NHL talks go nowhere; season likely won't start on time

  • Article by: MICHAEL RUSSO , Star Tribune
  • Updated: October 3, 2012 - 7:17 AM

The league and the players' union quickly broke off negotiations, all but assuring a delay of the 2012-13 season.

hide

A nearly empty hockey stick rack in the Buffalo Sabres locker room.

Photo: David Duprey, Associated Press

CameraStar Tribune photo galleries

Cameraview larger

The latest talks between the NHL and its locked-out players' union broke off abruptly Tuesday, meaning that as early as Wednesday, the NHL is expected to announce that the 2012-13 season won't start as scheduled.

"It's depressing," said forward Zach Parise, who almost surely won't slip on a Wild sweater for the first time Oct. 13. "I think everyone saw it coming, but once it actually happens, it's unfortunate. It's terrible for the game. There's no other way to put it."

After three days of discussing peripheral issues over the weekend, the NHL and NHL Players' Association tried to discuss the definition of hockey-related revenue Tuesday.

That lasted 90 minutes with "no progress made."

"Today wasn't overly encouraging, that's for sure," said NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly, adding that the NHL lost $100 million in revenue by canceling the preseason. "Unless ... they show some willingness to compromise, I'm not sure how we get this done."

In the final year of the expired collective bargaining agreement, players received 57 percent of the league's $3.3 billion revenue. Last month, the NHL proposed a six-year CBA where the players' share is cut to 49 percent in Year One, 48 percent in Year Two and 47 percent in the final four years.

The union hasn't countered and has only been willing to see the player share drop as revenues grow. The NHL also wants players to take immediate paycuts -- a non-starter for the union.

"It's tough to grasp when you've got a guy in [Commissioner] Gary Bettman bragging every year that we're making 'record revenue, record revenue, record this,' and all of a sudden they want to take a quarter of what you've made away," Parise said. "That doesn't make sense to anybody. It doesn't matter what industry you're in."

A drop in player share to 47 percent is a 17.5 percent paycut, although Bettman said last month the NHL estimates the salary reduction actually would be 11.5 percent in Year 1, 8.5 percent in Year 2 and 4.5 percent in Year 3, and that since players gave back via escrow in five of seven years under the last CBA (once 12 percent), this should be a non-issue.

"Right now, it's tough to see [an agreement]," Wild center Kyle Brodziak said. "Obviously, somebody is going to have to give in at some point for something to work. As a union, all you can really do is stay together and have your faith in the guys that are leading us."

The union wants to come up with a CBA that will aid the NHL's financially struggling teams. This is the second lockout in eight years and third since 1994.

"It seems some people are narrow-minded and not thinking about the future, just thinking about trying to solve it quick," new Wild defenseman Ryan Suter said. "The players, we want it to be fixed forever so we don't have to deal with this all the time."

With things looking bleak, more and more players are expected to sign contracts in Europe for the length of the lockout. Already 100 players have left, including the Wild's Jared Spurgeon, who has played one game for the SCL Tigers in Switzerland.

Wild captain Mikko Koivu has an option to play for Turku in Finland, but he says he hasn't "signed anywhere yet." Parise says he is close to pulling the trigger on a contract offer from a team in Switzerland.

"You can't keep waiting around. You've got to go play," Parise said. "Depending on how bad this looks or sounds, I'll have to do a lot more serious thinking about it.

"There's definitely a way to come to an agreement, and you hope that we can find it soon."

Bouchard better

Wild forward Pierre-Marc Bouchard, who missed the second half of last season because of a concussion, is skating and puts his health at 95 percent.

"It's just a question of being able to get rid of just those little symptoms that come back once in a while," Bouchard said.

Because Bouchard was not cleared to play at the season-ending physical, he has access to the Wild's doctors, trainers and gym. If he is not cleared to play by Oct. 11, Bouchard is entitled to his $4.3 million salary.

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

New England 2/1/15 5:30 PM
Seattle
Detroit 69 FINAL
Philadelphia 89
Portland 94 FINAL
Cleveland 99
Sacramento 102 FINAL
Toronto 119
Boston 98 FINAL
Minnesota 110
Dallas 94 FINAL
Houston 99
Denver 93 FINAL
New Orleans 85
Brooklyn 102 FINAL
Atlanta 113
Oklahoma City 92 FINAL
New York 100
Charlotte 86 FINAL
San Antonio 95
LA Clippers 94 FINAL
Utah 89
Washington 98 FINAL
Phoenix 106
Toronto 1 FINAL(SO)
New Jersey 2
Pittsburgh 0 FINAL
Washington 4
Chicago 3 FINAL
Los Angeles 4
Temple 86 FINAL
UCF 62
Winthrop 75 FINAL
Coastal Carolina 68
Lafayette 59 FINAL
Colgate 54
Northeastern 60 FINAL
Drexel 65
Wake Forest 76 FINAL
Florida State 82
Rhode Island 64 FINAL
Fordham 63
Delaware 82 FINAL
James Madison 88
South Carolina 58 FINAL
LSU 64
New Hampshire 63 FINAL
Maine 58
Seton Hall 80 FINAL
Marquette 70
Binghamton 68 FINAL
UMBC 56
American Univ 54 FINAL
Navy 64
Elon 65 FINAL
UNC-Wilmington 82
Wright State 76 FINAL
Oakland 84
Minnesota 58 FINAL
Penn State 63
Duquesne 55 FINAL
Richmond 86
SMU 63 FINAL
South Florida 52
Hartford 66 FINAL
Stony Brook 72
Albany 47 FINAL
Vermont 44
Hofstra 79 FINAL
William & Mary 100
UNC-Asheville 74 FINAL
Longwood 64
Radford 84 FINAL
Char Southern 77
Holy Cross 0 Postponed
Loyola-Maryland 0
Duke 73 FINAL
Notre Dame 77
Texas Tech 36 FINAL
Oklahoma 81
Oregon State 55 FINAL
Arizona State 73
Morehead State 82 FINAL
Austin Peay 69
Drake 69 FINAL
Bradley 57
Lehigh 62 FINAL
Bucknell 68
Rice 48 FINAL
Houston 59
Missouri State 57 FINAL
Illinois State 67
Loyola-Chicago 47 FINAL
Wichita State 58
Nebraska Omaha 64 FINAL
South Dakota St 86
Northern Iowa 59 FINAL
Southern Ill 52
Louisville 81 FINAL
Boston College 72
St Johns 74 FINAL
Creighton 77
East Carolina 58 FINAL
Memphis 70
Georgia Tech 70 FINAL
Miami-Florida 50
Miss State 73 FINAL
Ole Miss 79
Clemson 68 FINAL
NC State 57
Indiana 67 FINAL
Purdue 83
Kansas 64 FINAL
TCU 61
Oregon 56 FINAL
Arizona 90
Air Force 66 FINAL
San Jose St 52
Stanford 84 FINAL
Washington 74
Rider 56 FINAL
Siena 49
Dayton 76 FINAL
Richmond 62
Eastern Kentucky 53 FINAL
Jacksonville St 73
Saint Josephs 0 Postponed
Saint Louis 0
UMBC 71 FINAL
Binghamton 55
Akron 60 FINAL
Ohio U 72
Ball State 72 FINAL
Miami-Ohio 55
Memphis 56 FINAL
Cincinnati 44
East Carolina 32 FINAL
(2) Connecticut 87
Murray State 59 FINAL
Eastern Illinois 75
Kent State 63 FINAL
Central Michigan 65
UT Martin 64 FINAL
Tennessee St 58
Eastern Michigan 56 FINAL
Western Mich 83
Bucknell 61 FINAL
Lehigh 76
Indiana 57 FINAL
Michigan State 72
Colgate 56 FINAL
Lafayette 58
Fordham 66 FINAL
Davidson 45
Duquesne 76 FINAL
St Bonaventure 64
George Mason 66 FINAL
VA Commonwealth 70
Detroit 59 FINAL
Youngstown St 58
Army 0 Postponed
Boston U 0
Loyola-Maryland 0 Postponed
Holy Cross 0
SMU 58 FINAL
Tulsa 74
Oklahoma St 54 FINAL
Kansas State 52
West Virginia 57 FINAL
Texas Tech 73
Denver 56 FINAL
South Dakota 82
Northwestern St 46 FINAL
Central Arkansas 63
Austin Peay 67 FINAL
SIU-Edwardsville 87
Kansas 61 FINAL
Iowa State 56
Bowling Green 50 FINAL
Northern Ill 67
Penn State 64 FINAL
Minnesota 75
San Jose St 80 FINAL
Air Force 83
Boise State 82 FINAL
Colorado State 83
Utah State 51 FINAL
Wyoming 86
San Diego State 50 FINAL
Fresno State 57
Nevada 52 FINAL
UNLV 75

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: What chance does the Wild have of making the playoffs?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close