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Daly: expectations “low” for today

Jan 4, 2013, 11:33 AM EDT

Gary Bettman; Bill Daly AP

As optimism once again turns to pessimism, the NHL’s expectations are “low” heading into today’s CBA negotiations (if they even occur), writes deputy commissioner Bill Daly in an email to

Daly’s assertion comes as no shock given what happened yesterday in New York.

From CBC’s Elliotte Friedman:

The players were angered [Thursday] because the HRR package received from the NHL was “missing” some key language. The critical part involved penalties for teams hiding HRR. In 2011, the two sides had a dispute over what was reported by Washington and Nashville, and with such erosion of trust right now, you can imagine the reaction to this. 

To put it another way, the players accused the NHL of trying to pull a fast one that would lessen penalties for pulling a fast one. (Call it mistrust squared.)

Yesterday also saw NHLPA call for a re-vote by the players to authorize its executive board within 48 hours to file a disclaimer of interest that would dissolve the union and push the lockout into uncharted waters.

Then, late last night, the Winnipeg Free Press published the following report:

A veteran member of the NHL’s board of governors says commissioner Gary Bettman is prepared to cancel the season on Thursday if a deal has not been reached or appears to be imminent.

The chill that has settled on NHL labour negotiations is all part of a Don Fehr plan to push commissioner Bettman into a corner for one last squeeze and there could be unfortunate circumstances for hockey fans, said the governor who requested anonymity.

The league believes Fehr is unwilling to do a deal until after Bettman has cancelled the NHL season and the union leader is now slowing the process one last time to increase pressure on the commissioner, said the governor late Thursday night.

That report, of course, was met with a good deal of cynicism. Was the threat real or empty? The union will probably go with the latter.

This morning, the two sides are meeting separately with a federal mediator, after which they may or may not get together in the same room.

  1. tmoore4075 - Jan 4, 2013 at 11:37 AM

    You all suck. Amazing you’re going to lose a season over this.

    • elemeno89 - Jan 4, 2013 at 12:06 PM

      agreed. these dick wallets need to go. this is the most pointless lockout in the history of sports. and the fact that they are so close but not willing to split the difference is just ignorant. how did anyone entrust the sport to these butt holes.

  2. buffalomafia - Jan 4, 2013 at 11:47 AM

    Your right they do suck!

    The fans should boycott hockey & teach players & owners a lesson!

    These guys get paid to play a kids game & I save lives for a living & I don’t complain & make way less than them greedy Co$cs!#kers!

  3. bostonboy82 - Jan 4, 2013 at 11:57 AM

    So that make the expectations the same level as the fans give a fcuk tank.

  4. Buford T Justice - Jan 4, 2013 at 11:59 AM

    Once Christmas came there was no point in even having a season, who are they kidding? they arent playing hockey this year .

  5. dipthatchip - Jan 4, 2013 at 12:11 PM

    you’ve got to be kidding. greedy doesn’t even begin to describe the atrocity that is the NHL. thanks so much, you screwed over and shat all over the people who pay your salaries for the third time in a less than a decade

  6. cspsrbums - Jan 4, 2013 at 12:21 PM

    Can’t blame the players the owners consistently moving monies to show a loss Washington does every year. Caps games have been sold out after tickets have skyrocketed and they still show a loss. Yea right he moves money to the beloved wizard and the phone booth. F the owners

  7. stangz11 - Jan 4, 2013 at 12:21 PM

    Well if expectations are low then it

  8. lilleo1823 - Jan 4, 2013 at 12:22 PM

    Cancel the rest of the season! I have bills to pay..need my season tickets refund NOW!

    • miketoasty - Jan 4, 2013 at 12:59 PM

      So if they would have had a season you wouldn’t have been able to pay your bills?

      • lilleo1823 - Jan 4, 2013 at 1:43 PM

        Right. We aren’t as lucky as you may be to have $0 in debt. I’d rather my money go towards my debt than the NHLs.

    • boltsfan91 - Jan 4, 2013 at 6:30 PM

      If you needed the money for your bills, then you shouldn’t have bought the tickets in the first place.

      We aren’t all as lucky as you to have even been able to THINK about getting season tickets.

  9. stangz11 - Jan 4, 2013 at 12:22 PM

    Well if expectations are low then it would be easier to exceed them right?

    Who am I freaking kidding. These people are clowns. It should have never gotten this far. I just hope the permanent damage resulting from this doesn’t kill hockey here in America

  10. countduku - Jan 4, 2013 at 12:23 PM

    If there is too be any justice come out of this, whenever hockey does restart, all fans would boycott the entire season so the players and owners could get a taste of what they have done for their fans. Anybody willing to spend their money on any tickets and/or merchandise at this point are the ones who have become a major part of the problem. This lockout now is about YOUR money folks. quit throwing cash into the pot and this thing will never happen again.

    • mp1131211 - Jan 4, 2013 at 1:27 PM

      If we quit throwing money into the pot, then it surely won’t happen again because their won’t be an NHL. I can’t get behind the boycott the NHL line… I want them to get a deal done so I can watch the sport I love watching! And sorry, the KHL, AHL, or other league just doesn’t cut it. Its not even close to this level of play or entertainment.

      • countduku - Jan 4, 2013 at 4:09 PM

        I can respect your decision. It’s better your money than mine that they refuse to play for. I need to see at least the 3+ months of hockey for free to make up for the 3+ months that they have piped the fans of the sport that we and all the local businesses and taxpayers have supported their fancy lifestyles for. maybe i’m just cheap.

  11. bspray - Jan 4, 2013 at 12:26 PM

    Any ass clown that puchases a ticket to an NHL game this season is a part of the problem.

  12. Buford T Justice - Jan 4, 2013 at 12:35 PM

    It’s all a conspiracy !!! if …..(well, actually when) the season gets cancelled, it gives the NHL’s Poster Boy Sidney Crosby all the time in the world to heal from his concussions ….
    Think about it , if he’s not playing, he cant get hurt! , hence the reason he hasent struck a deal over in Europe ..

    (note sarcasm)

  13. raiderufan - Jan 4, 2013 at 12:36 PM

    I wonder if anyone involved in these negotiations is actually determined to get a deal done? It seems like one determined guy in the room that is willing to look at both sides and let them know this is dumb could have a deal done by around 2:30 this afternoon. These guys are just a bunch of children stomping feet with no understanding of the damage they’re doing.

  14. spae0024 - Jan 4, 2013 at 12:43 PM

    Screw off, NHL Owners. I’m done with you. Come back if you want but all the excitement I had for the Parise and Suter signing in MN is gone. Three lockouts in 10 years is beyond comprehension – especially for a league that just began to (finally) attract new fans. If you lose the entire season, do you really think the NHL will recover? What new rule will the NHL come up with in order to bring the fans back this time – no goalie for the 3rd period, Shootouts before each tied intermission?

    Instead of the Winter Classic, I actually watched pro basketball the other day. WTF!?

    Go Gophers! #1 in College Hockey!

  15. lonespeed - Jan 4, 2013 at 12:46 PM

    I’m done. When they eventually do come back to play, all players are going to be a year older and teams are going to look completely different. I would anticipate the attendence and ratings drop will be unprecidented in sports.

    I can live without NHL. It’s unfortunate. But I can still live without it.

  16. scrouch - Jan 4, 2013 at 12:47 PM

    In addition to the change to the wording on hiding HRR, aparently the league has also asked that they have the ability to re-open the CBA if the findings of an auditor showing the league has been hiding HRR are confirmed. So much for the long-term stability the league claims to be looking for with a 10 year CBA. Sure, we’ll have a long-term CBA, unless it turns out we’re actually withholding money we’ve agreed to within the CBA and are penalized because of it. Then we want another work stoppage so that we can renegotiate that we actually don’t owe that money and don’t need to give up any draft picks. No wonder there’s zero trust between the players and owners.

  17. northstars17 - Jan 4, 2013 at 12:50 PM

    A deal is not going to happen this week that’s one thing I know for sure. I also know most of you naysayers will be the first to attend games when they resume next Fall. I’ll admit I’m one of them. I’m not going to let these greedy executives ruin my game of hockey. I will support my team, there is no other sport like hockey, especially live. I’ll try to watch as much free hockey as possible, but ill be attending live no doubt about it.

    • gallyhatch - Jan 4, 2013 at 1:25 PM

      Honesty is the best policy.

      I agree, many people on here will be back. Maybe some will hold off on buying tickets for a while (I have no doubt a lot of markets will see their #s drop) but the major market teams will keep selling all the cheap seats. Bruins, Flyers, Leafs, Habs, Penguins, Red Wings, Blackhawks, Rangers. . . . they’ll be fine.

      It’s not right, it would be nice to teach them a lesson but people will go because they love the game too much. (look at all the people posting in these comment boards – don’t tell me there isn’t a ton of people dying to watch the NHL!!!)

  18. jaredo10 - Jan 4, 2013 at 1:00 PM

    NHL is officially a joke. Hope owners and players learn the hard way from this.

  19. ewoods6 - Jan 4, 2013 at 1:08 PM

    Find it hard to believe he will call the season when the owners, about a week or so ago, told Bettman that is was 100% unacceptable to lose this season. the NHLPA has leverage there.

    Let them posture all they want in order to squeeze what they can out of eachother, leave us tending to BP meds and they’ll get it done at the last possible moment. Creating a huge buzz and getting people back to the rink to pump their greddy asses full of more hundreds of millions of dollars.

  20. gallyhatch - Jan 4, 2013 at 1:17 PM

    “Expectations ‘low’ for today.”

    IMO it seems like there’s a lot of over reacting to this article, the season has not been canceled. I know, a lot of fans are are frustrated and venting. But I also believe if the season gets saved in the next week, every person on here saying “I’m done” will be glued to their t.v.s come playoff time. If you care enough about hockey to be on here commenting, you will be back, whether they save this season or not.

    (just my opinion here, feel free to refute)

    • countduku - Jan 4, 2013 at 1:31 PM

      correct most of us will be glued to the tv for the playoffs, however investing any hard earned cash on any tickets or merchandise is completely off the table. These owners and players don’t deserve it at this point. they need to learn the lesson of biting the hand that feeds them. Our love for the game of hockey is in our blood, thus will never leave. My money and attendance will go the the college games (which deserve the increase in revenue), and to the other youth programs. Just because you the the game of hockey doesn’t meed to feed the greedy animals. give the money to the ones that appreciate it.

  21. heshutziscores - Jan 4, 2013 at 1:17 PM

    F em. I’ll stick to my NHL 13 GM Connected league to feed my ever-growing-smaller hockey habit

  22. antkowiak666 - Jan 4, 2013 at 1:31 PM

    F@$#’EM ALL….i’m tired of caring.both parties can go and f@#$ off!!

  23. elvispocomo - Jan 4, 2013 at 1:33 PM

    So the same NHL group that tried to float a rumour that Fehr had a clause in his contract with the PA that he’d get a substantial bonus if the talks were unsuccessful are now trying to suggest Fehr wants Bettman to cancel the season before he’ll sign a deal. Really?…

  24. aventador12 - Jan 4, 2013 at 2:08 PM

    At this point, it seems like it’s a poker game on who would fold 1st between Fehr and the commissioner. Or who has the biggest pride. Definitely, both sides could care less about what us fans think, or much less what and how this affect things from an economic standpoint. Unbelievable to say the least. One can only imagine how things would transpire after all this crap-of-a-drama. And that’s a big “if” there’s even a season. And the fan-base and popularity of the sport will drop phenomenally as well.

  25. whatthepuck2012 - Jan 4, 2013 at 2:41 PM

    I hate them all. I hate every last person involved in these, for lack of a better word, “negotiations”. I hate the players, the owners, the executives, the media, the janitors, the caterers, and the people involved in the creation of my Sony Vaio and iPhone, with every fiber of my being. I just had to get that out. And no, I don’t feel better now.

  26. keepphil - Jan 4, 2013 at 3:33 PM

    I don’t get the misplaced anger. Yes Bettman (and all owners) and Fehr (and all players) are being idiots and disregarding the fans but its the fans fault. The hockey fans are lemmings that continually go back to the sport that doesn’t give a crap about them whatsoever, then complain when they are jerked around.

    People grab a set and move on to a sport that does not lockout as a matter of course at the end of each ridiculously short CBA. But stop whining like you are shocked and surprised at this because you blindly enable and embolden this behavior.

  27. jessethegreat - Jan 4, 2013 at 4:06 PM

    Though I, like the rest of you, won’t be able to just throw my love for the sport of hockey out the window if the season (it does appear imminent) is scrapped, I will not allows wallet to feed these greedy snobs any longer. Of course I am going to watch hockey on the tube, but I will not be attending any professional games in the near future. My family will spend the budget I reserved for Wild games this year visiting Mariucci arena instead!

  28. boltsfan91 - Jan 4, 2013 at 6:45 PM

    The worst part is that these depth players and a few of the other stars are totally against this being handled. And then, the great Commissioner we have won’t let them dissolve the union without all of them loosing their contracts. So they are stuck with Fehr. And we are stuck watching this 3-ring circus between Fehr and the owners/commissioner. YAY! I’m so excited. I just want my hockey back.

  29. LoyalFan34yrsGoKings - Jan 4, 2013 at 10:10 PM

    First week of February ..!

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