NEW YORK CITY (93-7 THE FAN) — Sidney Crosby’s 2005-06 rookie season immediately followed the last NHL work stoppage. After a summer of skating completely pain- and concussion symptom-free, another potential lockout threatens his efforts to play like “Sid The Kid” again.
“Right now it’s not looking great, but things can change pretty quickly,” the Penguins’ captain and former league MVP said Thursday after his fellow union members assessed the league’s latest CBA offer. “It seems like this was in the works anyway.
“When you look at [the NHLPA’s] proposal, for both sides, it’s a lot of money. To put that into perspective is pretty tough to do,” Crosby explained. “We’re showing that we’re willing to move, and we’re willing to sacrifice things with our proposal. If you look at their proposal, it’s not really the same type of feeling. It’s hard numbers, and there’s not really a ton of incentives for players. It doesn’t seem to address the key issues that we keep hearing about.
“Both sides have to sacrifice a bit. It seems we’re willing to do that, and they’re not really willing to do a lot of it.”
Crosby said he understands his responsibility to join select Penguin teammates, such as former union representative Brooks Orpik and current union rep Craig Adams, and he feels the various members from the other 29 teams are on the same page.
“They want to play. At the end of the day, everyone cares, and wants to do that. We just have to figure out a way to do it. That’s basically what we’re here for.”
“You get a real sense of the unity, and the commitment, and the participation, and the understanding, and the knowledge that these players have,” NHLPA president Donald Fehr agreed. “It’s very gratifying.”
Crosby was one of roughly 300 NHL players who attended labor discussions this week, according to Fehr.
Check out the rest of Sid’s comments, courtesy of the NHLPA:
Already the center of negative attention from fans, commissioner Gary Bettman certainly doesn’t want a third lockout on his watch (and fourth in pro hockey in the last 20 years) to come to fruition. But Bettman remains steadfast he and the Board of Governors, which includes Penguins president David Morehouse, will pull their latest offer and impose said lockout if the players don’t accept it by 11:59 P.M. Saturday.
NHL Players currently receive 57 percent of hockey-related revenue, which is a number the owners want to reduce, though, as part of this latest offer, the NHL agreed not to redefine hockey-related revenue.
The league earned a record $3.3 billion in revenue in 2011-12, and the NHLPA wants an annual share contingent upon how much the league makes each season, in addition to financial aid for teams struggling to spend up to the salary cap.
“The fact is, we believe that 57 percent of HRR is too much,” Bettman said. “Even a brief lockout will cost more in terms of lost salary and wages than what we’re proposing to do to make a deal that we think we need to make.
“The thought was somehow they got slammed in the negotiations last time. They didn’t. We made at the time what we thought was a fair deal. It actually turned out to be more fair than it should have been.”
For more of the latest on the NHL labor dispute, check out the latest report filed by Ira Podell and Rachel Cohen of the Associated Press.