because the top players are all taking the positions, but the lower echelon players there are out of work, too!
      I agree they have the “right” to peddle their wares elsewhere, but to become a hypocrite in the process makes me feel much less for them and more for the owners.

      Honestly, all of this CBA crap pisses me off. As a Ranger fan and knowing what potential the team could have this season, it is disheartening to not have them playing. A year layoff could have a very negative effect on them as a team. I am sure others feel the same about their favorite teams.
      GET A DEAL DONE!!!!!

    • kitshky - Oct 3, 2012 at 7:44 PM

      You’re mistaking this as an issue of one’s right to ply their trade, and not being about collective bargaining rights within an industry that crosses almost all borders.

      This is a unionized labour issue between party’s who have already agreed to collective bargaining … it’s not about one’s interpretation of the basics of capitalism.

  5. islesjb - Oct 3, 2012 at 11:17 AM

    Someone call Shane Falco. He ain’t afraid to cross no line.

    • supercoop8 - Oct 3, 2012 at 11:47 AM


    • elvispocomo - Oct 3, 2012 at 11:50 AM

      Maybe Alexandre Daigle would like one more shot at a hockey career…

      But really, that’s the only type of player that you’d get, is guys who aren’t interested in playing anymore, or were never close in the first place. That’s what they mean by bubble players not being used as replacement players.

      If you were a solid player with a shot at the NHL, you you risk that potential future for what might be a few months of hockey in a replacement league before the new CBA gets resolved?

  6. islanders1 - Oct 3, 2012 at 12:03 PM

    How about the NHLPA runs a Replacement League? There are enough facilities throughout the US and Canada that are not under NHL contract. Take Kansas City, Hamilton, Quebec City, and many in NHL cities. I know some will say facilities will not do that and risk not getting a team. So many rinks that can hold 6,000 around you could easily run a league and give jobs to the players that have not gone oversea’s. The league Locked them out so they should lock the league out and move on start the PHL Professorial Hockey League as a cooperative run by the NHLPA

  7. aklolzer - Oct 3, 2012 at 12:19 PM

    And that right there fellas is the difference between basketball players and hockey players.

  8. ndrick731 - Oct 3, 2012 at 12:59 PM

    As a season ticket holder if the owners tried to force replacements and get my money for those games they would never see a cent from me in the future. That would basically be stealing. I am paying for a product at a certain level and am not willing to pay for a much inferior product. That would be like going to to a jewelry store and buying a diamond but as you leave the store they take it away and replace it with a cubic zirconia. Any fool that would go back is just a sad individual who deserves to get screwed.

  9. rocktheredskins - Oct 3, 2012 at 1:20 PM

    How about we just watch our respective AHL teams, oh wait, they don’t air those games. At least not here in the MD area. Go Hershey Bears!

    • adlent - Oct 3, 2012 at 4:03 PM

      I plan to hunt for an online stream of tonight’s Hershey game.

  10. rockyspond - Oct 3, 2012 at 2:11 PM

    Having the NHLPA start their own league is a wonderful idea. What an opportunity to give them a dose of reality. Let them hire their own GM and asst GMs, coaches and assistants, trainers and medical staff, arena security and janitorial crews, ticket sellers and team marketing staff, charter aircraft (incl. paying the 170% increase in the cost of jet fuel since the last CBA was signed) and the dozens of other costs that aren’t top of mind. Don’t forget the negotiating team required to deal with local municipalities and land owners to see who gets the parking revenues and taxes and myriad other things; or the player development costs with minor league teams so they have players to call up in case of injuries. Then they can have fun with Jethro Bodine ciphering how to divide up the 57% of revenues that are magically left over after paying these costs.

    • woodsvikes - Oct 3, 2012 at 3:30 PM

      Sorta funny you would bring up 170% increase in ‘Jet Fuel’ as a point on teams not making money. Lets see in ’03-’04 season the NHL revenues were $2.1 Billion and in ’11-’12 it was $3.3 Billion. Oh boy woe is me.. some how we had to pay an increase of ‘Jet Fuel’ while making $1.2 BILLION more dollars than we made at the start of the last CBA as you stated. Yup them POOR POOR owners, can’t feed they’re families!

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