Arthur Griffiths used to own the Vancouver Canucks, but he seems to be mostly siding with the players these days, based on a recent interview with CBC.
That’s especially true now that the players have agreed to a 50-50 split of hockey-related revenues, plus Make Whole back before it was taken off the table. However, the owners balked at the NHLPA’s latest proposal, in part because they firmly want player contracts to be capped at five years.
Griffiths expressed his disappointment in the meltdown of negotiations last week.
“The owners have suddenly come back to the table and found this solidarity that disregards the growth in the game,” Griffiths said. He also feels that the league’s actions ignore that some markets were beginning to show the progress they want.
Griffiths thinks that the NHL season has to start by about the second week of January at the latest, which means that a new CBA would have to be agreed to within the next two weeks. That contrasts Dan Cleary’s prediction that the two sides still have about a month to work something out.
Griffiths said that losing the season would be a “horrible, horrible, horrible black mark on the sport” and would make it hard for the NHL to get fans back, particularly in the markets where they’re not as passionate about hockey.
The good news is Griffiths is still optimistic about the chances of the NHL and union saving the season despite the rapidly approaching deadline.
The NHL and NHLPA are set to meet again tomorrow and mediators will be present.
If you want to watch CBC’s interview with Griffiths, you can do so below:
Last night in Los Angeles, Kings forward Milan Lucic received a match penalty after skating the entire width of the ice to give San Jose’s Logan Couture a two-hand shove to the face.
Lucic didn’t hurt Couture, who had caught Lucic with an open-ice hit that Lucic didn’t like. Couture’s smiling, mocking face was good evidence that the Sharks’ forward was going to be OK.
This morning, Lucic was still in disbelief that he was penalized so harshly.
“I didn’t cross any line,” Lucic said, per Rich Hammond of the O.C. Register. “Believe me, if my intentions were to hurt him, I would have hurt him.”
While Lucic knew he deserved a penalty, he said after the game that he didn’t “know why it was called a match penalty.” His coach, Darryl Sutter, agreed, calling it “a borderline even roughing penalty.”
And though former NHL referee Kerry Fraser believes a match penalty was indeed warranted, Lucic said this morning that he hasn’t heard from the NHL about any possible supplemental discipline.
Nor for that matter has Dustin Brown, after his high hit on Couture in the first period.
In conclusion, it’s good to have hockey back.
Related: Sutter says Kings weren’t ‘interested’ in checking the Sharks
A statement from Raffi Torres:
“I accept the 41-game suspension handed down to me by the NHL’s Department of Player Safety. I worked extremely hard over the last two years following reconstructive knee surgery to resume my NHL career, and this is the last thing I wanted to happen. I am disappointed I have put myself in a position to be suspended again. I sincerely apologize to Jakob for the hit that led to this suspension, and I’m extremely thankful that he wasn’t seriously injured as a result of the play. I also want to apologize to my Sharks teammates and the organization.”
A statement from San Jose GM Doug Wilson:
“The Sharks organization fully supports the NHL’s supplementary discipline decision regarding Raffi. While we do not believe there was any malicious intent, this type of hit is unacceptable and has no place in our game. There is a difference between playing hard and crossing the line and there is no doubt, in this instance, Raffi crossed that line. We’re very thankful that Jakob was not seriously injured as a result of this play.”
Silfverberg says he expects to play Saturday when the Ducks open their regular season Saturday in San Jose.