- Marionville mayor ‘kind of agreed’ with Kansas City shooter’s views
- Rev. Al Sharpton’s Easter message: Politically ‘crucified’ Obama has risen again
- Supreme Court to weigh challenge to ban on campaign lies
- UNICEF launches ‘Mr. Poo’ mascot in India to curb public defecation
- Teen taking selfie by train: ‘Wow, that guy just kicked me in the head’
- Goodbye, Afghanistan — hello, Africa: Air Force to shift as U.S. exits Middle East
- Iran mulls ban on vasectomies, decrease on abortions to bolster population
- CNN op-ed claims right-wingers ‘more deadly than jihadists’
- Classes resume at high school rocked by stabbings
- ABC News accuses Center for Public Integrity of stealing Pulitzer-winning work
NHL labor talks straggle toward Saturday deadline
John Carlson, as recently as Tuesday, insisted he didn’t want to think about a potential NHL lockout. He didn’t have any plans beyond this weekend, when the collective bargaining agreement expires and owners can shut the doors to team facilities.
“I’m young and we’ll see what happens,” the Washington Capitals defenseman said. “All I want to worry about right now is trying to play hockey next season.”
When that season starts remains to be seen, but Saturday night is the deadline for reaching a CBA. Barring an eleventh-hour agreement, the lockout that so many have wanted to avoid will become a reality when the clock hits midnight.
For so long it has seemed inevitable, but the NHL Players Association wants to dispel that notion.
“The only thing that needs to be said about that is it’s a choice that is being made,” NHLPA executive director Donald Fehr told reporters in New York. “It’s not a requirement; it’s not something anybody has to do.”
That has been the players’ stance, but commissioner Gary Bettman reiterated Thursday that owners won’t continue to operate under the current CBA. He reported no new developments from the league’s Board of Governors meeting, and Fehr said “there have been no new developments since yesterday.”
In this case, no news is bad news. But the outlook hasn’t been rosy for a long time, and that has forced Capitals players to deal with an uncertain future.
“It’s a crummy situation, and we all wish we knew we were going to be down here playing,” defenseman Jack Hillen said Tuesday. “It makes it tough trying to figure out what you’re going to do and organize where you’re going to be during the lockout. Hopefully it doesn’t get to that, but it doesn’t sound too optimistic right now.”
In the event of a lockout, captain Alex Ovechkin said he’s going back to Russia to play in the Kontinental Hockey League.
Goaltender Michal Neuvirth said he has a few offers to play in Europe. Nicklas Backstrom and Marcus Johansson probably could, too; Backstrom said recently he hadn’t considered that possibility.
But once the lockout begins, there won’t be room for players to say they haven’t thought about the possibility. For those who don’t quickly latch on in another league, and that’s a vast majority of the rank-and-file, it’s a frustrating game of wait-and-see.
“To be honest, as of late, I’ve been thinking a lot about it,” forward Matt Hendricks said. “Thinking about options and plans and now having a family to look after, you’ve got to make plans that work for everyone.”
Hillen left open the possibility of returning home to Minnesota, where other players will be skating. Right wing Troy Brouwer, who just signed a three-year extension, plans on living at his Chicago home with his wife while anticipating the birth of their first child.
Some, including forward Jason Chimera and center Mike Ribeiro, are rooted in the D.C. area because their children are in school. But a work stoppage means they can’t use the Caps’ locker room or training facilities. If they choose to skate at the team’s practice rink, they’ll have to pay for use of the ice.
“Yeah, we’ve got to get our ducks in a row here because we’ve always been thinking, ‘Oh, something will happen, something will happen,’” Chimera said. “The prices are more for ice here than in Edmonton, that’s for sure. I saw some of the prices to rent ice for an hour and I was like ‘Holy!’”
© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
- WHYNO: Tomas Vokoun gets unexpected Stanley Cup shot with Penguins
- Brandon Meriweather, Redskins' secondary ready for bounceback year
- Kirk Cousins embraces role as Redskins' offseason starter as RG3 rehabs from injury
- Capitals notes: Realignment won't prompt roster remake
- Despite Caps' first-round playoff exit, Adam Oates' first season as coach left a positive taste
Latest Blog Entries
- Redskins injury updates (5/23): WR Pierre Garcon, CB Josh Wilson each had labrum surgery
- Capitals 'love' Matt Hendricks, but how much?
- Wojtek Wolski signs in Russia's Kontinental Hockey League
- Tom Poti won't return to Capitals, plans to continue his NHL career
- Is Tom Wilson ready to be a regular for Capitals?
By returning to Christian roots, the nation can achieve greatness once again
- 'Culture of intimidation' seen in Nevada ranch standoff
- Rand and Ron Paul ride to the rescue for Bundy in Nevada standoff with feds
- Fuel-filled wings, ability to swarm: Pentagon offers glimpse at future of drone fleet
- WEBER: Obamacare cuts home healthcare for millions of seniors
- UNICEF launches 'Mr. Poo' mascot in India to curb public defecation
- CARSON: Recovering Tocqueville's vision of American exceptionalism
- Nevada Bundy ranch standoff could leave dirt on Harry Reid reputation
- CNN op-ed claims right-wingers 'more deadly than jihadists'
- U.S. Navy to turn seawater into jet fuel
- GOP writes legislation to deny Attorney General Eric Holder his salary
Celebrity deaths in 2014
Top 10 handguns in the U.S.