Skip to content

Hurry up and wait — only time will end the lockout

Nov 29, 2012, 1:15 PM EDT

End the lockout Getty Images

The NHL would love the players to think the season could be canceled tomorrow. Forget mediation, that would be the best way to get the union’s best offer.

The consensus opinion, however, is that the owners won’t pull the trigger until the New Year.

From the CBC’s Elliotte Friedman:

The 2004-05 NHL season was cancelled in February, but it probably won’t be that late this time. A few executives believe the true “red alert” is between January 1st and 15th.

A couple of weeks ago, veteran forward Mike Knuble said he thinks negotiations will start in earnest “sometime in December.”

“I just think that when the NHL wants to be serious about talking we’ll get a deal done. But I don’t think they’re at that point yet,” Knuble said.

“I believe they still feel their time line isn’t there yet. When it will be I think we’ll all know it and I think things will happen pretty quickly when they get to their time line.”

While it’s easy to panic (the league is hoping the players are doing exactly that), it’s important to remember that compared to this time in 2004 (back then, the players were still steadfastly refusing to accept a salary cap), the two sides aren’t actually that far apart.

But as Friedman notes, the “concern among the [moderate owners] is that the mushroom cloud between the two sides continues to build, which endangers the possibility of a last-minute settlement.”

One way the mushroom cloud could build is if the union were to start the decertification process. Last week, deputy commissioner Bill Daly said that “would likely lead to the end of the season.”

Another way is if the owners were to pull the $211 million they’ve offered to the players in “make whole” funds off the table.

Unfortunately, as more time passes without an agreement, both those options become more likely.

Bit of a Catch 22 there.

The two sides, along with federal mediators, are back at the negotiating table today. However, there hasn’t been a ton of optimism that third-party intervention will help end the lockout.

The most important factor in this process has always been time.

Latest Posts
  1. Hard-luck Hillen ‘100 percent’ after staph infection

    Sep 16, 2014, 9:22 PM EDT

    hillenhelpedoffgetty Getty Images

    Caps blueliner has had bad luck in the health department.

  2. Forsberg named rookie tourney MVP, Ekblad all-tournament

    Sep 16, 2014, 8:21 PM EDT

    Filip Forsberg Getty Images

    Florida’s youngsters stole the show overall.

  3. Advantage Kuemper? Harding on crutches after ankle injury

    Sep 16, 2014, 7:18 PM EDT

    Josh Harding Josh Harding

    And he’ll reportedly miss part of Minnesota’s training camp.

  4. Sens bringing ex-Devils Mills, Palmieri to camp

    Sep 16, 2014, 7:01 PM EDT

    New Jersey Devils v Boston Bruins New Jersey Devils v Boston Bruins

    The former appeared in three games for Chicago last year; the latter played in Germany.

  5. Ducks score another nice deal, ink Smith-Pelly for two years, $1.6M

    Sep 16, 2014, 4:33 PM EDT

    Phoenix Coyotes v Anaheim Ducks Getty Images

    Just one month after re-signing Jakob Silfverberg on the cheap.

  6. Update: NHL wants to see fine system in action before publicizing diving

    Sep 16, 2014, 4:10 PM EDT

    Bill Daly

    “Fines are meaningful. And I think it has to do with essentially being called out.”

  7. Veteran d-man Clark joins Avs’ staff

    Sep 16, 2014, 3:21 PM EDT

    Clark_Brett

    He’ll be part of the player development department.

  8. Richards: I gave Lombardi ‘my word’ I’d work harder in the offseason

    Sep 16, 2014, 1:40 PM EDT

    2014 NHL Stanley Cup Final - Game Five Getty Images

    Kings forward “didn’t want to become a free agent and leave” L.A.

  9. Blues bringing BizNasty to camp

    Sep 16, 2014, 12:45 PM EDT

    Coyotes Blues Hockey AP

    That’s him getting tossed around by Ryan Reaves.

  10. Daly, Holmgren honored with Lester Patrick Trophy

    Sep 16, 2014, 11:58 AM EDT

    billdalygetty Getty Images

    For “outstanding service to hockey in the United States.”

  11. After trip to neurologist, Clowe on track for training camp

    Sep 16, 2014, 11:45 AM EDT

    NEWARK, NJ - JANUARY 24: Ryane Clowe #29 of the New Jersey Devils takes the puck in the second period against the Washington Capitals at Prudential Center on January 24, 2014 in Newark, New Jersey. Getty Images

    Veteran power forward is trying to return from another concussion.

  12. Hitchcock’s advice to Mueller on making Blues: just play

    Sep 16, 2014, 9:00 AM EDT

    Mathias Seger, Peter Mueller AP

    The recently signed forward hopes to stick with “powerhouse” team.

  13. PHT Morning Skate: When ugly can be a good thing

    Sep 16, 2014, 8:00 AM EDT

    victorgreen

    Tuesday’s collection of links.

  14. B’s Lucic admits his wrist isn’t fully healed

    Sep 16, 2014, 12:45 AM EDT

    Boston Bruins v Detroit Red Wings - Game Three Getty Images

    “It’s turned the corner for the better as far as rehab has gone.”

Top 10 NHL Player Searches
  1. S. Crosby (1340)
  2. S. Bennett (1288)
  3. J. Quick (1242)
  4. P. Rinne (1233)
  5. K. Timonen (1192)