Morning NHL/Pens Buzz: If owners don’t budge, Fehr has large enough group of players behind him to sit out entire season

MORNING PENS/NHL BUZZ
(VETERAN PLAYER TELLS US IT’S “HIS RIGHT” TO LOOK OUT FOR YOUNGER PLAYERS)
Penguin and NHL fans hoping to see Santa Claus deliver an end to the NHL lockout on Christmas day will be disappointed. All greedy billionaire owners and greedy millionaire players are giving fans for Christmas is going to be a lump of coal.
With just around three to four weeks to save the season for a 48 game season, negotiations between the NHL and NHLPA are at a true stalemate as things are headed to the courts.
What to expect next is the NHL cancelling additional games for the first couple weeks in January, setting the stage for a drop dead date to be made (internally). Many in the know feel it won’t be later than January 15th.
(Winnipeg Jets Evander Kane in Vegas via Yahoo Sports
If there’s going to be an NHL season, NHL sources continue to contend the same thing they’ve been telling me for weeks; It’s going to be a last second deal (mid-January) as Don Fehr’s strategy has also been to play a game of poker and take negotiations to the last minute. With the NHL holding firm and telling the NHLPA that they have to make the next move, NHL officials indicate that their belief all along about Fehr not being interested in making a deal until the last minute is coming true.
The scary thing is this. The buzz from players I’ve spoken with in the past couple days is that while there’s a decent size group of players who would accept the owners last offer if a vote were to happen, Don Fehr still has a large enough group strongly behind him that they are willing to sit out the season if the NHL doesn’t budge between now and mid-January. I don’t believe this kind of talk is just posturing from the players. The NHL and the players are truly stupid enough to lose an entire season.
One veteran player,

I ran into Friday afternoon away from the rink who will probably never make up the money he’s losing this season by not playing, told me the same thing in that he feels the season will be lost if the owners don’t come off their previous offer. The player told me it’s “his right” to look out for the younger players, especially if there’s going to be a CBA term in the 8-10 year range. Fehr has the players strongly believing that they are the ones making the big concessions here.
I’ve always felt there would be a last second deal agreed upon between the sides but with the egos at play, it’s truly 50-50 that there’s going to be a season.

About The Author

William DePaoli

TIOPS Insider

William DePaoli is the President/Founder of Inside Pittsburgh Sports LLC and can be reached at wdepaoli@insidepittsburghsports.com

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