Bringing in Heavy Reinforcements

Further evidence the NHLPA isn’t as united as has been reported is evidenced by the fact that Mario Lemieux has been involved in behind the scences posturing of the players union.This morning’s edition of the Pittsburgh Tribune Review in Pittsburgh hit newsstands with news of Mario Lemieux attempting to bridge the gap of “philosophical differences” in a meeting this week in Toronto with Maple Leafs’ enforcer Tie Domi.

Karen Price, of the Trib., reports that Lemieux did indeed fly to Toronto earlier this week to meet with Tie Domi, who Lemieux cites is “very influential” within the union. Lemieux, who injured his back during an informal workout early last week, was quoted as saying;

“I’m trying to do what’s best for the game in general-maybe trying to get my point across and talk to some different people, making sure that everybody understands what’s at stake here and that the game is more important than anything else at this point.”

Lemieux continues: “…I think the guys understand-and they’re starting to realize-what’s at stake here. Both sides have to give a little bit, and hopefully they all realize that you have to make a deal that allows everybody to stay competitive and make money.”

Does the big guy have any strategies for coming to a resolution to solve the labor impasse? It doesn’t appear so unless you want to count determination and desire. “These things, you just have to stay in the room until you make a deal.”

Mario is said he believes there is a “50-50” chance of playing hockey this season and that games would not start for “three or four weeks” after an agreement is reached.

Looking at this situation from the outside it appears the players union is hardly as unified as what is being said in the media. If Domi is as influential as Mario says, and Domi and Mario met, I believe some of the players are teetering on the line between what the union is putting forth and what the rest of the players are saying.

Do you all feel the same way? Is this an indication the union has some cracks? OR is this nothing more than a friendly meeting to discuss the present situation?