Now that NHL Lockout 2012 is underway, the major question we're all wondering is how long it will last. The players seem to be more organized and involved than ever before, so does that translate into the resolve to hold out for months? Or will the owners come to the conclusion that the costs of a protracted lockout could indeed be severe, and move to strike a deal more quickly?
The Fourth Period has set up a handy tracker to see which NHL players are heading over to Europe, and currently no Nashville Predators are on the list. Names like Datsyuk, Malkin, Kovalchuk and Jagr are already there, however, and that list will surely grow over the coming days. The players aren't going to sit idly by and wait things out, that much is apparent.
It's not all about doom & gloom this morning, however - our morning hockey notes start off with a celebration of one local hockey figure whose life has been turned around over the last year....
Nashville Predators News
Parkinson's can't keep former Nashville Predators coach down | The Tennessean
Tonight is the big Petey's Preds Party fundraiser for the Peterson Foundation for Parkinson's, and Brent Peterson's progress over the last year is a living example of what amazing things can be done these days to battle that disease.
20 minutes online - Davos and Bern bet on NHL stars - News
According to this report, if Roman Josi decides to play in Switzerland, SC Bern is calling dibs (found via The Hockey Writers).
AHL Contracts | Admirals Roundtable
Ryan clears up a bit of the confusion about whether certain Preds can go play in Milwaukee.
Wilson and Smith discuss lockout options | Nashville Predators
The Honey Badger likes the idea of heading back to Wisconsin, while Willy dreams of the Swedish Bikini Team.
From AHL to College Teams; Where to Find Hockey during Lockout | ladypreds
If you get desperate to see hockey, just hop in the car and drive for a bit.
With lockout, frustration mounts but logic gives pause… | Section 303
Jeremy's not sweating yet.
Around the Wide Wide World of Hockey
Grange on CBA: Midnight strikes on Bettman - sportsnet.ca
Aside from the question of who will "win" this negotiation, will the new CBA patch some of the gaping holes in the old one, which allowed teams to circumvent the salary cap?
Ranger Pundit: NHL Owners Not Unanimous in Lockout Decision
According to an anonymous source, 10 owners were not on board with the lockout originally. They were "characterized by the source as being the owners, who were filling their buildings last season and were not facing financial hardship."
NHL Players Undermining Their Cause " Berger Bytes
Do players heading to Europe mean that the NHLPA is fractured? Hardly, it means guys realize they could be in for a long struggle and aren't wasting time burning through their war chests.
And lastly, in case you didn't see it yesterday here's the NHLPA's appeal to fans. The line that really grinds my gears is when Sidney Crosby claims that the fans get hurt the most by this. No, I think there are thousands of arena employees around the league whose livelihoods are actually threatened by a work stoppage, Sid.
And in a rejoinder, here's what the NHL is telling fans:
Despite the expiration of the Collective Bargaining Agreement, the National Hockey League has been, and remains, committed to negotiating around the clock to reach a new CBA that is fair to the Players and to the 30 NHL teams.
Thanks to the conditions fostered by seven seasons under the previous CBA, competitive balance has created arguably the most meaningful regular season in pro sports; a different team has won the Stanley Cup every year; fans and sponsors have agreed the game is at its best, and the League has generated remarkable growth and momentum. While our last CBA negotiation resulted in a seismic change in the League's economic system, and produced corresponding on-ice benefits, our current negotiation is focused on a fairer and more sustainable division of revenues with the Players -- as well as other necessary adjustments consistent with the objectives of the economic system we developed jointly with the NHL Players' Association seven years ago. Those adjustments are attainable through sensible, focused negotiation -- not through rhetoric.
This is a time of year for all attention to be focused on the ice, not on a meeting room. The League, the Clubs and the Players all have a stake in resolving our bargaining issues appropriately and getting the puck dropped as soon as possible. We owe it to each other, to the game and, most of all, to the fans.