At 12:01 AM September 15 the NHL officially locked out the players for the second time in eight years. After three days the sides have had minimal contact with each other, though the NHLPA released a video and the NHL a statement to the fans. The second in commands of the NHLPA and NHL, Steve Fehr and Bill Daly, have been talking with each other via phone everyday. The two sides are expected to meet again sometime this week to engage in formal talks again. Last time the league had a work stoppage the two sides did not return to the bargaining table until December. There is optimism the two sides won’t decide to wait that long this time around.
As far as the Rangers specifically are concerned, it seems as though Rick Nash is reportedly close to signing a deal that will allow him to play in Finland until the lockout is over. Several of the Rangers prospects are expected to return to the AHL, most notably, Chris Kreider. The rest of the Rangers are expected to start gathering for unofficial group workouts on rented ice.
One word seems to keep appearing in every statement from anyone talking about the work stoppage in recent days: hopefully. As in, Hopefully the two sides will have progressive talks in the next few days so that the players will get back on the ice as soon as possible and we can get back to talking about actual hockey games. Hopefully Alex Ovechkin’s recent comments about the players being prepared to sit out a full year is just bluster. Hopefully both sides can actually negotiate a deal by swallowing their pride and making some concessions. Hopefully.
Be sure to check back for any new developments. Comment with your thoughts on the issues.
About the Author
Written by Eric O'Connell
Eric O'Connell is Junior at St. John's University in Queens, New York but hails from Connecticut. He has been a life long fan of the New York Yankees, Pittsburgh Steelers, and New York Rangers. Other interests include hanging out with friends, listening to music, having a good time, and Coffee Oreo Ice Cream. Follow on Twitter @EOCONN36 (opinions are mine and not Pro Sports Blogging)