NHL players missed their third paycheck of the season today, and have little reason to expect that No. 4 will show up on the 30th, either.
That's because there are no negotiations scheduled in the lockout that has shut down the NHL for the past two months, and little reason to believe that will change anytime soon.
"It's not looking good," center Sidney Crosby said after working out with nine teammates at Southpointe today. "As bad as it's looked at some points, I've always tried to find little glimmers of hope that one day everyone will wake up and find a way to do it. But that hasn't been the case so far."
Crosby, who has picked up about $46 million in base pay since entering the NHL in 2005, readily acknowledged that the paychecks he's missed this fall have not caused him any particular distress.
"I'm fortunate, obviously," he said. "I haven't had to worry about that."
Crosby went on to note that, "There are lots of people who are far worse off than we are" while conceding that even some of his colleagues have had to rein in their spending a bit.
Fourth-line center Joe Vitale, who was scheduled to earn the league minimum of $525,000 in 2012-13, is one of those. Not that Vitale asks for, let alone expects, sympathy from fans whose earnings are dwarfed by his.
"You just obviously have to prioritize a little better, as far as getting the on-sale bread instead of the whole-grain," he said. "Little things like that."
Winger Pascal Dupuis suggested that a new collective bargaining agreement could be forged "in two days," and said the league, not the NHL Players' Association, is responsible for the current lull in negotiations.
Many frustrated fans don't seem as interested in assigning blame as they are in getting the game back. That, Vitale said, is what he's seen and heard from members of the public when interacting with them away from the rink.
"The (most frequent question) is, 'Hey, when is this thing going to be over? When are we going to get back to playing hockey?' Vitale said. "I always tell them the same thing: 'We're working our hardest to get a fair deal in place. No one misses the game more than we players do.' "
|< Prev||Next >|
You must be a registered user to post. Commenting system instructions