CSNNE caught up with many members of the Bruins today and got their thoughts on the NHL’s latest lockout, the second since 2004. At least two Bruins were extremely unhappy about the owner’s stance at the negotiating table. B’s defenseman Andrew Ference told Joe Haggerty: “We’re getting into this rut, of being almost a joke, where every few years we’ve got to revisit the same thing… but the bottom line is we’re missing hockey games, and there’s this cycle of nonsense where you have to say enough is enough.”. Shawn Thornton added this about the League’s latest offer: “(I’m) frustrated, angry. Obviously it’s out of our hands right now. It seems like it’s just another money grab. It won’t fix anything… we want to fix it.”
The obvious theme of these talks so far is that the NHL wants to take money from the players’ contracts to support small market teams such as the Phoenix Coyotes and Florida Panthers, 18-20% of each contract according to the latest CBA proposal. This would maximize league profit in the short term and possibly help some of the franchises who are struggling financially. The players are more concerned with fixing the game long term, so we don’t have to go through lockouts every time a Collective Bargaining Agreement expires. Both sides will lose money for every game that is cancelled, and nobody knows how many games that may be. Some estimates have the season starting as early as the Black Friday matinee between the Bruins and the Rangers, while others say the season may not begin until the 2013 Winter Classic on New Years Day. Regardless of those estimates, this much is clear: The two sides are very far apart, and we may not see NHL hockey any time soon.