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December 19, 1:00 PM ET
Chat with Pierre LeBrun

Pierre LeBrun
  (12:59 PM)

Greetings from Toronto, et Joyeux Noel at tous !

Henry (Tampa, FL)

Does Gary Bettman believe the owners will get a better deal if the season if cancelled?

Pierre LeBrun
  (1:01 PM)

He has told me on countless occasions that he'd much rather do a deal to salvage a season. However, I think it's clear the league/owners believe if there is no season, the deal gets worse for the players.Whether or not that proves to be true, who the heck knows.

Mike (MN)

If a shortened season occurs, how do the Wild plan on building chemistry among new free agents coming in and their prospects coming up?

Pierre LeBrun
  (1:02 PM)

It's a great question. And certainly I believe the teams that have the best shot in a 48-game or so season are those without the fewest amount of changes. Instant chemistry will give those teams an early jump. The LA Kings, for example, especially with the rest/recovery that they've been afforded that Cup champs usually don't benefit from, should be good right out of the gates.

Tim (Guam)

What does it take to get the two sides to start Arbitration? The public is fed up with this whole thing.

Pierre LeBrun
  (1:03 PM)

Don't think you'll ever see arbitration, neither side would want to lose that kind of control over the process.My guess is we'll see one last push in talks over next 2-3 weeks and then either we get a season or it gets cancelled.

david (maryland)

what are the chances that the nhl starts the season in mid january?

Pierre LeBrun
  (1:03 PM)

who knows !

Chris (New York)

Pierre,We almost had a breakthrough 2 weeks ago when the "moderates" took center stage until it all fell apart...my question is, after that debacle, how much influence in each camp do the moderates still have? Are they frozen out with each side dug in, or are their voices being heard behind the scenes?

Pierre LeBrun
  (1:04 PM)

The moderates are still pushing hard, I can tell you that... like I said, there's one push left, after that, brace yourselves

Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)

Have you been watching AHL Hockey while the NHL is Locked Out?

Pierre LeBrun
  (1:04 PM)

not a whole lot actually. Been watching a lot of NFL. And Sopranos/Curb Your Enthusiasm re-runs

Chatardio (Chatopia)

Terry Crisp said that when the NHL returns, all hits to the head are likely to be outlawed. Are hits to the head what has caused the NHLPA to outright reject the owners previously reasonable offer?

Pierre LeBrun
  (1:05 PM)

I don't believe there is any plan in place at the NHL Hockey Ops level to make any drastic changes coming out of the lockout

Chatardio (Chatopia)

Would it be illegal for the NHL to declare that in order for it to continue doing business, due to how much damage the legal lockout has caused (if it is judged in a court of law as legal), it must lower the salary cap by $25 million per team specifically so that it can make all ticket prices that much lower in order to bring back the fans. Also, if the lockout is judged in a court of law to be illegal, then would the owners having to pay triple the salaries to players bankrupt the league?

Pierre LeBrun
  (1:05 PM)

The NHLPA would never agree to that, and the salary cap must be collectively bargained

Chatardio (Chatopia)

The question "who is the better hockey player" regarding Mario Lemieux and Wayne Gretzky has many times been asked, but between them, who is the better owner? Gretzky is technically still a part owner of the Coyotes, isn't he?

Pierre LeBrun
  (1:06 PM)

nope, Gretzky is no longer owner with Phoenix.And yes, Gretzky is the greatest player of all time

JD (Seattle)

Here's a thought on why the PA should not disband ... say Bettman follows through with cancelling this season. As soon as that happens, the PA should then say ... "from here on forward, any proposal will begin with 'elimination of the salary cap.'" If it does not, they then reject any offers in just under two minutes (as the NHL did with them a few months ago). Wouldn't you think that if Bettman cancels the season, all leverage would fall to the PA? Bettman wouldn't have the guts to cancel two straight seasons would he? And if he did, wouldn't the owners have to take some action at that point against Bettman and do whatever they can to not allow that to happen? Losing the revenue of one season is bad, but to lose it for two years in row??

Pierre LeBrun
  (1:07 PM)

You've got about a million questions in here, LOL. But the answer is yes, Bettman is willing to cancel another season if the players don't accept what he feels is a fair deal. All of which makes me want to bang my head against a wall. This league can't afford another lost season

Bill (Boston)

If the players are to file a disclaimer does that mean an end to the season?? Also if they are no longer a union who would represent them in a possible deal ?? How do you see this playing out ? and will there be a season?

Pierre LeBrun
  (1:08 PM)

Likely means end of a season although it's possible both sides could do a quick agreement a few days after they file. Once they file, NHLPA staff can't represent the players in talks. It would have to be other lawyers, etc.

Niko (Kansas)

Pierre, my take on where we are right now is that both sides are really close to a deal (when you put things in perspective) and each side feels that whoever makes the next move is going to end up with a worse deal than if the other side did, and so they're playing a game of chicken with some January drop dead date. Is that far off base?

Pierre LeBrun
  (1:09 PM)

pretty good

Cheapskates Jacobs (Boston)

I told you i would get my 24% one way or the other and now we have all the leverage on the players .... Right??

Pierre LeBrun
  (1:09 PM)

Um, you're not getting your 24 percent. There is no rollback in this CBA>

Niko (Kansas)

Pierre, how do you do it? If I were having to cover this lockout, I think I would either have been fired from writing scathing articles blasting both sides, or else I would have CTE from excessively banging my head against the wall in frustration.

Pierre LeBrun
  (1:09 PM)

The latter

JD (Seattle)

Why does it seem like not enough owners are speaking up internally? Seems to me that the five-year contract term limit wouldn't actually be that big of a deal to most owners, and far from the "hill they're willing to die on"? If owners were really against it, they should make it an internal policy not to offer contracts over five years, just like some have policies not to offer no-trade clause. If other owners are willing to offer more than five years, then obviously they don't have a problem with it. Could it be looked at as collusion? Maybe, but owners could argue that "policy is policy".

Pierre LeBrun
  (1:10 PM)

Lots of owners are speaking up internally, believe me

Niko (Kansas)

Pierre, I'm not a fan of this deadline negotiating strategy (by either the NHL or Congress). Both sides know the other is holding out for the deadline, so it just slows down negotiations and backfires when the deadline comes without a deal. IMO, both the players and the owners would rather miss games than give up control in the negotiations to a 3rd party through something like binding arbitration. In the grand scheme of things, wouldn't it be more effective to set a deadline BEFORE the season where, if there's no deal in place, they go through binding arbitration? At least then they can have their little war without doing collateral damage to the NHL brand.

Pierre LeBrun
  (1:10 PM)

That would have been nice, yes. But neither side would ever conform to binding arb

Chatardio (Chatopia)

If the NHL season is cancelled, then the PHWA (Professional Hockey Writers' Association) ought to vote on awarding an anti-Hart Memorial Trophy, an anti-Lady Byng Memorial Trophy, an anti-Calder Memorial Trophy, an anti-James Norris Memorial Trophy, an anti-Conn Smythe Trophy, an anti-Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy, and an anti-Frank J. Selke Trophy to the most deserving members of the NHL and the NHLPA. Something that can bring back the fans when the NHL returns, is for one lucky fan during one game in each NHL city to pie in the face Gary Bettman and Donald Fehr.

Pierre LeBrun
  (1:10 PM)

Haha, I will pass this on to our PHWA president :)

Jordan (FL)

If they lose another full Season there is no way every Team will be able to come back...and the Teams that would fold are Gary's babies. Is this Fehr's big leverage he is trying to exploit until the last minute to get the truly best deal possible for the Players? I know...fool me once, but it is still hard to imagine Bettman risking that over the differences that were in the NHLPA's last offer.

Pierre LeBrun
  (1:11 PM)

Fehr's leverage? If teams fold, that's a bigger concern for the players than the owners. Jobs lost to players

Mike (SJ)

Let's suppose the season gets cancelled and this all ends up in court, where the league ends up "winning" and voiding all existing player contracts. At that point, if I'm a player, I vow to never play for the NHL owners again and instead help form a new league that is partially owned by the players and has a single ownership group instead of 30. MLH (Major League Hockey) is formed with 16 franchises in its first season, with plans to quickly expand. It goes only into buildings that don't have leases with NHL teams, with eyes to relocate franchises once the NHL folds, which it will once all the best players refuse to play there. Far fetched or the most likely outcome if there is no new CBA in a month?

Pierre LeBrun
  (1:13 PM)

First of all, an important point here. If the NHL is only seeking to void all player contracts if it LOSES its attempt to block from the NHLPA from having the lockout deemed illegal. So to be clear, if the NHL is victorious in having the lockout upheld in court, it is NOT seeking to have all contracts voided.

Fed UP (Colorado)

Season?s Greetings Pierre! Given that diplomacy and civility haven?t worked so far, I have a proposed solution to this lockout that?s a little unorthodox. I think they should put the last owner?s proposal on a table along with the player?s last counter offer. Then Bettman and Fehr roshambo for it. Take turns kicking each other in the groin until one of them relents. The winner?s proposal is the basis for a new CBA. Sure it?s crude, but both sides deserve a kick to the seeds for allowing this to happen to the league and its fans.

Pierre LeBrun
  (1:13 PM)

Give them an octogon ring?

Tim (Tampa)

So far the players have lost over 700 million to get the owner to moved 89 million, when does logic set in for the players on how much money they are losing that they will never get back even if the owners do compromise on the remaining issues?

Pierre LeBrun
  (1:14 PM)

Good point... mind you many players i talk to say this is much more than just about this deal. They want to stop the cycle of lockouts from the owners....

Mike L (Philadelphia)

My 8 year-old son and I are depressed :-( Pierre is it as simple as there are enough owners (8+) losing money and they will not settle for anything less than what they believe the need? Not taking the owners side but maybe the players should try to just squeeze a little more from them and take the deal?

Pierre LeBrun
  (1:14 PM)

More than have the teams in the league claim to have lost money last season. There's your reason for this insanity

Michael (LA)

First, thank you for your coverage, and mostly your support of the fans. For whatever it's worth, please keep fighting for us. It's nice to know that someone out there is thinking of us first.Now, my question: If Daly and Fehr both know that this thing is going to drag out to the bitter end before a deadline deal is done, why don't they cut the garbage (I was going to use a much stronger word there, but this is a family website), sit down and do what they plan to do at the deadline now?! They both know the other isn't going to blink until then, so why make the players, owners, the sponsors, and (most importantly) THE FANS, wait another three weeks watching this pathetic game of chicken?

Pierre LeBrun
  (1:15 PM)

You wish it could work that way, I mean, if that were the case they could have settled this in August. But unfortunately, 11th hour is almost always the case

Pat (NYC)

Mr. LeBrun, when all is said and done the fans and, I'm sure, the media types are going to look at the settlement and say, "Duh, you could have gotten there in Oct. Why did we have to miss 3+ months of hockey?" My short answer is the egos of the two leaders (?), Bettman and Fehr. If one or both remain, what is to stop this from happening again? GB has proved that his only tactics are lockout and bully. Will there ever be labor peace in the NHL?

Pierre LeBrun
  (1:16 PM)

I mean I think that's the key to this league ever recovering from this stupid lockout, labor peace for a long, long, long time Otherwise fans will turn the page for good

Joe (Texas)

What are your thoughts on Mike Babcock's comments? Hyperbolic as they may have been, what do you think the real impact will be of this lockout on the game's popularity?

Pierre LeBrun
  (1:18 PM)

I believe the damage of this lockout far exceeds any of previous NHL work stoppages. For 2 reasons:1 _ Fans can't wrap their minds around what/why both sides are fighting over? (last time the cap was more clear as a philosophical debate)2 _ the compounding effect of a 2nd work stoppage in eight years, a third in 15 years; fans have had enough. How many times before you cut ties if your spouse is cheating on you? That's how fans feel with his lockout

Scot (Det)

If the players share goes from 57% to 50% will that change be reflected in players salary and cap hit? what i mean is if the cap drops to 60 mil, will teams at 60 mil under 57% cba still be at 60 mil uder new 50% cba?

Pierre LeBrun
  (1:19 PM)

Not sure I understand your question but will try to answer: current salaries will not change in new CBA. So for teams to get under the $60 million cap in Year 2 of the CBA, they will have to shed salary if they are over. But player contracts are not affects. Only thing that will likely happen however is that player will owe escrow payments.

Alex (Anaheim)

Who wins the stacked Atlantic should there be an impromptu season?

Pierre LeBrun
  (1:19 PM)

Rangers

Vinnie (San Jose)

Let's be optimistic and say a deal gets done soon, does John Collins become the most important person in the NHL in terms of a plan, promotions, big events to bring the fans back?

Pierre LeBrun
  (1:20 PM)

He becomes the most important off-ice person for sure. He's a sharp guy and the game will need him to sell the game again.But the players will once again sell the game. Always have

Chris (cvanderw@gmail.com)

I'm so tired of hearing the players cry about "trust" and the "lack of respect", especially when you take into account their childish rants in the Twitter-sphere. This is business. The owners aren't your friends in these negotiations. So what if they came at you with a low-ball offer to kick things off -- get over it! Maybe, just maybe, you wouldn't have gotten such a low offer if you had started these negotiations months ago, instead of waiting until the last minute just so you could have more leverage with the start of the new season looming. Perhaps if you didn't tout your willingness to play this season under the old CBA (which was clearly slanted in your favor) and make the owners out to be an evil collective, hell-bent on destroying hockey for their own greed (which is ironic since most people now feel like this about your NHLPA and leader, Der Fehr), the owners wouldn't be so set on dictating their terms, and more willing to have an open dialogue about the issues.Maybe next time the CBA expires you can act more like professionals, instead of acting like NBA prima-donnas.

Pierre LeBrun
  (1:22 PM)

On the on hand, agreed that it would have been nice for talks to start a year before they did... on the other hand, I fear both these sides have shown that it may dragged out to now anyway because the deadline of season hanging in the balance is what will utlimately push both sides to their best possible positions.Sadly

Andy (Lynchburg, VA)

Pierre,How about an actual hockey question for you! A lot of writers etc. are speculating that "young teams" such as the Oilers/Pens etc. would have an advantage coming out of the lockout due to many playing in the AHL etc. But wouldn't teams like the Bruins, that have had a stable coaching situation, and "veteran" team that's used to Julien's system also have a leg up?

Pierre LeBrun
  (1:23 PM)

Yes I'd say teams like Boston and LA and St. Louis, teams with very little changeover will benefit most. ALthough my Cup pick is NYR

Bill (Vegas)

I'm starting to get the feeling the NHL isn't really interested in making a deal and want to blow it all up and start over. They seem way too close to a deal to just blow up another season if they truly want the best for the game.

Pierre LeBrun
  (1:23 PM)

Believe me, they want to salvage a season

Jim (Chicago)

No talks scheduled, no proposals on the table, no indication that a deal is to be made. How can the season be salvaged if we are less than a month away from reaching the 48 game minimum?

Pierre LeBrun
  (1:24 PM)

First 7-10 days of January will tell the tale. I expect there will be one last push for negotiations then

Larry (New York)

Hey Pierre, I'm upset at the media coverage of the lockout. I don't like that both sides are being blamed. this is CLEARLY the fault of the owners. The players are giving and the owners are taking. The owners are being greedy pigs because the last time they cancelled a season, the NHL came back better then ever...it won't happen this time.

Pierre LeBrun
  (1:25 PM)

No question the players have done most of the giving in this lockout but that was TO BE EXPECTED given the NBA and NFL labor deals. You can't ignore industry standards. Fehr's job was to make best out of a bad situation. I think both sides have made mistakes in this lockout, and therefore both sides deserve criticism

Seth (NJ)

If/when the NHL returns... what happens to any player who chooses to stay in Europe or Russia? I know the NHL and KHL have a deal to honor each others contracts, not sure about the other leagues, but I don't believe they'd force out any player who wanted to stay.

Pierre LeBrun
  (1:25 PM)

Any player under a valid NHL SPC that doesn't return to play in a shortened season will face suspension

Nick C (San Jose)

what do you think the date is on the NHL cancelling the season?

Pierre LeBrun
  (1:25 PM)

Sometime around mid-January

mike (sacramento)

If this lockout goes into next season, do you see some franchises going under?

Pierre LeBrun
  (1:26 PM)

yes

Jack (Philadelphia)

all this talk of profit sharing drives me nuts... my tickets prices have doubled since the last lockout while my teams payroll has dropped... they need to contract 6 teams instead of asking season ticket holders from other teams to prop them up.

Pierre LeBrun
  (1:27 PM)

I had one NHL governor tell me this week that if there's no NHL season, that the approach should change at that point and the owners/league need to take a bigger picture look at what the economic model needs to look like. And he said he'd like to see 3-4 teams gone to make the league stronger

kurt (Buff)

I haven't heard much/ anything from Terry Pegula. As a new owner, I would think that he would be all in on trying to get a deal done. Have you heard anything about his involvement, or lack there of?

Pierre LeBrun
  (1:27 PM)

I know he's tremendously upset with what's transpired and Bettman knows it. But Pegula isn't going to risk the huge fine for speaking publicly

Drew (London)

It seems as if a small portion of each side is what is keeping us from having hockey. That is the most ridiculous part of it to me. So many willing to risk their livelihood and way of life for the interests of a few.

Pierre LeBrun
  (1:28 PM)

interesting point, hadn't thought of that

Easton (Cincinnati)

I'm sure you are aware of the ESPN NHL 13 simulations. I know that it is a video game but do you think that some of these standings are legit if there were a season?

Pierre LeBrun
  (1:28 PM)

I have not looked at it, hahaha. Trying to keep sane

TJ (Boston)

So what is all this talk about consequences for the league? Let's face it, the casual fans that the sport had gained in the last decade are now totally gone. I'm a hardcore fan, and I demand alimony from the league if I am gonna keep supporting it.. What exactly is a further consequence for a league that now fits below MMA, NASCAR, and often Golf on ESPN?

Pierre LeBrun
  (1:29 PM)

Thank God for Canada for the NHL ! haha

Jeff (Clearwater)

How about Vinik giving all the Lightning employees paid time off for the rest of the year (without making them use their vacation)? We love our owner down here, it is all the owners that are the problem ;)

Pierre LeBrun
  (1:29 PM)

he's a great owner, agreed

Easton (Cincinnati)

Mr. Lebrun, if there is a season... what teams do you think would be pretty good and pretty bad?

Pierre LeBrun
  (1:30 PM)

I think the Kings could win it all again but I picked a NYR-Blues Cup finals just to be different.Pens, Bruins, Canucks, Hawks will also be tough to be beat

Rob (NYC)

Pierre if the season is cancelled and a CBA is agreed upon in the summer I assume a draft lottery will be held. Would Columbus get the Rangers ping pong ball in the lottery from the Nash deal? Or, would the Rangers pick in the lottery and then give up their first rounder after the next season is played?

Pierre LeBrun
  (1:31 PM)

Dont' know the answer to that. Will endeavor to find out once and only once the season is cancelled :)

GoAway (SJ Ca)

Hi, if the season is cancelled which veterans do you feel might retire?

Pierre LeBrun
  (1:32 PM)

Guys like Adrian Aucoin, Teemu Selanne, Sean O'Donnell just to name a few. Should be fairly substantial list

Joe (Texas)

Follow up: So do you think there's anything that can be done to mitigate the damage caused by this lockout? Or do you think that whatever damage is done is on the books now?

Pierre LeBrun
  (1:32 PM)

In the books

Paul (Chicago, Il)

I may be reading to much into it, but with some of your answers, you seem to beyond done talking about this lockout?

Pierre LeBrun
  (1:32 PM)

pretty much, hahaha

Mike (Los Angeles)

If expansion has left struggling teams losing money and successful franchises footing the bill, why isn't contraction being discussed. Economically, if you can't pay your bills, you trim wasteful spending.

Pierre LeBrun
  (1:34 PM)

As I said earlier in this chat, I've actually spoken to some team execs that believe if there's no season, that a broader economic discussion should take place which includes the merits of losing a few teams... having said that, I don't think Bettman is in favor of that at all

JD (PA (not the JD from Seattle, I promise))

Pierre, in my opinion, if the NHL does come back this year they need to do some serious kissing up to the fans. Creating more WCs will lessen the significance of the game so that's not a good idea. In your opinion, obviously outside of lower ticket prices, how can they actually win fans back? And please don't just say, "By putting a good product on the ice." They need to get creative, and desperate to make up for this circus

Pierre LeBrun
  (1:40 PM)

My ideas if I were the NHL commissioner (I wish):1 _ make sure re-alignment happens for 2013-14 season, that will generate some excitement2 _ I would add a ''play-in" round for the playoffs, a best-of-3 before we get to 16 teams3 _ I would cancel the all-star game for life. 4 _ I would make permanent a World Cup of Hockey which plays on the opposite cycle of the Olympics and I would hole the World CUp in February (every 4 years)5 _ I would look at some rule changes that make sense, including going to Ken Holland's 3-on-3 OT idea (once 4-on-4 period is over without a goal)6 _ I would start the regular season third of September and make sure there's not a single game played past May 31. People don't want hockey in June.7 _ I would make the start of free agency an extension of draft weekend. So when the draft ends on the Saturday, I would make Day 1 of free agency on the Sunday and keep all 30 NHL front offices in the draft city for 3-4 days to create huge buzz for start of free agency8 _ I would also gather all 30 front offices in same city for NHL trade deadline days. Make it a huge media event with fans in the stands when trades are announced9 _ I would strongly study the merits of having NHL teams in Europe. I'd move my six weakest NHL markets in the U.S. to Europe and create a European division10 _ I would have both sides sign a side agreement guaranteeing no labor disputes for 30 years.

jeremy (Detroit)

i heard that it is good that the red wings didn;t get suter and parisie bec. with this whole cap situation they would be in trouble in the coming years. Is that true?

Pierre LeBrun
  (1:41 PM)

no, they would rather have those guys, believe me

Mike (Pa)

If and when the dust settles on this drama, what are the chances the Pens will be able to afford to keep their young core together. Will they be able to pay guys like Malkin, Letang, etc...?

Pierre LeBrun
  (1:42 PM)

I think dealing Staal helped a lot in that regard, and if they can find a taker for Paul Martin they should be ok keeping their core together

Paul (Ann Arbor)

Mr. Lebrun, 12-year Panthers fan here. This lockout shouldn't have happened. Why did these two parties have to re-invent the wheel for this CBA? It feels like the 2005 agreement is completely irrelevant and they started from scratch this year! Why?!? You said it yourself, this should have been a "math correction" only.

Pierre LeBrun
  (1:44 PM)

It's beyond me. Should have been a simple correction. Not a war.

Ryan (Philly)

Come on Pierre, you can't break with tradition! The Sharks are clearly the Cup favorites if there's a season!

Pierre LeBrun
  (1:45 PM)

I know, I'm finally giving up my yearly schitck :)

Ryan (San Jose, CA)

Have you heard any talk regarding replacement players?

Pierre LeBrun
  (1:45 PM)

Nope

Joe (Texas)

When we eventually get hockey back, do you think Braden Holtby will be as strong for the Caps as he was in the playoffs last year?

Pierre LeBrun
  (1:45 PM)

yes

Pierre LeBrun
  (1:45 PM)

yes

AJ (Brooklyn, NY)

Pierre, do you think a shortened season would actually help a team like the Rangers, that appeared to run out of gas at the end of the past few years, mostly because of the style that Tortorella has implemented? A (relatively) fresh Henrik Lundqvist would make a huge difference there as well, I would think.

Pierre LeBrun
  (1:46 PM)

yup, agreed

Keith (NYC)

It is such a shame. The NHL is, at best, the 4th most popular sport in the U.S. Lockouts and negotiations like this don't help its cause. When will the billionaires and millionaires wake up and realize this and understand that they will soon be surpassed by other sports, such as soccor, etc., particularly in light of current events and how important sports are to children and young adults.

Pierre LeBrun
  (1:47 PM)

Don't need to add a word to this. Amen

Mike (SJ)

You think any owner has the guts to call out the league and say this lockout has gotten stupid. Yes, it will cost him north of $1 million and draft picks, but he'll win over fans and have free agents eager to play for him. I'd do it.

Pierre LeBrun
  (1:47 PM)

I mean as much as there are owners frustrated with their own side's direction/decisions in this lockout, the majority of owners are still way more upset with Don Fehr

will (chi-town)

thanks for keeping some fans sane during this pathetic showing of "negotiating" supplmenting the whos good whos bad question, clearly the hawks will be good with superstar forwards, norris trophy-led defense, and decent depth throughout..EXCEPT GOALTENDING i read an article on an offbrand website about Brian Elliot and Luongo as options for the hawks and just had to laugh...how do u see corey crawford taking the brunt of the reason the hawks didnt advance and do u see any other REASONABLE free agent/trade goaltenders thye could have

Pierre LeBrun
  (1:48 PM)

Offbrand website? I learn new words every day, haha.I know the Hawks and Kings talked about Jonathan Bernier last summer but it never happened....

Chris (NJ)

What team(s) are affected the most by this lockout in terms of their "window" of winning a cup?

Pierre LeBrun
  (1:49 PM)

I think in San Jose _ if there's no season _ you see the SHarks look at blowing that baby up and focusing on their young prospects, etc...

Jacob (Los Angeles)

What are the chances Bettman loses his job after this? I like your ideas if you were commish, but Bettman could never pull those off because he has zero diplomacy skills. He only understands going nuclear. Look at how he handled the realignment regarding the NHLPA. Treating the players as an inconvenience in the matter, when their professional and personal lives are greatly impacted. That soured things even before the owner's awful first offer.If the owners want to win fans back, firing Bettman is a good start.

Pierre LeBrun
  (1:50 PM)

Tough to say what Bettman's future is. You have to understand that he's got a lot of owners still in his side. Depends on how this all plays out in the end.

Mike (Cleveland)

Hi Pierre - any chance the owners planned all along to lose a year so they could come back with a few less teams next season? Or is this really just two sides who can't find a way to close a deal? Thanks for the time.

Pierre LeBrun
  (1:50 PM)

no chance. They wanted hockey this year

Henrik (Seattle)

I read an article today, blaming the lack of revenue sharing among the owner for the lock-out. Apparently NHL owners barely share revenue at all which is causing obvious problems. What's your take on this and will this ever be addressed as it seems like a major factor for the struggling small market teams.

Pierre LeBrun
  (1:51 PM)

yes revenue sharing wasn't very good in the last CBA, but new CBA will raise it from $150 million in the last deal to $220 million or so

Brent (Marengo)

Is the rest of the season canceled or just the end of the year?

Pierre LeBrun
  (1:51 PM)

games through Dec. 30 are cancelled right now. My guess is by Friday you'll see two more weeks chopped off

Paul (Ann Arbor)

Mr. Lebrun, threat of disclaimer worked in the NBA (so it seems). Will it work here too or do we have to wait for ANOTHER game changer?

Pierre LeBrun
  (1:51 PM)

hope it works, but hard to tell

Vinny P (PA)

There ya go, Pierre. If you can give up your Sharks schtick, they should be able to come to a deal.

Pierre LeBrun
  (1:52 PM)

hahahaha

Brent (Chi Town)

Do you think that if the season begins, that there will be less fans watching games then normal?

Pierre LeBrun
  (1:53 PM)

I hope so, owners/players need to be sent a message

Andrew (Chicago)

Why are the owners and Bettman so upset/frustrated with Fehr? Because he wouldn't roll over and accept their demands?

Pierre LeBrun
  (1:53 PM)

They feel he's been a ''moving target" in talks

Paul (Ann Arbor)

You mentioned in your long response to JD that "I'd move my six weakest NHL markets in the U.S. to Europe and create a European division"... As of today, who are those six teams? The 6 lowest on that Forbes list?

Pierre LeBrun
  (1:55 PM)

Florida, Anaheim, Phoenix, Columbus, Islanders are for sure 5 teams I'd move to Europe. Not sure about No. 6, that's a tougher call

Lou (Pittsburgh)

With it recently coming to light that the Canuck's and Ryan Kessler's representatives disagree on the status of his injury/rehab, can we expect similar cases involving injured players to pop up soon - since injured players are the only one's making any money right now?!

Pierre LeBrun
  (1:55 PM)

yes that would be predictable for sure

Paul (Ann Arbor)

This is a conspiracy! I've never spent more time on TSN.com and ESPN.com than during this lockout! It's you guys pulling the strings!

Pierre LeBrun
  (1:56 PM)

hahaha, keep coming back !

Mark (Toronto)

Hey Pierre, while this situation is sad, and it is easy to cast villians on both sides, isn't it really a simple case of economics? The owners want to change the employment terms and, greedy or not, it is their right to do so. The players, unfortunately, have little leverage becasue unlike the other major sports, most Americans don't care about hockey and most Canadians will come back regardless so the owners do not have the same pressure.

Pierre LeBrun
  (1:56 PM)

interesting point, but as you can see, hockey players don't shy away from a fight.

Tony (Boston)

Hey Pierre - Season tix holder here I just returned every piece of NHL stuff that my wife bought for Christmas. Unfortunately, we the fans can't do enough to make these guys care even a little about how we feel.

Pierre LeBrun
  (1:56 PM)

Good for you, taking a stand.

JM (Boston, MA)

Hi Pierre, as desperately as I want hockey back, I really feel like a shortened season diminishes the accomplishment of winning the Cup...both for teams that earned it thru the rigor of a full season and also the winner of the shortened season (people think if their win with an asterisk). What does greater damage to the game: cheapening the championship or losing the season? Curios to know your stance

Pierre LeBrun
  (1:57 PM)

I still prefer a shortened season over no season at all. Not having the Cup awarded in 2005 was a total disgrace

Bill (MA)

Love your move six weakest teams to Europe idea. What six do you think should be closed down and relocated?

Pierre LeBrun
  (1:58 PM)

who do you think my sixth team should be?

Pens Fan (PA)

How about the next time they get a big room put all the owners and players in one room and lock the door? Tell them they cannot come out until a deal is reached. I bet there wouldn't be another lockout.

Pierre LeBrun
  (1:58 PM)

I like it

Brent (Chi Town)

If the season starts and they only end up playing 40 or so games will the still have the allstar break?

Pierre LeBrun
  (1:59 PM)

Nope, all-star game has been cancelled. Mercifully.

will (chi-town)

offbrand meaning not ESPN/TSN just didn't want to call it out specifically ...Bernier with a crawford backup would be a solid duo....how do u see the red wings fairing post-lidstrom era...alot of anti-wings fans keep mentioning the dead wings era, but i just dont see falling THAT far

Pierre LeBrun
  (2:00 PM)

Wings won't fall that far but they will fall a bit for sure. They didn't just lose Lidstrom, they also lost Stuart. And with Stuart and Lidstrom still in the lineup, they haven't gone far in the playoffs since 2009

Hockey Fan (Boston)

Hey Pierre - when do we all just give up and stop caring? Actually I can't believe I still care.

Pierre LeBrun
  (2:00 PM)

And that's just the point. If I were not a journalist but rather a fan, I'd stop caring by now

Nik (Vietnam)

Pierre, it seems to my non-expert reading that underpinning all of this is the NHLs preference for difficult expansion over consolidation (eg. two teams in florida but only one in toronto). If I'm right, why is this not being discussed? Surely moving the Panthers north of the border, for example, would help the small market owners dilemma?

Pierre LeBrun
  (2:01 PM)

It sure would

tdiddy (winnipeg) [via mobile]

I have no intrest in talking about the lockout anymore. Let's talk about you. Are you a cat or a dog person? Oh and the NHL and the NHLPA are morons.

Pierre LeBrun
  (2:01 PM)

Dog.

Hockey Fan (Boston)

Please tell me these guys CANNOT BE DUMB ENOUGH to lose another full season.

Pierre LeBrun
  (2:01 PM)

hope you're right

Brent (Chi Town)

Thanks for answering me questions! Bye!

Pierre LeBrun
  (2:01 PM)

ok buddy. cheers and Happy Holidays

Jason (NJ)

I there is a short season who will the Devils still be a solid team?

Pierre LeBrun
  (2:02 PM)

I think the post-Parise Devils will fall a bit

Amanda (Clearwater)

when the NHL comes back, i will be one of the first people at the arena. Just bought more stuff and will hold onto my season tickets. I miss it, but will be extra happy when it is back.

Pierre LeBrun
  (2:02 PM)

then the NHL loves you

Pierre LeBrun
  (2:02 PM)

OK cool cats, Happy Holidays to all of you, please don't drink and drive but have fun over the next 2 weeks.