This is Day 24 of the NHL lockout, 2012 edition. Every day, we'll serve up some CBA talk and help you get your hockey fix. Let's begin, shall we?
• The lockout has now eaten up a total of 179 games -- 97 preseason games and most recently 82 regular-season games.
• There is a little good news: Talks are scheduled to resume this week in New York between the NHL and NHLPA. But they won't be talking about economics ... again. Who's to blame? Both, neither, or in the eyes of the other: their adversary. From Helene Elliott of the Los Angeles Times:
"We would be happy to listen to the PA on economic or system issues, but they don't appear to be inclined to bring anything new to the table. As long as that's the case, I'm not sure we have more to add. They got the last two substantive proposals from us."
Responding to Daly, NHLPA Special Counsel Steve Fehr said: "For more than a month, the owners have not wanted to meet to discuss the core economic issues unless it is on their terms, that is unless the players have yet another offer that includes significant concessions for them. By contrast we place no conditions on our willingness to meet."
Let the record show each side is willing to talk about economics; it's the other side that's holding it up. This is a more confusing conundrum than the chicken vs. the egg. (L.A. Times)
• Not long ago we were sharing with you the idea put forth by Jesse Spector to start putting advertisements on player uniforms in the NHL to increase the amount of revenue in the sport. His next bright and definitely daring idea involves the NHL coming to accept gambling to help ensure a long-term future.
Instead of trying to set up roadblocks, the NHL and all of the other sports would be much better served by working with New Jersey to set up a system in which they can get in on the action, rather than shuttering a multibillion-dollar industry and making fans look overseas for it. Sounds kind of familiar, doesn't it? (The Sporting News)
• If the lockout drags on into January, the Winter Classic will become a casualty. This year's Classic between the Red Wings and Maple Leafs, you'll remember, is scheduled for the Big House on the campus of the University of Michigan. But all of the corresponding events, including the Alumni Game, will take place in Detroit. If that game doesn't happen, we're talking about a potential loss of $50 million-$60 million for Detroit. Ouch. (Kuklas Korner)
• Replacement players in the NHL, you say? While that probably won't happen, that didn't stop NHL satirist Sean McIndoe from imagining what it would be like, putting the reader in training camp with the scabs.
OK, so we need to make sure that you'll be able to play an NHL-style game. So let's work on some drills. What's that? Skating, passing and shooting? Hey rookie, does this look like 1993 to you? No, we're going to spend the morning on shot-blocking, clogging the neutral zone, and an obsessive focus on positional play. Hey, who's ready for some dump and chase drills?
Great work, everyone. Well, except for the one guy over there signaling that the dump-ins to the corner should count as a goal. I think you're looking for the replacement referee camp for the NFL, sir. It used to be next door. (Down Goes Brown)
• Players don't have to go to Europe if they want to keep playing during the lockout. Take Brandon Dubinsky, for example, who will be playing with the Alaska Aces of the ECHL, along with Joey Crabb and Nate Thompson. It's no surprise that all three are natives of Alaska. Scott Gomez, who also tried to make the Aces, won't be joining them. (AlaskaAces.com)
We're going with a different route, opting not to showcase a highlight but a lowlight from this past season. Craig Smith's point-blank, empty-net miss was unbelievable but one of my favorite moments of the season. Thankfully for Smith, it didn't cost his Predators the win vs. the Maple Leafs.