Larry Brooks at the New York Post looks ahead of the lockout to when the owners might try and bring in replacement players.
Brooks urges Mario Lemieux, the player and the owner; and Wayne Gretzky, the former player, current owner, and perhaps future manager; to not allow replacement players.
It seems economics will take care of that, though. I can’t imagine the fans will embrace replacement players. I’ve been watching some AHL games — games featuring a lot of guys who have spent some time in the NHL — and the play just isn’t NHL-quality. You don’t have the speed or the scoring chances. The league needs the stars to sell the game.
But Lemieux and Gretzky still owe it to the players to not sign-off on replacements.
And it looks like the NHL isn’t alone in labor problems. The always reliable Peter Vecsey (I believe he had Kobe Bryant going to Arizona for Randy Johnson) writes that the NBA players’ union is starting to renegotiate their collective bargaining agreement and they’re asking for way more than the owners are willing to give them. So maybe if there’s an NBA lockout, they can use NHL players in the NBA. Isn’t Ottawa’s Zdeno Chara like eight feet tall?
And isn’t this the one-millionth article about how much NHL dads love the chance to stay home with their kids? If hockey doesn’t start up soon, I have a feeling the Sunday NHL notes columns are going to turn into recipes from guys like Bill Guerin and Chris Pronger.
Oh. And Roger Sackaroff has a look at the new AHL rules and if he thinks the NHL will adopt them.