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Locked Out, Again

Posted By Mike Mastrandrea On Sep 16 2012 @ 1:34 pm In New Jersey Devils | No Comments

September 15 has been a date of note since the end of the 2012 NHL season. The current collective bargaining agreement (CBA) was set to expire on that date, and with just about 3 months from the conclusion of the Stanley Cup Finals for the NHL and its players to settle a deal, there wasn’t any reason to believe there would be no hockey in 2012-2013.

Those 3 months passed, and almost zero progress was made between the NHL and the NHLPA to strike up a new agreement. The quote that best summarizes just how far apart the NHL and the players were on their respective proposals for a new deal was from Bob McKenzie of TSN. He was quoted saying on his twitter account that the players and owners “aren’t even in the same universe.”

So with that, at 12:01 a.m. on Sunday, September 16, the NHL has locked out its players for the 4th time in 20 years and the 2nd in 7.

There is a lot that goes into creating a CBA and at this point it goes without saying that the NHL and its players had almost complete opposite beliefs on how the new agreement should have been composed. The NHL’s initial proposal took a lot of heat as it would have resulted in massive cutbacks to the players salaries as well as decreasing the players share of HRR (Hockey Related Revenue) from 57 percent to as low as 43 percent. The players and hockey fans everywhere were left in shock and disbelief at what the NHL was asking of them, and ever since then, essentially no progress was made in hope of creating a new deal.

With the lockout now in effect and no sign of a deal being made any time soon, players are searching for jobs elsewhere. New Jersey has been active in the past few days sending players who are age-eligible to play in the AHL. A good amount of Devils players, 24 to be exact, were sent to Albany, including rookies Adam Henrique and Adam Larsson. The other 22 players are Mattias Tedenby, Jacob Josefson, Keith Kinkaid, Scott Wedgewood, Maxime Clermont, Brandon Burlon, Mike Hoeffel, Eric Gelinas, Alex Urbom, David Wohlberg, Mike Sislo, Harri Pesonen, Dan Kelly, Harry Young, J.S. Berube, Bobby Butler, Jeff Frazee, Jay Leach, Tim Sestito, Matt Anderson, Chad Wiseman and Steve Zalewski. These players would also be eligible to return to the NHL if the lockout was ever to be lifted.

While these younger guys have an idea of what they’ll be doing for at least some part of 2012-2013, veterans are in a different situation, such as hall-of-famer Martin Brodeur. Brodeur, who just turned 40 over the summer, hasn’t stated what he plans on doing during the lockout. What he has stated though were his thoughts on going through the fourth lockout of his career. In a conversation with Tom Gulitti, Devils beat reporter for The Record, Brodeur said, “It’s unbelievable. It’s kind of an unfortunate thing, especially at this time in my career. I thought I was home free after the last one, but I guess I’m stuck in it a bit more.” Brodeur signed a 2 year contract extension this summer, but for now, it looks like he’ll remain in limbo until the lockout ends.

As for Devils star sniper and possible future captain, Ilya Kovalchuk will play for  SKA in the KHL this year. His agent says the contract will be signed by September 19th.  Kovalchuk is not the only player who will be playing in Russia this season either. Some other notable players who signed KHL contracts are Detroit’s Pavel Datsyuk, Ottawa’s Sergei Gonchar, and Pittsburgh’s Evgeni Malkin.

One final note on this first day of Lockout 2012 comes from NHL.com [1], which posted an article entitled “A message to our fans.” To those who wish to see the NHL’s first statement regarding the official lockout, see the link here:

http://www.nhl.com/ice/news.htm?id=641584 [2]

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[1] NHL.com: http://www.prosportsblogging.comNHL.com

[2] http://www.nhl.com/ice/news.htm?id=641584: http://www.nhl.com/ice/news.htm?id=641584

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