To the surprise of no one, the NHL is in another lockout. Instead of me being back to blogging about being excited for a new season, I am not excited about the lack of hockey and instead am looking for other things to fill my time for the next couple of weeks (months?).
About a week ago while on a walk along the seawall, the buddy I was walking with asked me if I could explain the lockout, if there was going to be one and my thoughts on it. My buddy who lives in Vancouver is originally from England and although he has lived here for three years now, had no idea why the NHL and NHLPA would consider going into a lockout.
My answers to him were as follows:
1. The lockout is essentially a bunch of billionaires arguing with a bunch of millionaires about money, specifically hockey related revenue (HRR). The NHL wants a similar deal like the one the NBA negotiated at 50/50 between owners/players
3. I don't care much for the squabbling between the two sides. I understand their respective stances on the issues and the moves that they have made in their negotiations and PR campaigns but in the end there is a lack of caring from myself for either side. I feel that in the end, it sucks for the fans who enjoy the sport and is hurting the momentum of growing the game/fanbases in certain cities (for example, Los Angeles)
If the lockout has gotten you down, Saturday, May 2nd, 2015 will be one of the biggest betting days of the year. We will be privy to Floyd "Money" Mayweather going up against Manny Pacquiao and earlier in the day we will get to see the first leg of the Triple Crown, the 2015 Kentucky Derby. The issues that are being discusses in the CBA negotiations are much more detailed than my answer to my friend but I thought I got at the heart of why there is a lockout. If you have been following it on TSN or Puck Daddy or any sports media outlet, you probably know the issues better than I do, in fact I know you do. I admit that my lack of understanding of the details of what is being negotiated over has fully to do with my lack of caring of the issues, the players and the owners.
Here is a video that the NHLPA released on the weekend:
Oh the fans! The fans will be hurt! It's not us! This is an NHL Owners Lockout.
Also, hello Gabriel Landeskog.
Well, I guess the effort in the video was better (from a PR standpoint) than the statement that the NHL released:
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.
Yeah...Not quite the same effect as having Landeskog in a video looking dreamily into the viewer. NHLPA wins this PR round.
First, I'd like to congratulate the Kings in their series win tonight. Congrats to my buddy over @theroyalhalf for his team advancing to the 2nd round for the first time in like a bajillion years, I know how excited he is. He is truly awesome and I honestly couldn't be happier for him. Also thank you to all the Kings fans that read my blog over the past 2 weeks and followed me on twitter, it's been fun.
I'll have some thoughts up on the blog on the Canucks in a few days but I'll need a few days before I post anything or I'll end up sounding like a Team 1040 caller. It's going to be an interesting summer... no comments
I have to wait till Sunday for the next game? Sunday?
I hate you Coldplay
Thoughts on the game:
- The 1st, 2nd and 3rd star goes to Cory Schneider
- Cory Schneider was solid in the 1st period when the Canucks were not, Cory Schneider was solid in the 2nd period and Cory Schneider was more solid in the 3rd period when he had pucks thrown at him from everywhere
- Schneider's ability to the track the puck is really good. Really fun to watch him
- No need to ask who starts Game 5, it's Cory
- That PP...geez...it's night and day with Daniel on it
- The Canucks looked timid in the 1st period until Edler scored, but had a really good 2nd and 3rd period...
- ...if you overlook the fact that at the end of the 2nd the Kings had outshot the Canucks 31-16. It was more even in the 3rd at 14 Canucks to 13 Kings
- Daniel Sedin played 19:33
- The 4th line hardly played the 3rd period and good call by AV on that
- Zach Kassian played 3:52....yeah
- Huge shift by Lapierre in the 3rd
- Brutal decision by Mason Raymond on that Anze Kopitar goal. At least he didn't fall down, right?
- Another penalty shot stop by Schneider, I believe he's undefeated so far in the NHL
It's been so long since we've played with a lead or got a powerplay goal that when they happened, I felt like I didn't know how to react. Definately a few breaths were held during the game but we got the win, so we're still alive for now. Next game is on Sunday since Rogers will be busy with Coldplay concerts ono Friday and Saturday which means more time for Daniel to recover and get a few more practices in. For us as fans and the team, it will be a long 4 day break.
Video highlights of the game:
There's hope! There's hope!
While the Pens lost players to suspensions yesterday and will be down players in their elimination Game 4, the Canucks are getting a player back from injury!
Oh, and Cory Schneider is getting the start in net. No big deal.
As if. Of course it is a big deal. It speaks volumes about what AV and Co is thinking coming into this elimination game. Botch is on a roll with his great reads, and his take on the situation can be found here. But as I wrote yesterday, choosing Schneider shows who the confidence is behind and Luongo who is clearly a proud man is gonna say the right things but be clearly hurt by this decision.
How much this means to Luongo's future here in Vancouver will be tied to AV's future here as well. There are so many ways that this can play out and we'll get to see in play out in the near future. If Schneider wins tonight then he keeps starting until he loses and Luongo has lost his job for this season and maybe his career. This event path impact's Luongo's future the most. If Schneider loses then it impact's AV's future the most. AV will possibly fired, then management staff can always reason with Luongo that it was just a coaching decision but that they still have trust in him as a player blah blah blah. That is assuming the Canucks still want to retain Luongo. These thoughts are almost too much to handle for today.
So going into tonight, we'll have Daniel back which at least has to help our PP. Schneider gets another start in net and if he can be as solid as he was last game, then we have some hope in extending the series. And hope to extend the series is all we have right now.
Our enemy blog for tonight is The Royal Half, go check him out, he's got a great photoshop of hologram Daniel Sedin. And follow him on twitter if you don't already.
At the time that I write this there is 4.5 more hours to puck drop.
This is going to feel like forever.
I'll leave you something to amuse yourself while you wait. It's something I came across last night on twitter via @lafreak331
Amazing right? no comments
Who is starting tomorrow? Luongo? Schneider?
Will we see both back next season or just the one that starts tomorrow?
Great read by Jason Botchford of The Province on this topic. Go read it and then come back and we'll toss around a few questions.
A few months ago I could not see a situation where Cory Schneider could be back in Vancouver next season. I was convinced that he would be traded at the draft to Tampa or Florida or Toronto or another city who needs a starting goalie (and there are a few). I was convinced that not only did Cory want to be a starter, that he would was to start making some money and those two factors would not allow for him to remain in Vancouver.
But what if this could be possible?
Is it possible now that Cory could sign a larger contract in Vancouver and continue to split the net with Roberto? I used to think that the Canucks couldn't afford him but think about how much money they spend on Keith Ballard and just end up scratching him during the season. They keep a lot of money on extra d-men that they don't play that could be redistributed to #35. If there is a will and he accepts taking on shared goaltending duties, there could be a way.
Or what if he becomes the starter in Vancouver? Yes I just wrote that. Last season even with the meltdown of Luongo and the vitriol being directed his way, I don't think fans could have pictured him actually being traded. This time round with Schneider posting better stats the outrage wouldn't be there.
Whoever AV starts tomorrow will leave a lot of questions for the summer. If that goalie happens to win tomorrow it will make this discussion even more interesting. no comments