Update: It has officially been announced from the mouth of Gary Bettman that Nashville will indeed host the 2016 NHL All-Star Celebration on January 30-31st, 2016. The Skills Competition will be held on the 30th, with the All-Star Game being held on the 31st. So now you can officially have a freak out moment in your office. Or at least, I am allowing myself to do so.
We know you have questions on how this is going to work. The Preds already have it covered with this handy-dandy FAQ!
Wait – What does that title say? Yes, you read that right; Nashville will be the host of the 2016 NHL All-Star Game. And yes, if I were a guy named Chris Pratt, this would totally be my reaction. The NHL will formally address this announcement Friday at 11AM at the Bridgestone Arena, with Gary Bettman in tow. Try to contain your excitement, please! Nah, go ahead and celebrate.
As you all know by now, the NHL has announced that it has canceled all games of the 2012-13 season through December 14th, along with the much anticipated All-Star weekend in Columbus.
That brings us up to 423 regular season games canceled thus far, including the Winter Classic between the Detroit Red Wings and the Toronto Maple Leafs. How much money has been lost thus far, too? Here are the status up to
Salary lost: $416,998,959.25
Days Lost in Regular Season: 45
Days since the Lockout: 71
By the time you read this, those numbers will probably have changed, which is absolutely unbelievable. However, with each day that passes, more and more players are becoming vocal about their opinions on the lockout at hand. The NHL and NHLPA will tell you that these players’ outbursts have nothing to do with the “progress” that the two sides have made, but it’s very clear that the players are getting just a frustrated as the fans at this point.
“(Bettman’s) the only guy in pro sports that likes lockouts. It’s ridiculous. The only people who have record revenue and try to cut everything from us are the owners. There needs to be a give-and-take. We’re willing to take less revenue. We’ll do a 50-50 split if they honor our contracts. That seems fair. When you sign a contract, you look the GM in the eye and you expect them to honor your contract.” – Jason Chimera, Washington Capitals
“I personally think (Gary Bettman’s) an idiot. Since he’s come in, he’s done nothing but damaged the game.” – Ian White, Detroit Red Wings
“It’s disappointing that the approach for Gary [Bettman] and the ownership group has been to make these hard dates and final offers and not budging and on and on. There’s no real answer to why except ‘We think we can lock you out and your careers are short and we can shake you down’. Not a good feeling.” – Mike Cammalleri, Calgary Flames
“The two sides are close enough to a deal that missing the bulk of a season is wrong and missing an entire season is not only insane, it is a blatant disregard for the sport, the fans and the culture we have grown over decades — just to satisfy egos, not the needs of either side.” – Ryan Miller, Buffalo Sabres
“But not to be able to play, and for the fans, too – they pay our salaries, anyway. It’s not fair for fans not to have hockey right now.” – Teemu Selanne, Anaheim Ducks
And, let’s not forget our very own Sergei Kostitsyn: “Let’s put it this way – it would be better [for the players] if the lockout continues. Players want a definite answer. If the NHL season is lost – let it be that way. I would then play in Russia for the whole season.”
We could continue to add and add all of the players that have spoken publicly about the lockout, but it would make for one long, drawn-out blog post. It’s clear the players aren’t ready for another lockout, with the last one (in 04-05) still fresh on everyone’s minds.
The real losers here are both the franchise and city of Columbus. With an already struggling hockey market, the All-Star weekend was going to boost both the city’s economy and possibly push some life into the Blue Jackets’ sinking organization. And, to top it off, with Columbus losing their hosting duties at an All-Star game, the chance of Nashville hosting one in the near future will be pushed back as well.
Fans have also expressed their opinions on the lockout, with even a Flyers fan jumping at Commissioner Gary Bettman while leaving a meeting on Wednesday. To be honest, we are surprised it hasn’t happened earlier. So, the question is, how long will fans continue to let both the NHL and NHLPA drag the knife wound through their backs? The optimism is slowly but surely dying off, leaving just a heap of diehards clinging to the dagger. Even we are having a hard time keeping interest, as you can see our posts have been few to none.
How long will the NHL and NHLPA continue to drag the “supposed” season until they finally call it off for good? What good is a season that will start mid-December? We’d be happy for any hockey, championship-worthy or not, but even if the lockout ends tomorrow, the NHL is still the worst-run professional organization in the world. Bettman will still be the commissioner; Fehr will still be the executive director of the NHLPA. Will they just disagree once again and throw the league into another lockout?
Again, the optimism is fading fast and we’re pulling the dagger out at an alarming rate. Time to take notice, NHL.
You are probably wondering why we haven’t covered the current Collective Bargaining Agreement that haunts the future of the 2012-13 NHL season. Welp, we figured you were hearing enough from everyone else, but also because we just didn’t want to discuss it. Bad juju, really.
Well, after trying to ignore the potential lockout like a five-year-old (if you close your eyes and cover your ears, it’s not real, right?), we finally hiked up our big girl undies and weighed the pending situation at hand.
As of Friday, the NHLPA and the NHL have come to no conclusion, with no intentions of meeting again before the CBA expires on the 15th. The meeting lasted a whopping 90 minutes. That gives these two knot-heads twelve days to agree to disagree or say bye-bye to the 2012-13 season (that, or it’ll be delayed).
NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman doesn’t seem worried about a potential lockout, claiming that, because the league survived the last lockout (2004-05 season), it will be just fine if another one occurs. Fans and the media, however, beg the differ.
The strength of hockey will not be effected in certain places such as Los Angeles, Boston, Detroit, and all of Canada, but for non-traditional markets, the event of a lockout could be disastrous. The Columbus Blue Jackets are walking a very, very thin wire and, after losing Rick Nash to the New York Rangers, a lockout could be the scissors that cut their lifeline. Hosting the All-Star Game won’t help much if there isn’t one, and it sure won’t bring an already waning fan base back on board, either.
The Phoenix Coyotes, still floating on Cloud 9 after making it to the third round of the playoffs, will soon find their cloud bursting into flames if the lockout does indeed occur. What fan base they generated during the playoffs will enviably die off due to lack of a season, sending the Coyotes back into the limbo that is “What Canadian city will be getting an NHL team”. Now, not to bash the Coyotes, as they do have a committed, loyal fan base, but I am talking about those who jumped on the bandwagon and/or those Arizonians who were introduced to hockey during that time.
Though we do not want to discuss it, Nashville will be effected as well. The Predators have nestled themselves into Music City just fine, and the team managed to survive the 2004-05 season without fail. However, although the fan base is strong and loyal fans have began to emerge, Nashville is still a non-traditional market and, enviably, will be damaged by a potential lockout. The Predators bring fans from across the South, from Alabama to Arkansas (most notable Preds fans from Arkansas? The Duggar Family from 19 Kids and Counting) and, without a season, but in a lockout situation, those fans will revert back into college football drones.
No matter if the team is settled in a non-tradition market or in a thriving, hockey-centered community, every city with an NHL team will be affected negatively. Wether it be monetarily, numerically, physically, whatever- Bettman can easily shrug off the fact he will lose no more than chump-change and a few “bandwagoners” if a lockout occurs. The fans, however, lose out in every aspect of the situation. Cities that don’t even have teams will be affected.
“Once we get past Sept. 15, I think the dynamic changes,” Commissioner Bettman stated. “The damage to the business changes the dynamic of the negotiation. So, from our standpoint, we’re hoping to make a deal by Sept. 15. That’s how we’ve positioned the offers we’ve made. And I’m hopeful that it can still be done. There is enough time if there is a willingness to negotiate.”
As stated above, the NHL and NHLPA have not set another meeting to discuss the CBA any further, leaving the 15th of September looming over every fans’ head.
Check out this video by Janne Makkonen – If this doesn’t make you want to punch Gary Bettman, I’m not sure what will. It gives an example and statistics of people will be affected if a lockout occurs and how fans can make a difference.
Here’s to hoping the NHL and the NHLPA get their butts in gear and finish these CBA talks before the 15th. Even if the season is pushed back, we’d rather see that than an entire lockout. Though it looks like neither side is going to back down, something’s got to give soon. For the fans sake.
The 2012 All-Star Game roster has been announced and, in case you missed where Suter, Weber, and Smith ended up, here are where your favorite Predators and favorite other hockey players ended up for the game on Sunday!
Joffrey Lupul – Toronto Maple Leafs
Pavel Datsyuk – Detroit Red Wings
Evgeni Malkin – Pittsburgh Penguins
Marian Hossa – Chicago Blackhawks
Corey Perry – Anaheim Ducks
Phil Kessel – Toronto Maple Leafs
Patrick Kane – Chicago Blackhawks
Jarome Iginla – Calgary Flames
Marian Gaborik – New York Rangers
Jordan Eberle – Edmonton Oilers
Jamie Benn – Dallas Stars
Zdeno Chara (of course he’s on his own team) – Boston Bruins
Kimmo Timonen – Philadelphia Flyers Ryan Suter – Nashville Predators Brian Campbell – Florida Panthers
Dion Phaneuf – Toronto Maple Leafs
Dennis Wideman – Washington Capitals
Tim Thomas – Boston Bruins
Carey Price – Montreal Canadiens
Jimmy Howard – Detroit Red Wings
Luke Adam – Buffalo Sabres
Raphael Diaz – Montreal Canadiens
Colin Greening – Ottawa Senators
Cody Hodgson – Vancouver Canucks
Ryan Johansen – Columbus Blue Jackets
Gabriel Landeskog – Colorado Avalanche
Daniel Alfredsson (could possibly be his team) – Ottawa Senators
Jason Spezza – Ottawa Senators
Claude Giroux – Philadelphia Flyers
Steven Stamkos – Tampa Bay Lightning
Daniel Sedin – Vancouver Canucks
Milan Michalek – Ottawa Senators
Henrik Sedin – Vancouver Canucks
James Neal – Pittsburgh Penguins
John Tavares – New York Islanders
Scott Hartnell – Philadelphia Flyers
Jason Pominville – Buffalo Sabres
Logan Couture – San Jose Sharks
Erik Karlsson – Ottawa Senators
Kris Letang – Pittsburgh Penguins Shea Weber – Nashville Predators Dan Girardi – New York Rangers
Keith Yandle – Pheonix Coyotes
Alexander Edler – Vancouver Canucks
Henrik Lundqvist – New York Rangers
Jonathan Quick – L.A. Kings
Brian Elliot – St. Louis Blues
Sean Couturier – Philadelphia Flyers
Justin Faulk – Carolina Hurricanes
Carl Hagelin – New York Rangers
Matt Read – Philadelphia Flyers Craig Smith – Nashville Predators Nick Johnson – Minnesota Wild
Phew! That took a while to write! Anyway, as you can see, Shea Weber and Craig Smith are together, whereas Ryan Suter is on his own this year with Team Chara. Now that the draft is officially over, the two teams will prepare for the Skills Competition on Saturday at 6PM CT. Sunday is the big day, when the two teams battle for number one at 3PM CT. We will keep you updated on the Skills Competition and the All-Star Game as the events happen!
What do you think about Shea Weber/Craig Smith vs. Ryan Suter?
Mike Fisher was ready to end the season with the Blue Jackets with a win for the home team.
The infamous Goo Goo Goal of this season has finally been captured, and it was all due to handiwork from Alternate Captain, Mike Fisher on his second goal of the night. It’s been so elusive, in fact, that we here at Lady Preds may just get ours framed! If you did get yours, however, and the exact way to claim your Goo Goo seems a bit confusing, well you can redeem your coupon at any MapCo (no need to mail in the coupon).
Now that we’ve gotten that bit of exciting information out of the way, let’s get onto the game at hand. The Predators have dominated the Columbus Blue Jackets this entire season, winning five out of six games (the Blue Jackets slipped away with an OT goal on November 19th, making the final record 5-0-1). Although the second period Blue Jackets came out in full-force, the Predators withstood the determined underdogs, shutting them down 4-1 in regulation. Here are the highlights from last night’s game:
Ryan Suter returned after a questionable upper-body injury that sidelined him after the Philadelphia Flyers game. It seemed Coach Trotz was right in the fact that Suter’s injury wasn’t as worrisome as the fans had thought. Brian McGrattan and Brandon Yip were scratched for the night and Francis Bouillon is still out with an upper-body injury.
Mike Fisher got the ball rolling at 8:07 in the first period, with a brilliant wrist-shot from the slot. Martin Erat the only assist on Fisher’s goal, stealing the puck in the Columbus zone and shifting it to Fisher for the goal.
As stated somewhere up above, the second period was a bit lethargic for the Predators (we assume they just got a little big-headed for a moment). Rick Nash was able to capitalize on the sluggish behavior of the home team, tying the game at one at 6:14. It seemed, after that wake-up call, the Predators kicked back into gear.
Mike Fisher sent the Predators up 2-1 at 19:31, giving the fans everything their little hearts desired with the Goo Goo Goal (the first of the season and possibly last). Captain Shea Weber and fellow Alternate Captain Ryan Suter assisted on Fisher’s second goal (11th of the season) of the night on the power play.
The third period showed an entire different home team than from the second, with a wrist-shot from Matt Halischuk at 7:37, his 11th goal of the season. Halischuk’s goal could be a signal to the coaching staff that he does not want to be scratched anymore. Rookies Craig Smith and Ryan Ellis assisted on Hali’s goal.
Patric Hornqvist sealed another “sweet” goal at 16:51, the fourth goal of the night (that signals the Frosty goal) and his 14th of the season. Ryan Suter and Martin Erat assisted on the power play goal.
Pekka Rinne had yet another outstanding game, blocking 25 of 26 goals on net, with 16 alone during the second period. The Predators had five power play opportunities and took advantage of two of them. The Blue Jackets only had two, and luckily, were not able to capitalize on either one. Here are the two players who spent some time in the box:
Martin Erat – 8:58 2nd Period – Holding
Patric Hornqvist – 16:20 2nd Period – Too many men/ice
Although a great victory in the Central Division, the Predators have no time to rest. The Chicago Blackhawks are waiting tonight (Tuesday) for a rematch from Saturday’s game in Nashville, where the Predators smashed the Hawks 5-2. After tonight’s game, the Predators (minus Suter, Weber, and Smith) will have a nice break during the All-Star Game this weekend. The Preds will return to action on Tuesday, January 31st against the Minnesota Wild.