Category Archives: HTR Feature Article

Landing in Toronto amidst Leafs’ goalie dysfunction might drive Luongo nuts

Gillis was also asked recently about his relationship with Burke, and said they get along “well enough” to pull the trigger on this thing.

It just re-affirmed what many have thought for months — the Leafs make the most sense. But what would that mean for Luongo? If he is struggling in October will assistant GM Dave Nonis be knocking on his door to go over paddle-down techniques?

If there is encouraging news for Luongo, it’s that before the CBA expired at least one mystery team, and maybe two, entered the Luongo sweepstakes. Team Mysterious wasn’t one of the ones that had previously been attached to a Luongo trade in rumours, so scratch Columbus off your list along with the obvious ones.

The Edmonton Oilers were floated as the potential suitor in question, and on some levels it makes a lot of sense. Nikolai Khabibulin will be 40 in January, and just may retire if this season is wiped out. Devan Dubnyk has improved slowly over the years, and shown some promise. But he’s hardly a sure thing as a No. 1 goalie in the NHL and there is no prospect behind him anywhere near ready to push for playing time.

For most, there’s no doubt Luongo would help the emerging Oilers. Maybe even make them a playoff team. And there’s the rub. What makes sense for Edmonton, probably doesn’t for the Canucks, depending, of course, on the offer.

But it’s not an easy decision for the Canucks, if you believe Luongo would accelerate the re-build program in Edmonton, making the division that much tougher, that much sooner.

Plus, Justin Schultz may have chosen Edmonton. That’s one thing. Would Luongo ever do the same?

Maple Leafs still interested in Canucks goaltender Roberto Luongo

The Toronto Maple Leafs remain interested in acquiring the services of Roberto Luongo.

According to TVA Sports hockey analyst Enrico Ciccone, Maple Leafs general manager Brian Burke contacted his Vancouver Canucks counterpart, Mike Gillis, about the 33-year-old goaltender last weekend.

This is not the first time Luongo has been linked to trade talks with Toronto. In April, the Leafs were among a group of teams that showed interest in the veteran netminder.

Luongo has played 727 games in the NHL and has spent the past six seasons in Vancouver.

Last season, the emergence of Canucks backup Cory Schneider has put Luongo’s status as the club’s No. 1 goalie in doubt.

The Canucks signed Schneider to a three-year, $12-million contract this off-season, leading to speculation that Luongo, who has 10 years left on a 12-year, $64-million contract, would be traded over the summer

http://www.torontosun.com/2012/09/18/maple-leafs-still-interested-in-canucks-goaltender-roberto-luongo

Bruins players afraid NHL ‘almost becoming a joke’

There are a few different things that the NHL owners have always preyed on while handing out work stoppages like Halloween candy over the last 20 years under the leadership of Commissioner Gary Bettman.

They’ve always been able to break the backs of the players’ association at a critical juncture of the negotiations, and then take advantage of an NHLPA that couldn’t scramble to remain unified. They’ve always been able to count on the hockey diehards forgiving, forgetting and returning as ticket-buying consumers no matter how much the NHL plays the role of the abusive spouse.

In the end the NHL has also always taken full advantage of the individual hockey players, and their deep-rooted concern for the health and well-being of the league that they love so profoundly. That aforementioned concern with damaging the game was front-and-center while chatting with the players after their second lockout practice at Harvard’s Bright Hockey Center on Tuesday afternoon.

“We hoped it wouldn’t be as confrontational as the last time around, but obviously that wasn’t the same sentiment on the other side,” said B’s Andrew Ference, a former NHLPA players rep that takes a keen interest in CBA negotiations. “We’re getting into this rut where we’re almost a joke. Every few years we’ve got to revisit the same thing. One year it’s explained one way, and one year it’s explained another way.

http://www.csnne.com/hockey-boston-bruins/bruins-talk/Bruins-players-afraid-NHL-almost-becomin?blockID=775579&feedID=10428

SCHNEIDER: IN EVERY PROPOSAL, NHLPA HAS GIVEN MORE

The ongoing collective bargaining agreement negotiations between the National Hockey League and the NHL Players’ Association are starting to stir up familiar feelings for Mathieu Schneider.

Schneider – who was active through both the 1994-95 and 2004-05 NHL lockouts as a player – says the players are frustrated by the prospect of the current work stoppage resulting in game cancellations. This time around, he is representing the players as Special Assistant to NHLPA Executive Director Donald Fehr.

“The fact that we’re sitting here in this position once again, of course, it’s frustrating for the players,” Schneider told TSN on Monday.

The Players’ Association has yet to table a counter-proposal to the league’s latest CBA offer, which the NHL filed on Sept. 12. The league voted unanimously to lock out the players the next day while both sides continued discussions.

“In each proposal that we’ve brought forward, we have moved,” Schneider said. “We’re the only ones that have been giving in this entire negotiation. Everything that they have put forward takes more from the players; on the contracting issues, on the straight share of the revenue and that’s the frustrating part for the players. Our next offer will be giving more back to the owners, they’re next offer will be taking more from the players.”

http://www.tsn.ca/nhl/story/?id=405536

NHL sides must realize they’re in it together

This morning began, minute one, with the NHL again officially in lockout. Death. Taxes. NHL gone dark. Until further notice, there will not be an NHL training camp near you this September. Again.

If you’re keeping score at home, this is lockout No. 3, which makes the NHL the worldwide leader in pro sports RLSS (repetitive labor stress syndrome). Most acute symptom: a stabbing, chronic pain in the neck.

Good news is, regular-season games are not scheduled to begin until the second week of October, which allows time for owners and players to look in the mirror and figure out just how ridiculous they look to the general public (read: ticket buyers and cable/DirecTV subscribers).

The two sides combined to amass $3.3 billion in revenue during the 2011-12 season, and great minds and leaders on both sides once more cannot figure out how to divvy up such a humongous wad of cash to their mutual satisfaction and, of course, benefit and delight.

I’d like to believe that eventually fan interest will take such a sizable dip amid one of these dunderheaded job actions that the industry, owners and players alike, will learn once and for all not to be the Richard Burton- Elizabeth Taylor of sports marriages. But the fans always come back, no matter what, ever willing to pay for ever-pricier tickets, pennants, and hot dogs.

http://articles.boston.com/2012-09-16/sports/33841377_1_nhl-sides-gary-bettman-lockout