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October 5, 11:00 AM ET
Chat with Pierre LeBrun

Buzzmaster
  (2:00 PM)

Sorry, folks, Pierre had to get to a funeral and won't be chatting today. We've moved his chat to Friday at 11 a.m. ET.

Pierre LeBrun
  (11:00 AM)

Bonjour les amis. Let's talk NHL labor !

Giancarlo Toffoli (St. Jean, Canada)

Mr. Lebrun, I enjoyed your segment on the radio with Mitch Melnick of Montreal but my question is the following, do you actually believe the sanctimonious arrogance of the owners and their puppet, the commish, will lead to an actual dare I say scab league? On an unrelated note, how 'bout them cowboys

Pierre LeBrun
  (11:00 AM)

No

Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)

Do you think the 2012-2013 NHL Season will be Cancelled due to a Labor Dispute?

Pierre LeBrun
  (11:00 AM)

Possible, but I'm holding out hope for a reduced season

Bill (Toronto)

Any updates on the NHLPA legal petitions in Quebec and Alberta? Am curious to see what happens with them...

Pierre LeBrun
  (11:02 AM)

Nothing on Alberta at this point. Quebec labor board will have another hearing into it Oct. 15

Terry (Toronto)

Am getting excited to see Rush when they come around in a couple of weeks at the ACC. You gonna catch them on their current tour?

Pierre LeBrun
  (11:03 AM)

Three kids under the age of 4 in my house. So no, I have no life. But yes, Rush rules. Enjoy my man

Steve (Manchester UK)

Just curious why no NHLers have signed to play in the British hockey league during the streak? We have kept Mike Danton out but could use a name player to help promote the league. Any thoughts?

Pierre LeBrun
  (11:03 AM)

It's early yet...

Darryl (Montreal)

Why do the Habs not have any decent goalie prospects in their system should they get an injury? I know they just signed Price to a big contract, but I shudder at the thought of any of their goalies with the Bulldogs having to fill in.

Pierre LeBrun
  (11:05 AM)

Give Bergevin some time... you don't overhaul an organization over night

Rush (NYC)

Did you ever get a chance to speak to Bettman about doing a chat here with hockey fans? The ones he assumes will come back once the lockout ends?

Pierre LeBrun
  (11:08 AM)

Rush, I did indeed ask the commish if he wanted to join us on a chat and his veteran PR man Frank Brown politely replied that the commish would take a pass at this point.

Jake (MN)

What's the chance the NHLP Decertifies and files an Antitrust Suit against the NHL (a la NFLPA)...Crosby et al vs. National Hockey League et al?

Pierre LeBrun
  (11:09 AM)

I'm no legal expert, but I don't see it

Alex (Anaheim)

Should I be encouraged that the two sides are still talking, or worried because they won't reopen the discussion on what really matters?

Pierre LeBrun
  (11:10 AM)

It is good that unlike eight years ago there's been more dialogue. But it's getting nasty now this week.... we'll see how talks progress or not ... could be the tipping point _ either way

Mark (Denver, CO)

Hello Pierre. If it is true that 8-10 big market owners are controlling these negotiations, then why aren't they called out by name? Why shouldn't these specific owners be made to explain their position?

Pierre LeBrun
  (11:10 AM)

JEREMY JACOBSOnly name you need to know

Jason (ON)

I think the big problem is the NHL will loose some of an already very fragile US market. Look at the lockout coverage, its all Canadian reporters, every microphone on front of Daly is Canadian, the lockout doesnt even make sportscentre until the very end, and then gets cut off because they are out of time.

Pierre LeBrun
  (11:11 AM)

yup, although ESPN.com is very much on top of it !

Justin (NY)

What organization, do you think, stands to gain the most value/benefit from the lockout as it continues? AHL, KHL, NCAA/int'l college, junior leagues, USA/Int'l teams? Could or would TV networks broadcast more non-NHL hockey with this newfound airtime surplus?

Pierre LeBrun
  (11:12 AM)

KHL and AHL will benefit most. My sense is NCAA and Major Junior Canadian fans were already fans of that brand of hockey and making time for it, regardless of NHL or no NHL. But I think KHL and AHL benefits

Bill (Viva Las Vegas)

Are the owners really so stubborn (stupid) to toss away another season? I don't blame players for not taking salary rollbacks, but do they have a choice if owners refuse to compromise?

Pierre LeBrun
  (11:12 AM)

That's the thing, I just don't think they're willing to cancel another season.... Maybe I'm just being hopeful

Nick G (Ottawa)

Do the leafs have any chance of a playoff appearance with their current group or does Burke need to make changes when the new CBA gets sorted?

Pierre LeBrun
  (11:13 AM)

I know Vancouver is asking for more than what Toronto wants to offer, but getting Roberto Luongo in my opinion is the difference between making the playoffs or not for the Leafs. They need to make that deal once the lockout lifts.

AJ (Vancouver)

Bettman said earlier that if the owners lose revenue due to missed games, the players will have to miss paychecks to also feel the pain. I figure the owners "earn" revenue for 9 months (mid Sept through mid June) and the players get paid over 6 months. If they both drop 1/3rd of their revenue/income time line, are we looking at a December 16th start to the season so that they owners miss 3 months of revenue and the players miss 2 months of pay?

Pierre LeBrun
  (11:14 AM)

My guess from beginning was a late November agreement, which means December puck drop if I'm right...

Bryan (Pullman, WA)

Who is your favoite to win the cup this year?

Pierre LeBrun
  (11:14 AM)

Haven't decided yet. Want to see how teams shake up their rosters after the lockout before I make that decision

HockeyDon (New Britain, CT)

LeBrun,I see a lot of people talking about the players not wanting to "reduce their share", who then go on to claim the players are still asking for 57%. With plenty of room left to negotiate, the players' offer _starts_ at 54.3% and goes down from there. How can it be better communicated that the players are willing to reduce their percentage (as their offer shows), but don't want to give in to the kickbacks? (known as salary rollback in gentler terms) Why do the owners seem like their insistent upon these kickbacks? Why hasn't the proposals we've seen from the NHL include a gradual reduction of HRR percentage? (they'll eventually agree on what HRR consists of)

Pierre LeBrun
  (11:16 AM)

Good point. But to be clear, the players' last offer _ you are correct, starts at 54.3 percent BUT based on 7.1 projected revenue growth.Based on NHLPA's offer, the players aren't taking less than the $1.873 billion they earned last year (which is fair in my mind...)But what the NHLPA is saying is that they're willing to slow the growth of future salaries....It is indeed important to point out the NHLPA has not offered to take less than the $1.873 billion in salaries they made last year.

Brad (Oshawa)

Will you get the chance to watch and report on some junior hockey while the lockout is on? The Oshawa Geneals have their best team in years!!!

Pierre LeBrun
  (11:20 AM)

If anything it'll be maybe some AHL angles... I don't do junior hockey although I miss it. Terrific hockey

Pierre LeBrun
  (11:20 AM)

If anything it'll be maybe some AHL angles... I don't do junior hockey although I miss it. Terrific hockey

Jesse S. (Carmel, NY)

Pierre, assuming optimistically the NHL starts playing games again around Thanksgiving or December (like the NBA last year), is that really necessarily a horrible thing? For years many writers and fans have complained that "the regular season is too long and most of the early games are meaningless." Now will be the chance to see what happens with a shortened schedule that starts right out with a playoff push. Yes it will stink not having the usual milestones of guys going for 50 goals and 100 points and having the Cup Finals in late June, but it could be an interesting test case.

Pierre LeBrun
  (11:20 AM)

yes it's a bad thing. Because I'm tired of writing about the lockout :)

Gary Bettman (New York City)

Pierre, what is the point of me cancelling games in two week blocks? Am I really fooling anyone into thinking that as soon as a deal is struck that the season will pick up with the games that were originally scheduled for the next day. Everyone knows there will need to be short training camps and then an entirely new compressed schedule drawn up. So why not just announce that all games are cancelled until further notice and until then everyone throw your pocket schedules out the window?

Pierre LeBrun
  (11:21 AM)

That's why I think the next time you cancel a batch of games, it might be a larger batch :)

Bruce Stark (Gotham)

Do you see the wings making a trade for a top 4 defensemen when the lockout is over?

Pierre LeBrun
  (11:21 AM)

I do believe the Wings will be looking hard at the trade market, yes, hoping some teams are in cap trouble and need to move bodies

Vishal (Ottawa)

If the NHL is looking for a rollback on salaries and the NHL stated that in their proposal they were asking for less than missing 8 games. Now that 2 weeks have been canceled in the schedule, would the NHL take that savings in salary and call it a day?

Pierre LeBrun
  (11:24 AM)

The NHL's offers would be significant escrow for players but technically speaking, the NHL has not asked for a salary rollback.Escrow and rollback are both negative things for a player _ but they're different. At least with escrow you can hope there are better years ahead when you don't pay much or at all. Where as a salary rollback is immediate and hammers your entire contract

Tony Wayne (Winterfell)

If the winter classic is canceled this year, will they still have the wings and leafs next year?

Pierre LeBrun
  (11:24 AM)

From what I'm told, Detroit would very likely get to host it again a year later.... but having said that, NHL would need to re-negotiate a whole host of contracts to get it done.. but that is certainly the priority, to make sure Detroit gets it either way

Phil (Thornhill, Ont.)

Hi Pierre,I understand that players will never get their lost money back and many people, including your pal Scott B., believe the players should just accept what the owners offer and get back to hockey. I guess if I'm a player, I would look it as: the owners got the deal they wanted 7 years ago and now they want a better deal today. If players don't take a stand, you know the owners are going to come back whenever the next agreement ends and want more concessions. So where does it end? As a fan, I'm disappointed that the moderates on both sides don't seem to be very vocal in finding a solution.

Pierre LeBrun
  (11:27 AM)

I agree. I think in no way should the players just roll over. It's important to fight and get best deal possible. But they also have to realize what their end game is. The NBA players set the standart when they accepted a 50-50 revenue split. Hockey players are headed there, too. What you hope now as an NHL player is that you make it as good as possible and hopefully phase into 50-50 gradually and not go there overnight.... Players are doing the right thing by fighting this right now. But they have to know when to cut their losses. All about timing

Dusty Sloan (Ashland, Ohio)

Do we know of any WHA-type leagues which tried to get together for this season, given the NHL's labor problems, as was the case in 2004-05? Do you think we'll ever see another WHA-like league?

Pierre LeBrun
  (11:27 AM)

yes, it's in Russia and it's called the KHL :)

Matt (Buffalo)

The Sabres got me a refund for the canceled preseason games pretty quick. This is such a joke. I'm going to keep the tickets because I make money on them, but I won't be going to a game for at least a year-if not longer.

Pierre LeBrun
  (11:29 AM)

Noted. And I don't blame you

Dara (Boca Raton, Fl)

how come they aren't meeting more often to try to work out an agreement like normal businesses do when negotiating a contract and how come they don't get a mediator to help the situation. Both sides are going to have to give a little but this whole situation is just rediculous when the league had so much momentum. The owners and players are really taking advantage of the fans and the workers who are losing their jobs because of this.

Pierre LeBrun
  (11:29 AM)

They've actually met more often than both sides did 8 years ago at this point... but agree on mediator, might be useful at some point if there's no moving on core economic issues

Thomas (Denver)

We keep hearing that the first REAL pressure point date is Jan 1 for the winter classic with games being cancelled now any chance ANY kind of deal is done before then or Is Jan the best case scenario?

Pierre LeBrun
  (11:30 AM)

NHL privately says they're pulling the plug on Winter Classic in early November if there's no deal... so.... I'm not sure how WC really has any bearing on when/if lockout ends

Kenn Sullivan (Timmins)

Why is there a lock out ? Can't they negoicate and have the PA guarentee not to strike during the season and playoffs.They would have all season to work it out.

Pierre LeBrun
  (11:32 AM)

I mean, that would be great if they did that. I guess the NHL's response to that is that the players are fine with the status quo _ the old deal _ the owners are not. So the league believes playing games while negotiating only favors one side and doesn't give same incentive for players to get a new deal done...I'm not saying that, the league is...

Jared (Nashville)

Why haven't the players submitted another proposal? The league has said several times they are waiting for one.

Pierre LeBrun
  (11:33 AM)

NHLPA's feeling is that it is negotiating against itself at this point...Having said that, it woudln't surprise me to see a new offer from players sometime soon...

Curt H (Vancouver)

Do you get the sense that they players are more united this time and therefore more likely to stand up for themselves?

Pierre LeBrun
  (11:33 AM)

They are united. Just as they were eight years ago. If they weren't united eight years ago, an entire season would not have been lost.

Joe (Albany, NY)

Mr. LeBrunWhich league will you have most interest in this winter while the NHL is off?

Pierre LeBrun
  (11:33 AM)

NFL

Mark (NY)

Anthony Stewart is playing in the British Hockey League

Pierre LeBrun
  (11:34 AM)

there ya go

Daniel (Australia)

If we lose a season, how will the draft work?

Pierre LeBrun
  (11:34 AM)

Presumably draft lottery like 2005

TiM (Pittsburgh)

If some NHL teams are losing money and they want to fix it, shouldn't that issue be between the owners? Not the players vs the owners. I get they need to agree on a % points in terms of total revenue, but regardless of what amount they agree upon, the owners still need some model in place that disperses revenue equally amongst the 30 teams.

Pierre LeBrun
  (11:35 AM)

Agreed. I'm with the NHLPA on that point. More meaningful revenue sharing would be a good thing for health of the business

Joey (New York)

When was a deal made during 2005? March?

Pierre LeBrun
  (11:37 AM)

July 2005

Bob (NY)

Pierre, what kind of agreement would you find acceptable for both sides in terms of revenue split, etc? Which side do you think is closer to what you deem "the middle"

Pierre LeBrun
  (11:39 AM)

I wrote this earlier this week in a blog. My solution:53 percent in Year 1, then 52 percent in Year 2, 51 percent in year 3, then 50 percent rest of the years. Owners get their 50-50 split eventually but I want to protect the players early on in the deal so they don't get hammered by escrow.

Gene Mullett (Columbus, OH)

Does anyone find it a little ridiculous that Bettman's had 3 lockouts under his watch? Also, no major team sport in North America has peace like Major League Baseball! Someone should take Fehr's proposal seriously.

Pierre LeBrun
  (11:40 AM)

Fehr has certainly mentioned that several times _ labor peace in baseball

Locked Out Player (Anywhere, North America)

Pierre, if you were a locked out NHL player, what would be your preferred league to play in overseas: KHL (best competition and salary, but significant travel, payment and cultural issues), Swedish Elite League (good competition, but might have difficulty with contract), Swiss League (slightly lesser competition but posh accomodations and good salary), German League (Oktoberfest!), Czech or Slovak Leagues (glorified men's leagues compared to NHL)......or just go back to riding the bus in the AHL (if you could)?

Pierre LeBrun
  (11:40 AM)

Swiss league for me.

dan (minnesota)

Think Fehr goes after the cap?

Pierre LeBrun
  (11:41 AM)

If there's still a lockout in January? Maybe...

Bob (NY)

What happens to players contracts if there is no season? If someone had 1 year left will they now be a free agent? What about rookie level deals?

Pierre LeBrun
  (11:41 AM)

If it's like last time, any player who entered the 2004-05 season on a one-year deal was a free agent when the lockout ended. In other words, the contracts weren't frozen.

Eddie (Philly)

Percentage chance the entire season is canned? I'm feeling 99%. Such a joke.

Pierre LeBrun
  (11:43 AM)

50 percent

Marc (Malden, MA)

A lockout should be the last resort in a failed negotiation, yet the owners used it as the first step...shows you what type of awful owners we're talking about.

Pierre LeBrun
  (11:47 AM)

I lay some blame on both sides. Yes, NHL always seems to lock out its players, which is shameful.However, NHLPA waited until June to start talks _ even though league wanted to start a year ago _ so shame on them as well.Nobody is innocent in this thing. Both sides should be help up accountable

Jim Clark (Bay Shore, NY)

Can Gene Mullett tell me who won the 1994 World Series. Because there were plenty of baseball when Fehr was their labor leader-or counsel in 1981

Pierre LeBrun
  (11:48 AM)

Montreal Expos won in 1994. In my heart :)

Jack (Toronto)

Isn't this a terrible time for a lock-out? Right now the NHL has a window where all the big hockey markets in the US have great teams. They should be using these next few seasons to grow its brand in the US. I understand they'll never really successful in a lot of the smaller US markets, but with NYR, LA, Chicago, Boston, Detroit, Philly, San Jose, Washington, Pittsburgh having such good teams this is when hockey should be selling itself in the US. Remember when Boston and Chicago were practically mausoleums. I don't think the NHL can afford to waste these seasons.

Pierre LeBrun
  (11:48 AM)

BEST POST OF THE DAY.Nailed it.

Rene Fasel, IIHF President (Zurich, Switzerland)

Pierre, aside from the KHL and AHL, you forgot the two other "leagues" that will benefit most from the lockout...the World Juniors and the IIHF World Championships! World Junior rosters will be loaded with 18-19 year olds that would have been in NHL (like RNH, Huberdeau, Ryan Murray, etc.) and the World Championships in Sweden will be almost equivalent to the Olympics with the best players from every country available that would otherwise be in the NHL playoffs. The IIHF wants lockouts every year!

Pierre LeBrun
  (11:49 AM)

true that

Ryan (Ottawa)

Does your 50/50 stance on the season being canceled apply to the fans coming back like last time?

Pierre LeBrun
  (11:51 AM)

I actually hope some fans take a stand. But easier said than done, especially here in Canada where hockey is king

Matt (Steinway)

Last I checked fighting was not banned in hockey so I'm not sure why Burnside wants the players to roll over and play dead. They need to fight for 2, 3, 4, 5 years if necessary. It's like dealing with a schoolyard bully. Sure, you can let them take your lunch money, but they'll just keep coming back for more. Standing up to them might mean a lot of pain in the short term, but absolutely must be done or the owners will just keep coming back for more. If the league folds the players an still find work. Those owners won't get any chance to recoup the money they spent on their teams.

Pierre LeBrun
  (11:52 AM)

As I posted earlier, I'm fully supportive of the players fighting for a fair deal. But they have to know their end game, too

Zach (Philly)

When you mention fans taking a stand, I'd encourage all season ticket holders on here to ask for refunds instead of taking the interest payments teams are offering to hold our money. We don't want them thinking we'll be here next season regardless!!!

Pierre LeBrun
  (11:53 AM)

noted

Marc (Malden, MA)

Not only did Jack (Toronto) nail it, but it really boggles my mind as to what Jeremy Jacobs is thinking. The Bruins were irrelevant for a while and JJ was HATED in this town. Now the team is winning, the fans are back, JJ was actually liked...and he's leading the lockout charge.

Pierre LeBrun
  (11:54 AM)

Bingo. Boggles my mind as well. I understand the NHL wants what the NBA got _ 50-50 split, and that's understandable, but there's a deal to be made here that doesn't totally kill the players..At least I think there is...

Hollister (Boston)

Top three favortie songs as of right now. Go.

Pierre LeBrun
  (11:58 AM)

Top 3 all-time:1. Free Falling, Tom Petty2. Gimme Shelder, Rolling Stones3. Used to Love her, G'N'R

Dave (Kansas)

Pierre, the owners are counting on it, but does the league continue to grow at 7% now that games have been cancelled by the lockout?

Pierre LeBrun
  (11:58 AM)

no it doesn't.... both sides losing money with every passing day

Gene Mullett (Columbus, OH)

As a CBJ season ticket holder, I have a ticket to the ASG. Is there really any chance of it happening? Would Columbus get it in 2015 when play resumes?

Pierre LeBrun
  (12:01 PM)

here's problem for Columbus and all-star game if it gets cancelled this year. Next year there's Olympics and no all-star game. And for 2015, the early word on street is that Toronto might be in line as Leafs start to gobble up all the big events over 3-year window to celebrate its centennial...so who knows on Columbus for all-star if it gets cancelled this year...

Pierre LeBrun
  (12:02 PM)

OK cool cats, always appreciate the great questions. Have a great weekend. And for my fellow Canadians, have a great Thanksgiving weekend