When news broke Thursday that the NHL had canceled the first two weeks of the 2012-13 regular-season schedule, it did not come as a surprise for those following what is becoming an acrimonious lockout.
Even so, the actual cancellation of games stings, especially to players who feel the NHLPA has made a sincere effort in making concessions and trying to find a common ground with the NHL and the owners. That was the case for Bruins veteran Shawn Thornton.
“I just can’t fathom why they are so adamant about the 24 percent cutback and so much more, and their way of negotiating is through a lockout,” Thornton said. “We have made numerous proposals to their first offer and offered to talk and get nothing back from them. To them, it’s their first offer and lockout or nothing. I just don’t see how not negotiating achieves anything and how coming in with your mind made up on a lockout already and from what I hear and see now, canceling games -- possibly a season -- gets anything done.”
Thornton went on to express frustration at what he perceives as posturing and delaying by the NHL and a lack of communication.
“We put a lot of thought into that first counterproposal and they basically just laughed it off,” Thornton said. “Both sides need to see it from the other point of view and I feel we the union are doing that, but they are just stuck on the rollback. It’s frustrating and to tell you the truth as a guy who cares deeply about this game, it’s sad. There is a deal to be made and we need to find it quick.”
For now, Thornton will try to ease his frustration by taking his normal offseason boxing classes in the fall to stay in shape. He has had discussions to play for the Belfast Giants in Northern Ireland, but insurance issues have put those talks on hold.