111121612 Vol. 18, No. 2 Saturday, September 2, 2012 Hudson, St. Lazare, Senneville, Ste-Anne-de-Bellevue, Baie d'Urfe, Beaconsfield, Chateauguay, Kirkland, Pte. Claire, Pierrefonds, D.D.O., Dorval, Lachine, NDG, CSL, Ville St-Laurent, Mtl-West, Hampstead, Westmount, Montreal, Lasalle, Verdun, Laval

NHL lockout 2012

When the NHLPA and Gary Bettman started their talks Wednesday morning with a last minute postponement for 90 minutes, at least they proved they could agree on something. It was like both sides already knew they didn't want to be in the same room

Rick Moffat

Sports with each other, nor did they have the stomach for the others' rhetoric (or maybe even their own) before lunch. On twitter (@RickMoffat) I suggested Humble Pie for their menu. My friend Abe Hefter (@HefterontheHabs) suggested "crow." Turns out we were both wrong. The PA and owners are saying to the fans:"let them eat cake." I've heard many people close to the NHL this week say the owners get "irrational" and "too emotional" when it comes to money. I think that's the furthest thing from the truth. Bargaining positions are staked out with cold calculation. Players and owners are highly competitive people. Winning isn't the only thing. Winning future fortunes IS. On "Hump Day" in New York (the day it became clear the fansWILL get screwed) the NHL proclaimed it had moved $270 million dollars closer. Now think about how competitive you might get if you won 27 lottery tickets of $10million each and all you had to do was run through a gauntlet of 600 hockey players. Sadly, Hockey's season of Greed completely overshadows a local taste of the greatest glory. The Stanley Cup is coming to the Montreal-area next week. LA Kings scout Denis Fugere will bring the Cup to St. Jerome for an event with the AAA Junior Panthers. That is if Commissioner Bettman hasn't melted down the silver chalice in the ongoing quest for more hockey-related revenue. For hockey fans, you can't spell "horror" without HRR. Here's another proposal to boost HRR: I'm working on a sci-fi script entitled "NHL Zombie Apocalypse." Hollywood has already expressed interest. Set in the Year 2112, Intergalactic ruler Gary Bettman the 3rd, who insists on being called "GB3" sets down new orders for GMPs-- Genetically Modified Players. Bloody battles ensue when it's discovered the millennial war ritual known as Hockey is really a cultural fraud perpetrated by sweatshop-owning puck producers. Where do the zombies come 111012713 in? That's you fans. Marching back to virtual-reality arenas. Bloodied,battered,never dying but the life sucked out of your wallets. Before the last Lockout,I asked a Hall of Famer from a long ago bygone era what owners should do with the players: "fire the lot of them," he suggested with all the subtlety of a stick-swinging incident. Hard for a player who never earned more in a season than the amount Scott Gomez and Andrei Markov will lose in a day of the lockout to comprehend the new balance of power. Thankfully the game of hockey is great enough that it will survive Gary Bettman. I fully believe we'll have a Stanley Cup championship in June 2013. But that seems so far removed from the current Season of Fehr and Loathing. Brandon Whitaker is never one to sugarcoat things. "We killed ourselves," he admitted after the shocker loss in Vancouver 43-10 that ruined last weekend. Committing 20 penalties was a remarkable accomplishment in the House of Horrors known as BC Place Stadium. Credit the Als--they always find unique ways to lose to the Lions. One year they forgot how to block andAnthony Calvillo was sacked 11 times. One year Don Mathews went for a 2point conversion rather than simply kicking the convert that would force an overtime shootout. One year the CFL turned back time and denied a touchdown because there was no "game on" even though 24 111012713 players on the field figured if they were playing, it was. "It was a huge factor," Whitaker told Ed Philion during the CJAD Postgame Show. "Penalties killed our drives and our momentum. You can't give a team like that (the Lions) all that momentum." Former Alouette Angus Reid stirred the flag festival pot by suggesting the Als no longer have the kind of on-field leadership and locker room discipline they once did. Whitaker flatly denies that's the case. "We gotta go back and keep each other accountable to make this thing right. We know in the locker room everybody's got each other's back." Ironically, even Coach Trestman drew a penalty parade. But that didn't prevent him

Gary Bettman

from getting in the ear of some offending players. "If there's something to be said, I'll say it. I tell our players all the time 'when they come to the sideline you're not going to meet the enemy'. Nobody's trying to make a mistake out there. "When a coach has a heated discussion with him (an offending player) , it's more about the coach than the player and I don't think it's fair to create that kind of environment. It's not in the framework of scolding or disrespecting a player, because we shouldn't. They've worked too hard to get where they are on that day."

continued on page 17

* SEPTEMBER 15, 2012 5 777082612

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