Despite the fact that the NHL has closed the doors – at least for now – on the 2012 season, that apparently hasn’t stopped the Vancouver Canucks from peddling their former number one goaltender Roberto Luongo. It appears not that the team will move the goaltender once the lockout is lifted, and the gold medal goaltender will be suiting up in Blue and White of the Toronto Maple Leafs. Teams can’t officially talk players or moves with another team during the lockout, but if this is the strongest rumor from pre lockout talks – and if things appear to be moving towards a resolution, then trade talk might pick up again in earnest for the Canucks who are trying to shed the ten year burden that is a goaltender that can’t get it done for them.
While no official word has come from the league just yet, we can anticipate an announcement shortly on the cancellation of more games up until November 1st, 2012. You can fortell this move coming even before talks broke down on Thursday as the NHL announced it was prepared to start the regular season no sooner than November 2nd if a deal was reached within the next 8 to 10 days. Personally the NHL should hold off on this announcement until the deadline passes to start the season on the 2nd, and if no deal is done, eliminate the entire month of November from possibility and starting working towards a December 1 start date, at which point you have to be thinking shortened season. (The NHL announced, shortly after this was published that regular season games through November 1st have been cancelled. 135 NHL games were scheduled between Oct 1 and Nov 1).
If the NHL can get a deal done by mid next week to start the season with a full slate of games on November 2nd – isn’t there incentive to eliminate hockey in September? Training camps could open in October in more hockey friendly weather – and the league could make more money in a compressed time frame. Seems like a business model that could take shape – giving the players longer off seasons to recover from long post season runs.
Whats the sense in reporting on CBA happenings? It seemed like almost a knee jerk reaction to immediately respond to any news coming out of Toronto or New York when negotiations are on going. The start of the week, and leading into Thursday things seemed to be progressing good, until negotiations seemed to stall out over the argument on hockey related revenue. Granted, it is a negotiation, and after the knock out lockout of 2004 – there was not going to be an easy deal that will be done this time. Players want cost certainty that the owners wanted and got with the salary cap – now that the owners are wanting protection from themselves, the players want cost certainty on contracts that they sign.
If anything it was good for the media, both tradition and alternative, to dust off the collective keyboards and get into some hard nosed news, but all it really accomplished was more pieces were moved in the chess game of negotiations. The fastest checkmate in a game of actual chess is called a Fool’s Mate - and can be done in four moves; but the white player has to be extremely weak (foolish) to fall into such a trap. No such luck is going to happen in the NHL negotiations.
We as fans are stuck left on the sidelines – waiting for news to creep up and the puck to drop; fans it seem, are the only fools in this game of chess.