'Sources close to NHL/NHLPA negotiations say that Pittsburgh Penguins player/owner Mario Lemieux and Phoenix Coyotes owner Wayne Gretzky have re-entered the dispute to try to save the season.'
Archives for February 17, 2005
'The cancellation of the season removes one year from any existing player contract. So a player with one year remaining will not have been paid this year and will likely end up a free agent (the exact status of that free agent will be determined by the next CBA).'
'While the Amerks do get to play, the figurative carrot of the NHL no longer dangles before them. They have battled for two-thirds of the season to produce the AHL's best record (36-10-3-5 for 80 points in 54 games), yet no one will be rewarded with a recall. "A lot of guys have played high-quality hockey and deserve to get moved up to the Sabres," said goalie Ryan Miller, who would be at the very top of that list. "There's that frustration because you want to be playing at that level."'
‘The $6.5 million disparity might look bridgeable, but multiply that by 30 teams and the six-year length of the CBA and it adds up to $1.17 billion.’
'Quinn questioned whether Sabres fans realize how fortunate this franchise was to have Golisano step in as the new owner. "This community is so lucky that we have a white knight willing to pay the bills while the system is fixed, but he's not going to do it forever," he said. "Tom Golisano makes it possible for us to weather the storm and make it so Buffalo will be part of the new NHL."'
'But the Sabres had virtually all of their players signed, and few had been idling away on their living room couches. "That might be the thing that hurts more than anything," said Sabres defenseman Jay McKee, the team's union representative. "I think we were going to have a lot of success."'
'You watch, someday the NHL will be back. But when it comes back, will you watch?'
'"What scares me now is . . . I don't feel there'll be a lot of negotiating between now and next September," said Wayne Gretzky, managing partner of the Phoenix Coyotes. "Hopefully I'm wrong."'
'It could be easier for the NHL to dissolve and come back as a different entity, say, the National Hockey Association, impose its own rules and open the doors to any player who wants to skate. "I think that would be the worst possible option," said Sabres managing partner Larry Quinn. "I don't think it's something the league wants to do, but it's one of our options."'
'Meetings intensified over the weekend but they weren't enough to keep hope alive. It was a stalemate. There was no compromise.'