September 12, 2012; New York, NY, USA; NHLPA executive director Don Fehr speaks during a press conference at the 2012 NHLPA summer player meetings at the Marriott Marquis. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-US PRESSWIRE

BoT Special Report: The NHL Lockout Is Here!


As of 9:01pm PT (12:01am ET) Saturday Night the NHL has locked out it’s players as the talks between the NHLPA and the Owners/Commissioner Gary Bettman have failed to reach a settlement on a new CBA. This marks the 4th time since 1992 the NHL has locked out the players. The last lockout ended in the cancellation of the 2004-05 season. The two sides have not spoken much and ended talks Thursday with nothing settled. Fans are now left with the possibility of a prolonged lockout with the two sides being miles apart on any one issue. The two sides failure to reach any significant agreement or even some level of common ground will likely lead to loss of regular season games which are scheduled to begin less than a month from now on October 11th. The Sharks were slated to begin their 2012-13 campaign in Anaheim against the arch rival Ducks on Friday, October 12th.

There is always the possibility of talks resuming at anytime and if they are resumed soon enough the regular season schedule could be salvaged, though it seems to be less likely with every passing moment. Left behind here are the fans, and especially the season ticket holders. Within the last week several players have started to hint of going overseas to play or go to the AHL or other leagues. The Edmonton Oilers in somewhat of a smart move assigned Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Jordan Eberle, Magnus Paajarvi, and Justin Schultz to the Oklahoma City Barons early Saturday. More teams may follow suit with that strategy. The Winnipeg Jets have sent 13 players to the AHL’s St. John’s Ice Caps. The Pittsburgh Penguins’ Evgeni Malkin looks like he will temporarily join the KHL until the lockout is settled.* Will the Sharks assign players to the Worcester Sharks (AHL) or the newly formed San Francisco Bulls (ECHL)? Only time will tell though it would not come as a shock. The Sharks need to be proactive here and see what ultimately works in their best interest as a franchise here. This will be a tough time for the NHL and the public relations problems this lockout will create could be staggering barring a quick settlement.

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“My Two Cents” Monday will feature more on this developing story with the latest news, and what the fans can do. Remember, as a fan believe it or not you do have a voice! Hopefully cooler heads will prevail soon enough, but that first starts with NHLPA Players Representative Donald Fehr and NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman and the NHL Owners checking their ego’s at the door. Unless that happens, don’t look for this to get resolved anytime soon…

The King Shark

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