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SBD/December 7, 2011/Leagues and Governing Bodies
NHL, NHLPA Won't Pick Up CBA Negotiations Until After Jan. 29 All-Star Game
Published December 7, 2011
LET'S TALK IT OUT: Devils RW and player rep David Clarkson said yesterday that there "has been no player rep meeting or conference call scheduled to discuss" implementation of the NHL's four-conference realignment plan. Clarkson said, "I'm sure in the next week or so there will be an E-mail sent out or a phone call and people will start talking about it." In New Jersey, Tom Gulitti notes some players "have expressed concern that the teams in the seven-team conferences will have a mathematical advantage because they have to beat out only three teams to make the playoffs instead of four," and that is "one issue the NHLPA likely will look at." Rangers G and assistant player rep Martin Biron said, "The league has the final say. It's not an easy thing to figure it out for everybody." Reports indicated that the Rangers "were one of four teams to vote against the realignment plan" (Bergen RECORD, 12/7).
WORD TO THE WISE: A Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE editorial states, "Given the growing worldwide popularity of the sport, the NHL is in a strong position to finally take on the fighting culture that detracts from the game and ... may be killing its players." Former NHL enforcer Derek Boogaard's "death should prompt the NHL to have its own wow moment, and realize that fighting isn't a necessary part of the game" (Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE, 12/7).