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Cleary “cautiously optimistic,” thinks next two weeks are critical

Nov 5, 2012, 6:48 PM EST

Daniel Cleary #11 of the Detroit Red Wings shoots during warmup before NHL action against the Toronto Maple Leafs at The Air Canada Centre January 7, 2012 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
(January 6, 2012 - Source: Abelimages/Getty Images North America) Getty Images

Detroit Red Wings forward Dan Cleary has already lost an entire season to a lockout and back in September, he thought that the current work stoppage might end up costing him 2012-13 as well.

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

At times that gloomy warning has looked potentially prophetic, but recently the tone has changed. NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly and the NHLPA’s Steve Fehr had a marathon negotiating session on Saturday that they both felt covered a lot of ground. The meetings are expected to continue this week and the NHL plans to say very little publicly, which should be taken as a positive sign.

All that has made Cleary “cautiously optimistic” going forward, according to The Detroit News.

“Any time Steve (Fehr, players association executive assistant) and Bill (Daly, NHL deputy commissioner) are saying the same thing, it’s a positive thing,” Cleary said. “For sure there’s some optimism, there’s some light. There’s a ton of time to get a deal done.

“We said all along we’ve agreed to get to a 50-50 revenue split, which is important for them. Honoring contracts is pretty important for us.

“This is a good step. But I would hate to say this looks great and there is going to be a season. There’s too much at stake right now.”

Cleary thinks we’ve entered a critical stage and the next two weeks might save or signal the beginning of the end for the 2012-13 campaign. The pressure is on, but we might finally be seeing some light at the end of the tunnel.

  1. id4joey - Nov 5, 2012 at 7:07 PM

    Why would a player be willing to go more than a year, let alone a year without a salary? No way. It’s not worth it. Take the hit now.

  2. fusionix7 - Nov 5, 2012 at 9:22 PM

    I wish there was a rule that they would start negotiating about one week after the finals are done. Why wait to the last minute to negotiate?

    The players are willing to play under the current agreement until a new agreement is met. Owners, check your ego at the door at get this going. Maybe, the owners just like being the 4th most popular sporting event in America, and basically spitting in the fans face every five or so years. You have your salary cap, now quit crying a river about the salaries that YOU are signing.

    • somekat - Nov 6, 2012 at 9:08 AM

      The guy getting paid $70 an hour to work at an assembly line would of loved to work under that deal too. If the system is broken, which it is, of course the side that has the advantage is willing to keep playing under that agreement.

      The players should “check their ego at the door”, and realize that they get paid 7% MORE than the best paid professional athletes (nba gets 50%, NFL and MLB don’t get close to that), ad that no business in history has spent 57% of income (not profits) on salary (not including salary for coaches, front office, doctors, scouts, etc etc) and been successful

      The didn’t sign to pay a player a salary, that’s not how the CBA works (if you think it does, stop speaking, because you are lost inthe woods), they agreed to pay them a certain chunk of the players overall percentage.

  3. blomfeld - Nov 5, 2012 at 10:44 PM

    Potato Chips > NHL Hockey ?
    ______________________

    Yesterday I learned that Americans spent more last year on potato chips (7 billion) than they spent on the NHL (3.3 billion). Truly unbelievable when you think about it. And yet it’s just further proof that these players need to remember where they really rank in the grand scheme of things !

    • manchestermiracle - Nov 6, 2012 at 12:11 AM

      Not really all that hard to believe. Everybody likes chips. They’re relatively cheap, you don’t have to take out a second mortgage for a year’s supply.

      Perhaps fans should keep the same ranking comparison in mind when it comes to spending money again on a league that stops producing every five years or so. Of course, potato chips are readily available and don’t string you along as to when they might come back, since they never arrogantly leave in the first place.

    • somekat - Nov 6, 2012 at 9:17 AM

      I can see that, I only go to 2-4 games a year (Flyer tickets are expensive, add to that you need 2, at least, plus food, drinks, parking etc etc, an NHL game could easily cost you $350). Just too much money for an event taht is going to happen 41 times (minus playoffs) this year.
      I will say, the NHL is the one sport where being there and watching on TV is a completely different experience.
      Having said that, chips are around all year, cost less money, and if I get a bad bag of chips, it didn’t just cost me the same amount as my utility bills this month.

      Plus, chips are mighty tastey

  4. id4joey - Nov 5, 2012 at 10:47 PM

    Listen fusion, the owners very well know that if the season started without a CBA Fehr would have dragged the negotiations until the playoffs. By then the players would have rec’d their last pay cheque, and the players would have walked out depriving the owners of financial gains. In other words, the players are not paid during the playoffs and it is estimated that teams make between 1 and 1.5 million per game.

    • somekat - Nov 6, 2012 at 9:11 AM

      Not true. Players do get paid for the playoffs. They just get payed a specific amount, per player. Contracts and salaries are irrelivant

      But as to your overall point, there is no reason for the owners to play under the expired CBA (NOT current, there isn’t a current CBA), with no belief that Fehr is going to negotiate in good faith. If the “offers” he has put up so far are any indicator (and they should be, since he guys are actually losing money, which they wouldn’t be if they were playing), they made the correct decision.

      • id4joey - Nov 6, 2012 at 12:34 PM

        Beg to differ friend. They get their last pay cheque before the playoffs begin. 100% certain about this. They may however get some sort of bonus money depending on how far they make it into the playoffs.

      • id4joey - Nov 6, 2012 at 12:38 PM

        BTW, what they get during the playoffs is not from the owners.

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