Feb. 9, 2012; Detroit, MI, USA; NHL commissioner Gary Bettman announces the 2013 Winter Classic game between the Detroit Red Wings and Toronto Maple Leafs during a press conference at Comerica Park. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-US PRESSWIRE

A Plan B Already?

Gary A. Vasquez-US PRESSWIRE

Quick hit on a slow Friday in Flyerdom (Sixers stole the show today). Prohockeytalk.com has reported today that the NHL is already talking about a possible plan B if we do enter lockout time beginning September 15th. The plans are that a collection of NHL superstars would play a group of Russian superstars from the KHL in a a series of games that would take place in Moscow, Halifax, Quebec City, and a place to be determined in Southern Ontario.

This is not an unusual circumstance as in the past we have seen locked out players play exhibition games against each other in various locations around the world. The prohockeytalk.com article went on to mention the Ninety-Nine All-Star Tour which was rolling through the 1994-95 lockout season. Take a wild guess who started the tour? That’s right Wayne Gretzky joined by players like Grant Fuhr, Sergei Fedorov, Brett Hull, Mark Messier and Steve Yzerman played eight games in five different countries. That would definitely been worth a look. Not nearly as great as an 82 game season plus playoffs, but entertaining none the less.

My problem with the whole thing is that we as fans are not trying to hear about plan B before plan A has been exhausted. The negotiations just started. Let’s try to settle this thing before we jump the gun and start talking as if were already locked out. There is more then a month until the September 15th deadline. NHL players did not take the talk of plan B well either. Quite a few of them took to Twitter today to voice their and bash Gary Bettman. Mainly they were bashing Gary Bettman. Henrik Lundqvist tweeted today “The @NHL says they won’t play past Sept 15th under current deal. Apparently they don’t like the deal they designed” and also “Reasons for my behavior, still adjusting to parenthood.. Or it could be Gary Bettman’s comments on shutting down the league..” Brandon Prust also tweeted about his problems with the league’s decision to start talking about plan B – “Disappointed the League is talking about a lockout before we even give our @NHLPA counter proposal.”

Friday graced us with some good news though as the two sides met today and it was reported that it was a good session. The problem with the talks today were that the big issues were not brought. Those big issues being money, money and money. Today discipline was a hot topic. No new CBA. No season. No discipline necessary. I think there are more important issues to get to. The hard negotiations should start next week when the NHLPA hands in their counter proposal. The reaction of the owners to it will tell us all we need to know about where these negotiations are headed. Stay tuned. It could be a long summer.

-John LaMarra


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