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NHL Open For Business: Likelihood Of 50-Game Season Fades, CBA Still To Be Finalized
Published January 8, 2013
WORKING OUT THE KINKS: Kings RW Kevin Westgarth said that players, fans, coaches and owners "must be patient while the last steps to starting the season are completed." He said that the union would "conduct a conference call to answer questions about the new CBA." Westgarth: "Of course the league will say if the players hurry up, we can play more games, there's a reality to consider as well. But the first step is for the people who are good with words to get on paper what both sides agreed to" (L.A. DAILY NEWS, 1/8). In Ottawa, Bruce Garrioch reports teams have been told to "only speak in general terms about the CBA." The threat of a $1M fine "remains in place if any owner, president, general manager or club personnel speaks out of line." Players are "permitted to return to club facilities and it’s up to each individual team to decide if they want to open the doors to players before the CBA is ratified." There can be "no formal workouts, practices or team meetings" (OTTAWA SUN, 1/8). In N.Y., Jeff Klein notes the NHL yesterday allowed "players to go into team dressing rooms and talk to the news media." But "no coaches or management officials were permitted to interact with players" (N.Y. TIMES, 1/8). In Winnipeg, Tim Campbell noted chatter around the league is that some clubs "would like to squeeze in one exhibition game before the regular season starts" (WINNIPEGFREEPRESS.com, 1/7). ESPN’s Michael Wilbon said this year for the NHL will be a “compromised season but I’m glad we’re going to see a season.” ESPN’s Tony Kornheiser said, “I don’t see it as compromised. ... The playoffs are the playoffs" (“PTI,” ESPN, 1/7).