Updated: December 4, 2012 at 8:21 am by Jason Gregor

Donald Fehr and Gary Bettman will not be directly involved in today’s meeting between six NHL owners and a select group of NHL players, but don’t jump to a conclusion assuming that both sides will suddenly find some common ground with their leaders out of the room.

Bettman has long been the player’s whipping boy. They actually believe that he wants to ruin the game and that he’s the ultimate puppet master pulling the owner’s strings. Meanwhile the NHL is certain that Fehr is not telling the players the truth, even though many of them have been present during most of the negotiations.

The lockout was asinine to begin with, but it’s becoming more laughable by the day. It would be great if today’s meeting will start an avalanche of positive negotiations, or as Steve Burton reported continue on the “significant progress” they allegedly made yesterday.

We’ll see.

Many have asked if Burton is legit or not, and I’ve only ever spoke to him once in my life so I can’t say. Others have said he has a good track record, so you never know. It wouldn’t surprise me if Jeremy Jacobs leaked it to him, since Jacobs has been getting ripped by some other Boston media lately.

I noticed many dismissed Burton’s report as Eklund-like, which is a real slap in the face, but I think many are so jaded by this debacle of a lockout that no one wants to believe they’d be smart enough to actually make some progress.

I did make some phone calls tonight, and I sensed that all the players want is to see the owners bend a bit on some of their demands, and if that happens then hockey will return.

  • The owners won’t budge off of their HRR split of 50/50, but they don’t be surprised to see them bend on some of their contractual demands.
  • The players are adamant they don’t want a cap on contract length. Even though only 23 players have contracts longer than seven years, they are against a max salary. I’m hearing the owners would bend on that as long as they had their HRR in place. Do they really need to protect the owners who are dumb enough to hand out contracts longer than that?
  • The players want the entry level contracts to remain at three years. The owners are looking at two, because often they sign guys who have no chance of making their team. I’d suggest they keep entry level deals for 1st-3rd rounders at 3 years, but allow 4th-7th rounders, and free agents ELC to only be 2 years.
  • Here is a quick look at how many players who were drafted between 1998-2007 and played at least 200 games. It is too early to accurately calculate 2008-2012. 
Draft year First three rounds 4th to 9th rounds
1998 39 21
1999 26 14
2000 31 13
2001 33 25
2002 35 11
2003 45 20
2004 32 20
  First three rounds 4th to 7th rounds
2005 28 13
2006 33 5
2007 19 4
  •  In 2007 I had to project a few players to get them to the 200 game mark. Guys like P.K Subban who has only played 160 games, but I think it is safe to assume he’ll make it to 200.
  • In the above 10-year span, 321 players from the first 3 rounds played at least 200 games, while 146 between rounds 4 to 9 made it. Would it be that outrageous of an offer to suggest that players drafted in rounds 4 thru 7 only get two-year entry level contracts?
  • I’m hearing more and more that the players just want to see the owners concede a few of their demands. If that happens we could see a deal transpire before this entire year gets wiped out. Dare to dream fans, dare to dream.


Yesterday we raised $2,000 for the Christmas Bureau. A huge thank you to Bruce for his generous bid on the Oil Kings package.

Today’s package includes golf and wine:

Our friends at E&J Gallo Winery Canada stepped up and donated three cases of wine.

2 cases (24 bottles) of Ghost Pines Cabernet Sauvignon (Napa /Sonoma)
1 case (12 bottles) of Ghost Pines Chardonnay (Napa/Sonoma/Monterey)

Both of these wines come from a blend of premium grapes from Napa Valley and Sonoma County in California; the two best grape growing regions in California. Incredibly tasty.




10 rounds of golf at the Ranch Golf and Country Club (hole 14 below) and it includes:

Power cart with each round, and use of driving range before your round.
$5 food voucher for each player on day of round.


A Big thank you E&J Gallo and The Ranch for donating to the cause. Once again all the proceeds from today will go towards Santas Anonymous.

Bidding goes from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. You can call 1.800.243.1945 or 780.426.8326 to bid.