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SBD/December 10, 2012/Leagues and Governing Bodies
NHL Lockout, Day 86: How Mario Lemieux, Penguins Tried To Save The Season
Published December 10, 2012
SETTING THE RECORD STRAIGHT: Sabres G Ryan Miller on Friday "explained his version" of a "heated exchange" he reportedly had with Jacobs last week during the labor meetings. Miller in a text message wrote, "The owners wanted to leave the room and pull everything we spent a full day on. I asked them to stay and continue pushing through. I may have been passionate but there was no disrespect or calling out one owner by name. I have a lot of respect for any owner because they are a big part of hockey." He added, "I wanted more than anything to make a deal but we are not professional negotiators. We as players didn't have the experience or authority to make a final deal. We were trying to responsibly move this process forward as best we could" (BUFFALONEWS.com, 12/7).
RIGHT WHERE HE NEEDS TO BE: In N.Y., Jeff Klein wrote Kings RW Kevin Westgarth is "well suited to be on the negotiating team" for the NHLPA. The "enforcer" with a psychology degree from Princeton has been present "for almost every bargaining session since before the NHL lockout began." Westgarth said of the similarities between his role in the union and on the ice, “I feel like I want to protect my teammates.” He added, “It’s just the hockey player ethos." The contributions of Westgarth and "a group of other committed players have been invaluable to the union." Westgarth said, “There are a half-dozen or more players who knew exactly where we were and could detail every aspect of where we were at. It became obvious that the guys they brought in had nowhere near a complete understanding of what the proposals were and where we were in the negotiations. I thought it was great that Ron Burkle, [Maple Leafs Sports & Entertainment Chair] Larry Tanenbaum, [Jets Owner] Mark Chipman and Jeff Vinik got involved -- clearly they’re passionate and care about the game -- but it shows how tightly controlled the league is.” He added, “Part of their tactics is to demonize Don [Fehr] -- we’ve seen it before” (N.Y. TIMES, 12/9).