New York Hockey: NHL Lockout

Strang: NHL says union is drafting a proposal

October, 11, 2012
AM ET's Katie Strang discusses the latest news on the NHL lockout.

Barch goes off in the Twitterscape

September, 30, 2012
Sometimes 140 characters aren’t enough. Or even close to enough.

Saturday night, New Jersey Devils forward Krys Barch (@krysbarch) strung together a 26-post-long Twitter message on his thoughts regarding the NHL’s lockout. Fueled by the uncertainty of the future and a few drinks by a fire, Barch spilled the insights of the everyman NHL player.

A sample (with typos fixed):

“I wonder if the owners of Boston, New York, Washington, etc, etc, have endured any of the injuries that I or any other player in the NHL have endured,” he wrote. “Still they probably sit there smoking the same brand of cigar, sipping the same cognac, and going on vacation to one of five houses they own. While we sit here knowing they want to take 20 percent of our paychecks. One half to 3/4 of my peers will have to work for the next 50 years of their lives.”

Barch’s agent, Scott Norton, spoke with him Saturday night when it was written and again Sunday morning and there’s no regret over the emotional series of Twitter posts. Barch completely stands by what was written.

“Krys was saying ‘This is what my heart says, I”m going to say it,’” Norton said Sunday morning. “I think he was certainly emotional and speaking from the heart. As I told him, I’m not sure that Twitter was the right forum for him. It might have been better in a radio interview.”

Barch’s heart-felt writings highlight the difference in strategy between the players and the NHL as the lockout comes dangerously close to threatening regular season games. The NHL owners have been threatened with heavy fines if they speak out regarding the lockout. The NHLPA doesn’t have the same restrictions on its 700-plus players, which could lead to more public airing of frustrations from the players as negotiations slowly drag on.

Although some fans could relate to the frustration of a man whose wife is pregnant with their third child, others noted that Barch was still scheduled to make more in one season than some average fans makes in a decade.

“Anytime you do anything in a public domain, you’re going to get positive and negative with that,” Norton said. “We’re all concerned with the fans, the people who work in the arenas, the people who work at the front office -- the innocent bystanders. I don’t care what you say, you’re never going to get a unanimous popular reaction.”

Barclays game to be canceled?

September, 19, 2012
According to a report by Chris Botta of the Sports Business Journal, the October 2 exhibition game between the New Jersey Devils and New York Islanders will be canceled soon because of the lockout.

The NHL, which informed its staff Wednesday morning they'd be forced to take pay cuts and reduced hours beginning October 1, is expected to cancel all preseason games this week.

The Devils-Islanders exhibition game was slated to be the first major sporting event at the new arena in Brooklyn, whose owner has previously expressed interest in housing an NHL team.

The Islanders have been trying to build a new arena for years, leading many to believe Brooklyn could be a viable destination, despite the limited seating. The Barclays Center holds roughly 14,500; the league's smallest venue currently is Winnipeg's MTS Centre, which seats 15,001.

Kovalchuk to play in Russia during lockout

September, 17, 2012
New Jersey's Ilya Kovalchuk will return to his native Russia to play throughout the NHL lockout. Kovalchuk's agent confirmed to that the 29-year-old sniper will join SKA St. Petersburg and begin playing Sept. 23.

Click here for the full story.

Sources: Nash headed to Europe

September, 17, 2012
Rick Nash, the Rangers' marquee acquisition this offseason, is headed to Switzerland to play during the lockout, multiple sources told

The 28-year-old winger, acquired via trade in August, will join Davos of the Swiss-A league, where he will join fellow NHL star Joe Thornton. The two played there together in 2004-05 during the last lockout, when the entire season was forfeited.

It is believed that Nash, who led the Blue Jackets with 30 goals and 29 assists last season, wants to hit the ground running in New York once the lockout ends and feels that playing overseas will help him stay sharp.

Before coming to the Rangers in a blockbuster deal this summer, Nash spent the past nine years in Columbus after being the first overall pick in the 2002 draft. The Brampton, Ontario native said he was ready to embrace the spotlight of New York and was looking forward to joining a team that went to the Eastern Conference finals.

“I think the main thing was looking at the team, looking at what they’ve done over the years. It’s something I’d love to be part of. I’d love to help them out. I think the big-market is just a bonus that comes along with it,” he said in his first official appearance with the Rangers after the trade.

The five-time All-Star, who has six NHL seasons of 30 goals or more, has six years remaining on a deal that will pay him $7.8 million annually.

Nash will join a bevy of other NHL stars who will cross the Atlantic to play during the work stoppage. Evgeni Malkin, Ilya Kovalchuk, and Thornton are among that list.

It is standard operating procedure for NHL players to sign contracts that includes an "out clause" that would allow them to return to North America once a lockout ends. Most players also have to obtain insurance -- either out of their own pocket or their European club -- that insures their NHL contract against injury should they get hurt while playing overseas.

NHL sends message to fans

September, 16, 2012
In wake of the lockout, which began at 12:01 a.m., the NHL sent out a message to the fans via the league's official website Sunday morning.

"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."