It Ain't Over Until Its Over – Meeting Slated For Tomorrow

Shock wasn’t the correct word to describe how I felt when the deadline came and went on Tuesday. No single HTR poster has been more definite about their being a season this year than me…

Yes Atherial and Lint and others have been with me but I am the one who risked my reputation. And as I was about to write my “I was wrong post” I decided to save it in my draft folder. Something just felt wrong. The deal being blown makes NO BUSINESS SENSE. The players will lose over a billion dollars just this year that they will NEVER RECOVER EVER. The owners will lose multiple billion in franchise value. Sid Crosby will be a hotly contested player in a wacko-draft. And the NHL will have to traverse a rocky path to get a labor impasse. As far as I can see it, NOBODY wins.

Now the rumor sites and the mainstream publications are reporting the NHLPA is coming to the owners in NYC with a new deal tomorrow. Bill Daly said he would “love to have the problem of finding a way to play this season.” He is right. Steve Yzerman was talking about ways to “un-cancle the season.”

Ladies and Gents – this deal is getting done. Bettman has a lot to lose and has already taken an ugly black eye from the crash that resulted in an unthinkable game of chicken with Bob Goodenow. He can find another million dollars per team and a way to make the players look like heroes in the process. He can implement major changes to the game at the perfect time with additional refinements for next year. He can try out his TV contract with NBC and so on. The NHL will come out a winner.

Conversely, Bob Goodenow’s goose is cooked. He played his cards until the very end and then went all in to find that the NHL wasn’t bluffing. Now his players have told him to get his butt back to the table and get them NHL hockey. His union is basically broken and for good reason. NHL players, unlike airline pilots or auto mechanics at a GM plant, don’t need a union. They have player agents who do a fine job getting their players their best deal. In a 42.5 million dollar cap world – no NHL player is going to starve. Fear not, even Mike Modano will be able to afford dog food.

Keep the faith people. This deal is going DOWN.

137 Responses to It Ain't Over Until Its Over – Meeting Slated For Tomorrow

  1. watson says:


  2. habswinthecup-again says:

    You are right, we were all played- again. My final comment on this (until a deal is done) is this, I hope that everyone involved in this lockout all BURN in HELL.

  3. Flyers_Fan_In_LA says:

    Dear Rangers-Fan

    Note the sources from this story – Hockey News, TSN, EJ Hradek (senior writer for ESPN the Magazine) you ignorant midget. I would love to toss your 5 foot 8 ass down a subway staircase but your Rangers missing the playoffs for 8 straight years is good enough for now.

  4. Flyers_Fan_In_LA says:

    No beer. No ribs and NO BUTTON for me….

  5. Flyers_Fan_In_LA says:

    My best source is common sense. the players will NEVER see a better deal than 42 million. The owners could have saved over a billion dollars in franchise value by playing this short season. They could have saved their TV deal with NBC. They could have used their 2 best ambasadors to save the game. They could have parlayed the INCREDIBLE US PR that they got today into something positive.

    They blew it.

    I am ashamed I gave them the benefit of the doubt. Mario and Wayne still carry some clout with me and this deal seemed doable even today.

    CAN ANYONE explain why Bill Daly said “I would love to have the problem of finding a way to play this season” and then 3 days later say there is “no time left for a season this year” ?

    This move is tanamount to the launch of NEW COKE in terms of marketing and PR. Ignorance defined on both sides. Gary Bettman should have come out and said – there is NO deal done when the Hockey News leaked it. He could have been more cautious with the remainder of fans out there. He wasn’t. The NHLPA could have taken their deal at 42 million with the understanding Bettman had stretched to get it and the extra million or two per team would NEVER be made up with ALL of their contracts getting tossed, their union getting broken and their salaries for this year completely gone.

  6. Freeze says:

    Scr*w me once, shame on you.

    Scr*w me twice, shame on ME

    So much for the wisdom of Gretzky and Lemieux. Those guys didn’t even come up with a new proposal – nothing!!

    Yet, somehow they though something magical would happen.

    I guess we know now which 2 former NHL superstars really AREN’T leaders after all.


  7. habsoverserver says:

    Common sense only works when (1) the business model isn’t flawed (2) the union isn’t run by a commie.

    This is not over. This is a Broadway drama. The curtain does not fall until March first. It’s not like we can’t have another act between now and then.

    Some people are hinting that Goodenow has been relieved of his negotiating duties. Is this true?

    In reviewing Eklund’s blog, I think he has called the end of the lockout at least eight times over the past few months. In retrospect, it is clear that the two sides were very far apart on all those occasions.

  8. cgolding says:

    if bettman WANTS the deal he only needs 16 owners to agree to the deal for it to pass… simply majority. the 8 owners only come into play if bettman doesn’t like the deal and the owners are trying to mutiny behind the scenes. (which is what always happened before)

    that is why the reports about the Nashville owner speaking up are annoying, but not really telling of what happened in terms of deep sixing the season… and why TSN and others babbling about the 8 teams “holding us hostage” isn’t really accurate. i don’t think a deal the players would have accepted has ever been one that bettman can get the 16 votes for… thus why we don’t have a deal.

    healy is an absolute joke.

    linkage: the cap under linkage isn’t really a cap… it’s a moving number based on revenue. healy was just complaining about the salary cap not moving up in the owners proposal to “give the players some of the benefits of the league getting better.” if you really think it is going to be better in 6 years then linkage will give the players that…

    nhlpa is so stupid… just chopping their own foot off with a butter knife.


    “whomever that cgolding person is…?” i’m here all the time….

  9. habsoverserver says:

    Maybe today wasn’t about the 2004-05 season. Maybe it was about making things look good for the NLRB. The NHL can say – we dropped linkage, extended the deadline and got the two best ambassadors for the sport to negotiate on our behalf. It’s all part of painting a picture that the NHL negotiated faithfully to an impasse.

  10. cgolding says:

    a few rants i have about this whole thing and why the nhlpa is absolutely idiotic, and those that support them need to ponder why they do.

    1. the complaint about revenue sharing.

    the nhl offered the players a linkage deal that had included in it a minimum salary level that teams would have to reach. (this is a great friggin deal because the nhlpa was being GUARANTEED a certain % of NHL revenue every year even if everyone decided to run their teams like a business… aka, maximize revenue)

    people asked, how are you going to get these small teams to that number? the nhl’s response was vague, but they basically said they would do it through some scheme of revenue sharing. that is all that revenue sharing should be…. a crutch to get teams to a certain threshold that they HAVE to spend and allow them to break even for the season. owners shouldn’t make money off of revenue sharing (which is exactly what some of the crap teams in baseball do, KC for example) so what do you do to protect against this happening? you establish a minimum and make them pay that and then reimburse them up to that level of revenue at the end of the season so they don’t take losses.

    thus you need to know the numbers that you are dealing with in order to figure out the system. something that the players never allowed to be established in the process. the players were offered a guaranteed some of money, why do they care how that money gets to the teams? they shouldn’t.

    2. the ills of linkage. (or a cap as they would say)

    what would you do if your boss came up to you one day and said, “here’s the deal, i’m not sure how much i can pay you exactly, but i’ll guarantee you 50+% of our companies revenues.”

    would you actually turn that down? no.

    if the company does well you are going to be set. if it does poorly, then it isn’t going to be such a good deal and you would probably be smart to be looking for a better job anyway. so basically the nhlpa balking at linkage suggests that they question how well the NHL can do in the future and they don’t want to be tied to the sinking ship… great message.

    then healy is on TSN biotching about how the owners were so mean and heartless as to not offer a stepping non-linked cap today because the league will be better in 6 years and the players should enjoy some of that improvement. then why can’t they accept linkage if they are so sure the league is going to improve? idiotic.

    3. competitive balance.

    not once has the nhlpa taken this into consideration with ANY of their opinions. they don’t care if teams can realistically compete with each other as long as they sign the check.

    nevermind the bullox,


  11. Freeze says:

    What’s so sad is the 2 do-nothings in suits have ruined a once great and magical game. Both of these guys who could never lace up the skates have tarnished the great history of this wonderous game. Neither the owners, nor the players, were ever represented by the ones that were hired to do just that.

  12. ranger_fan says:


    That’s great. You trully do believe everything you hear, including my “5’8″” frame. If you notice the posts in front of me was a couple of 5’8″ guys, I cant quite remember.

    You want a piece, come get it. I’ll knock you 3000 miles back to Los Angeles.

    Oh 8 straight years, really only 7 with seasons, and now 11 years without a cup. Not only were you deprived as a little girl, but a Cup win since the days of Bernie Parent, now 30 F UCKING YEARS!

    So let’s see. The Hockey News. When have they ever been right?

    TSN, Brian Burke is a joke

    EJ Hradek doesn’t give two sh its about hockey.

    …And its the same story. We have a source that tells me that a deal will be present it. Its going to be “acceptable.” Same old stuff.

    Now, midget is a little harsh isnt it. I will not tell you my exact hight, but I am surely not a midget. Now the closest thing of a midget outside of NY is your dwarf size Johnson, Wang, however you would like to say it. DONT FEEL BAD, dwarf isn’t bad. Inside of NY there is Howard Sterns Hank the Angry Dwarf, who seems cool, and you both share something similar in the pants. That must make you cool.

  13. ranger_fan says:



  14. ranger_fan says:



    YOU ALL SHOULD FEEL SHAME. Bow to the ignorant poster who is so pis sed at this bullsh it going on on the site created by Flyers Fan. You look at the history of my posts before the last year, I was perhaps the most sensible ones. Then some idiot JERRY bashes me on a bad day, and won’t stop. FUN HUH JERRY? You keep asking for more while culting your conformists ways to these poor CANUCKS! There is nothing else in Canada but hockey. DONT DO IT!

  15. ranger_fan says:

    A thousand meaningless points? Mik, have you been watching Who’s Line is it Anyways while you are deprived of hockey?

  16. ranger_fan says:

    Why do you have to disgrace a Dave Schultz jersey?

  17. ranger_fan says:

    Plagarism and copying and pasting links shouldnt even have one considered for a button.

  18. ranger_fan says:


    “My best source is common sense”

    Why haven’t you been listening to that source then?

  19. FlyersRuleClarkSucks says:

    The truth is, this league is run by people who have no clue as too how weak their fan support was before the lockout, how much worse it’s going to be after. They have no clue has to how little the sporting world takes thier game legitamently, and how much less that’s going to be after this lockout! The players are so unrealistic to think they should be making the kind of money that other players in other sports make, with how much lesser money is being made in the nhl. I hate to say it, cause it does make this sport we all love here, look so bad, and evern worse after today, but this in the long run will make our nhl better. When the league does return next season with replacement players (and alot of nhl players who cross the line), will have a better sport, with better rules, a better feel to it,a better look to it, and hopefully a bigger fan support then ever (in about 5-6 years)! And about them not saving the season today, i think it’s a good thing, cause if they played a 28 game season, it wouldn’t be good hockey, like it was in the 48 game season cause this time around, the players are so out of shape, and just down right fat, that it would be awful for the first half of the season to watch, and also for teams like the flyers and rangers and redwings, it would have been a shall of the team from last year, take the flyers for example, they wouldn’t have roenick, amonte, leclair, and a few others, they would look more like the phantoms, then the flyers. So it’s been fun coming here to this site everyday for about 3+ years, and getting a fans forum to read and react to, but i must bid a farewell for now, and hope to come back here to talk about great hockey being played! GO FLYERS, LEAFS SUCK!!!

    Oh and Darcey Tucker is still now and will always be a huge pu$$y!!!

    And Bob Clarke sucks ass!!!

  20. nordiques100 says:

    not according to goodenow. the best deal isnt 42 million. he still assumes he can break the owners when the plan for replacement players puts egg on their face and the owners crawl back to the players begging for them to come back. that is what him and the union leadership have and will continue to assume. they apparently know the owners will cave.

    this is why they will never put what the players offered to a vote. plus tehy assume the players offer, even from december 9th would have passed if the owners voted.

    goodenow’s ignorance and arrogance again has ruined everything.

    however, the simple fact that there is and will never be any type of revenue sharing agreed upon is why the players will not ever put anything to vote either. they are being stubborn because the owners are being that way too. the players would have taken even a 40 million dollar cap, if the owners shared revenues. but because they wont, there wont be a deal.

    the players to their credit have given up alot, the owners have too but they do need to implement some type of revenue sharing as there is no way i see it where the nashville’s the floridas, the carolinas of the world will be able to survive even with a cap and linkage. if teams like nashville, florida, carolina are spending pennies now and still losing money, what makes anyone think that will change any time soon. the only extra revenue they can get is through revenue sharing, not just the savings they get by restricting the players.

    you and I are probably at a disagreement but i think we can both agree that all of this here is just childish immature behavior by people who are acting like spoiled children.

  21. nordiques100 says:

    well it is obvious that bettman does not want this deal. the fact is he doesnt want to lose his power as he did promise the new owners that have come in during his time as commissioner that there will be a low hard salary cap with linkage.

    you could count them, ottawa, sanjose, dallas, florida, carolina, washington, buffalo, atlanta, nashville, the islanders, tampa, anaheim, perhaps even calgary,edmonton, vancouver, there is more than enough owners to agree with bettman and thus shut things down.

    sure there are owners who want to play, probably a majority of them would accept the latest that was offered, however bettman wont agree to it because he probably told those owners that if you take this deal, there will be revenue sharing. so the big teams like boston, chicago, new york, philly who make money big time would balk at sharing revenues.

    the fact is bettman wants to control everything so the only way for everyone to win is to have linkage and a hard cap. he is going to kowtow to karmanos and leiopold and that is why he wont agree to what is on the table no matter how much the players give. it wont need to get to the majority, if just a few are balking at any deal and want a shutdown, then bettman will have to agree with them. i bet even deep down he wants a shutdown too and he wanted the season cancelled.

    i know healy is a joke. to argue with brian burke who has been on all sides as a president and GM, as a league executive and a former player agent is stupid. healy is very pro player and hence his biased opinion.

    but he is right in some way. i mean the cap does not have to be fixed at a certain number for the entire course of the agreement. i dont think that is quite fair. i mean there should be ways to build in some flexibility, to have it grow as the league’s revenues grow. yes that sounds like linkage but it really is not quite i guess. what he is talking about is having them agree to a 45 million cap but getting there bit by bit every year because the league is NOT going to continue to go downhill once they get back to playing. gradually things will get better, so the players, who are the main ones making the game better as they are the ones playing should get a bit of reward for that.

    but i think it goes beyond this cap number. players probably want the old arbitration but it wont work in this system because the old version automatically gave raises to players win or lose. and the 100 percent qualifying offers wont work either which is what players want, and how will bonuses fit in? included or not included in cap number? and injured players do they or dont they count against the cap?

    see that is what is so difficult. they may agree on 45 but not in what is included in it.

    and i know you CGOLDING are here all the time. it is just me a Leaf fan insulting a flyer fan (ha ha) because i havent had a chance to all year thanks to the stupidity of the players, owners and anyone in between. (sorry Chris, just wanted to get a jab in there because there wont be any philly-leaf battles for a LONG LONG time)

  22. kicksave856 says:

    You’re serious? You’re going to try to pick a fight? There isn’t even anything here to start an argument about. Nevermind. Worthless.

  23. kicksave856 says:

    Why are you even going anywhere?

  24. kicksave856 says:

    I don’t get it. You like doing this right? Well, don’t let a lockout stop you, that’s silly. I don’t agree with a lot of the things you say, but you’re a kid, right? And you want to be a writer when you grow up, right? Well, keep writing. This site’s good for you. No matter what you put up here, it’s better than the idiots who come on here just to pick fights or whatever. At least you’re here for a reason. You like hockey, you like the Leafs, and you like to write. Just keep doing what you’ve been doing.

  25. Flyers_Fan_In_LA says:

    Thanks for proving what a moron New Yorker you are.

    I am a publisher by trade. You question my sources? What do you do mr. Midget that makes you such an expert on sources?

  26. Flyers_Fan_In_LA says:

    Clarke sucks A$$

    How can you say that when he was one of the ones pushing to play. He is the one who scooped up RJ Umberger. He is the one with Jeff Carter, Joni Pitkanen, Dennis Sidenberg, Mike Richards and others stashed away for the Flyer’s future.

    I wrote the story before and will ask you the question again. Name me a few REAL bad clarke trades? They are hard to come by. THEN weigh them versus deals like the one to get LeClair-DesJardin or Hanzus and Esche. How about his ability to sign free agents? JR could have gone anywhere. Clarke got him before the signing season.

    You need a new name I think. Goodenow Sucks. Hockey Sucks or better yet – Rangers_Fan sucks…

  27. Freeze says:

    I see Mikster, Trademan, etc. are right on top of things. This article was posted a couple of days ago. Since then, the season has been cancelled for a second time. Why no new posts?

    I know I submitted news a few days back that was never posted. I tried. I think the admins at this site are giving up on HTR the same way that the fans are forced to throw the towel in on any hope of hockey this season.

    Oh well…

  28. habsoverserver says:

    Does anyone want to write about the top 5 AHL scorers, the Frozen Four, top prospects, the Worlds or any non NHL related hockey topics? Can the WHA make it w/ Trader Phil? Will there be a European “superleague”? Where are our European friends who usually offer insights into the Scandinavian players and leagues?

    Hockey is not just the NHL.

  29. ranger_fan says:


    You calling me a siv you bastar d lol? At leaset when I was wrong I had the balls to admit my mistake. I apologized. You just keep blaming me for your problems.

  30. ranger_fan says:

    And the best part is, I am not even a New Yorker!


    Why do you always seem to assume you are correct? This is the only rumor that you have posted with more than one source. I even had a hard time not to hope on this one… I admit it. The sad part of all of this is, you still are never going to admit that perhaps this stubborn, bored moster you have created actually was correct.

    Lesson in life, don’t believe everything you read. There are plenty of fallacies that you as even a journalist, or whatever need to sort out. This all was an appeal to emotion. It was away to get hits on a website to get more money from sponsors.

    If you want to keep calling me a six foot plus midget, go ahead. I don’t care, it makes me laugh.

  31. beefer says:

    Hey Flyers Fan, as a fan of the Rangers, I chose to be happy that they finally had a .500 season. How sad is that??? I am so pissed right now. I thought the players came to their senses yesterday and realized they won’t get a better offer.

  32. cgolding says:

    i honestly think bettman wanted to go to the 45 number, his speech the other day was too odd for it not to be something he’s interested in… but he doesn’t have the votes to get there. as much as we may want to lump him into this, i think there are 16 owners out there unwilling to see 45 million as the number, for whatever stupid reason, and are willing to not play in order to stay off of that number.

    we will see hockey next year, probably not in september, but next year. too many players are beginning to see that the deal the owners were offering was not that bad and as they read the press and everything are beginning to understand where they stand. it is clear that there is some anger among the players with how their negotiating team handled this whole thing (dropping the cap in at the last minute for example) and there will be some repercussions for that internally.

    personally i think both sides have to have a reality check, and the weaker owners really need to think hard on how long they can not be playing in their markets without doing damage that will be permanent. it would probably be best at this point if both sides seperated for a month, two months, and did some serious soul searching and discussing amongst themselves and evaluated their respective positions.

    as an outside observer i like the idea of two new people coming to the table to replace bettman and goodenow. give them each a couple of months to read up on their groups situation and then begin negotiations w/out the baggage of all this and previous labor strife. if they do not have a deal in mid-august they should agree TODAY that they will go into binding arbitration and go from there.

    the NHL should seriously look at contraction at this point, but i doubt they will. if they wise up to that fact and actually follow through on it then goodenow will have successfully killed job opportunities for his union through his unwillingness to seriously evaluate the situation…. this is all so stupid and so damaging. yesterday was a friggin circus which everyone deserves blame for, but bettman especially for his idiotic negotations during his cancellation PC.

    don’t worry though. they will be back next year… and if they don’t start in september i’m pretty sure we won’t be seeing some of the tiny teams pretty quickly… no one going to be coming to their games… ESPN is going ot drop the NHL (who is going to pick it up?) NBC’s ratings are going to be non-existent so they won’t bother to re-up the crappy deal they signed with the NHL leaving those markets isolated to themselves with zero revenue from a national resource. good times.

  33. kicksave856 says:

    Notre Dame and Michigan was a good game on my friend’s Direct TV last night, and there was a plethora of other college games on that I tivo’d to watch later.

    I’ve also watched the AHL All-Star stuff a handful of times, and that was fun.

    And it would be cool to learn more about this WHA, and it’s supposed little tournament, but that league folds and unfolds more than an accordion.

    And where are these friends, you mentioned, who offer insights into the European leagues? I would be interested in learning more about those (can they get any more advertisements on the uniforms??!!)

    Anyway, I agree. We should turn our attention towards other forms of hockey. You know, the actual functional leagues. This site is called Hockey Trade Rumors, not That Bastard NHL Trade Rumors. So screw the NHL just like they’re screwing us.

    I thought that last sentence would make me feel better, but it really didn’t. I want it back so bad it’s ridiculous.

  34. LeafyMcLeaf says:

    I made a vow, and now I have to go…. :'(

  35. IceyCup says:


    not trying to pick a fight.

    i’m a newb when it comes to posting and what i said was in response to adambuffalo.

    my bad.

    it was his post i took issue with.

    i think it was great the faith that 99 and 66 showed. it would seem that they were used like pawns though. i read they were in shock at how things went down.

    another black eye for the NHL.

    being pro-player this whole time, now i’m pro-nobody.

    go Man United!

  36. Aetherial says:

    One thing I really dislike about this process is the player’s position on revenue sharing.

    The Owners… we need a salary structure that will allow all teams to make a profit or break even and provide competitve balance.

    Players… we want the rich owners to give money to the poor owners so WE can continue to make ridiculous amounts of money, well beyond what the demand for our product dictates.

    The league offer had no floor

    The League offer I believe had no arbitration

    The League offer did NOT increase the cap

    The league offer had no significant revenue sharing.

    So, the players declined it. They realized, correctly that this offer would put a serious downward drag on salaries.

    Unfortunately, in their infinite cleverness and wisdom they failed to consider that this offer is likely the best they will ever get.

    It gets uglier now. The owners will NOT get their playoff revenue and will be even more p*ssed off. The economics are expected to suffer even more.

    So, what really bugs me about the player’s position is not whether the deals are good or bad. Aside from the fact that I will NEVER relate to their definition of *bad*… the problem is what do they hope to achieve by this?

    Does anyone seriously believe that the owners, after losing a season, are suddenly going to fold and give the players a 49 million cap, with 2-way arbitration, with a floor that is more than a lot of teams spend now?

    I don’t see it happening. The owners’ resolve will harden and the players will weaken. The players, simply, are being stupid.

  37. 19Yzerman says:

    TJ Hensick #7

    Jeff Tambellini #15

    Eric Nystrom #21

    I could go on and on about that team. NCAA hockey is great. I go to U of M scrimmage games before the season starts and watch nonscolarship players try out as a walk on and it is a blast. U of M games are a hard ticket to get right now at YOST. Its the only hockey I have been getting here in the Ann Arbor area. Which I used to watch anyway before the lockout. I think in the light of this lockout they have shown a few more then they usually do.

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