Well, in case you haven’t heard, the NHL cancelled more games on Thursday, this time all the way through January 14th, which means 50.8% of the season has been cancelled. This is coming just a day after NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly said that he still believes there will be a NHL season. Well, the chances are almost completely gone. Daly also believes that the deadline for a deal to be completed in order to have any kind of season was mid-January. That would mean that the next cancellation would bring us yet another season-long lockout.
Many players have come out with their opinions on the lockout and finally, Anaheim Ducks’ captain Ryan Getzlaf has made a couple statements on the lockout.
Getzlaf on not playing still in December:
Yeah, it, I mean, it’s annoying. The whole process has been a little bit silly to me. It’s hard to understand, even if you’re in the inside. I’m right in the middle of it and I still don’t understand why we can’t sit at a table and bang things out. Everything always has to be a certain move, and this time here, and this time here, instead of just sitting down and getting figured out. So we’re still hopeful that maybe January we can start this thing and get a half a season in. So next couple weeks here are going to be big.
On whether or not the fans will return when play resumes:
Well, there’s always going to be fans there. I mean there are always fans at the game, it’s a matter of growing the game and that’s where we were headed. We’re getting new fans – not the same fans – new fans and growing the game. We take pride in our fans and hope that as many come back or stay with us as they have before.
Well it’s a big fear. That’s a huge thing, especially in Orange County and different markets where there is so many different options. There’s two basketball teams, another hockey team, a football team in San Diego, and baseball teams everywhere. It’s not that they don’t have options to watch sports. These are things that definitely concern us when going through this long of a lockout.
On his confidence about a deal getting done:
I’m not confident at all. I’ve tried to be confident through this whole thing and the fact is it seems every time we try to come close, they push away. So, until they’re willing to come close, then there is nothing to be positive about. It’s a sad truth, but that’s a fact. Unless they have a timeline that I don’t know about, that their all the sudden one day say ‘okay, we’ll try and work it out’, then, until then, it’s not looking great.
On his contract that expires at the end of this “season”:
Yeah and so am I. It’s a huge concern for me and I’m sure it is for our management and everybody because our team is going to be in a tough situation when it comes July 1st and if this lockout goes as long as it does. I’m sure there are a few other teams like that around the league but my main objective has always been to stay here in Orange County. I love it here. This is where my family is and hope to be. But you know, that’s one of those things where hopefully I can get worked out where I have a chance to talk to them before the free agent market hits.
Finally, the NHLPA is extremely close to completely dissolving the union. The players voted that their union executive board is now able to file a “disclaimer of interest,” which allows the union to disband when they please. They can make this decision up until January 2nd. If the NHLPA dissolves, that allows the players to file an antitrust lawsuit against the NHL. The National Basketball Player’s Association did the same exact thing when they were dealing with a lockout just a couple years ago. Two weeks after their union disbanded, the two sides came to an agreement and play resumed.
I’ve already made it clear that I have lost all faith in a deal getting done for this season. But, this is our one last hope. If the NHLPA’s plan works out, the possible disbanding of the union can help force the NHL to take a step or two back on some of the more critical points. So, the sides have a little bit less than a month to make a deal, or the season is over.