directory Light the Lamp - a Columbus Blue Jackets blog: Brilliant!

Countdown to Rick Nash's contract expiration:

Tuesday, September 1, 2009


So how cool is this fantasy draft deal that Hitch conjured up for the beginning of camp? Here are the details via the Dispatch:

On Tuesday, at a private function in Nationwide Arena, the Blue Jackets' ownership group -- majority owner John P. McConnell, and minority owners Ron Pizzuti, Jay Crane and John F. Wolfe, publisher of The Dispatch -- will each draft a 16-player team off the club's training camp roster. That's three centers, seven wingers and six defensemen per team. The goaltenders will be assigned to teams each day by the coaching staff.

The teams will square off on Sept. 13, the first day of on-ice camp: McConnell vs. Crane, 10:30 a.m.; Wolfe vs. Pizzuti, 2 p.m. The following day, the consolation game and championship games will be held at the same time. If a game is tied at the end of regulation, it's straight to a shootout. (Insert Blue Jackets' shootout joke here.)

I love it!

..and quite honestly it's a brilliant idea mostly because it gets the owners involved with more than just signing checks.

I also love it because we get to see actual hockey (not just drills) at the first day of camp.

I think it's a lock that Nash goes first but the real question is who goes second especially since goaltenders are off limits? I'm gonna go out on a limb and say Umberger but if it were me it's Brassard hands down.

Sure some of you folks don't want to rethink your decisions to not attend the first day? Can't beat this expecially since it's free. No way I'm missin this!

Players better come into camp in game shape or they will get exposed pretty quickly.

Here is an absolute must read from Scott Burnside over at ESPN regarding the NHLPA fiasco. Some highlights:

The outcome of the weekend's events is all in keeping with what appears to be a dangerous return to the Stone Age of labor negotiations that should put fear into all the league's players and its fans.

"Scary days," one prominent player agent told Monday morning.

Another former NHLPA executive member was livid, saying the timing of this leadership change was "terrible."

"We need to get behind Paul Kelly and let him do his job," he said.

If those behind the movement really cared about the future of the union "they'd let this pass." Further, he added, "if Eric Lindros really cared about the union, he'd let this go and get himself another job."

One area that also infuriated this former union executive member was the interviewing of office staff to see how Kelly treated them.

"Who cares," he said. "Do you think the president of Johnson & Johnson walks around worrying about hurt feelings?"

Many players, agents and former players contacted by expressed concern about changing leadership with a new collective bargaining agreement looming within the next couple of years.

One top player told that by the time the search committee gets around to finding a new executive director and gets up to speed, "he won't have time to get his pencil sharpened before we're in another lockout."

"It's the culture of paranoia," added a former player and former NHLPA executive committee member. "And what sign does this send to the league? Where's the stability at the union? It's a year or two away from needing to negotiate a new CBA."

What remains most perplexing about how all of this has unfolded is the seeming rush to judgment.

Why, for instance, didn't the player representatives opt to take the information provided to them in Chicago back to their teammates when training camp opens in two weeks? Isn't firing their executive director an important enough decision to want to make sure the constituency is on board?

The players should be working in the coming hours to see that this decision is reversed or, at the very least, held off until they can sort through the lies, innuendo and gossip that permeate this Byzantine drama.

If there is reason for Kelly to be dismissed, then so be it. If not, then it behooves the players to roust out the group that led the charge for Kelly's dismissal so he can return to the business of keeping the game on the rails.

If not, good luck. Good luck to the NHLPA, which will get exactly what it deserves, a step back to the Stone Age. Good luck to the fans, who can expect only rancor and, at some point, another, potentially lethal, labor stoppage.

It sure does appear a few inmates are being aloud to run wild in the asylum.

I hate to say it fans but with this union we should all be worried about the future of this league once this current CBA expires

Speaking of this NHLPA mess... who in their right mind decided it was a good idea for Manny Malhotra to vote for the Blue Jackets?

I don't know which way Manny voted but don't you think the fact that he doesn't have a contract yet would factor into his decision on whether to vote Kelly in or out? Nevermind the fact he's representing a team and it's contracted players that he doesn't even play for anymore? I have a feeling Rick Nash doesn't have much of a problem with Kelly after inking his whopper (with cheese) of a deal.

I just don't think all of these players grasp the ramifications a decision like this may have on their playing and paying futures. It seems to be taken seriously only by a few older and vocal players (Chelios for example) and that minority are driving this union straight into the ground.

Hey, perhaps they don't mind busing it around in Russia?

I'm sure the KHL is loving every second of this.

Sorry to be a downer but the thought of a another lockout makes me ill.

On a positive note. I would like to give a shout out to my CBJ season ticket rep (Andrew) for a great deal on Creed tickets!



Wally said...

Camp starts on a Sunday morning? Is that right?

Pub said...

They lock out again...dont come back. Hockey will be over in my book.

BZArcher said...

I was already planning on going to the first day of training camp. Now I may be showing up all week! I can't wait to see how this goes.

Max said...

Seems like the team hadn't had a chance to elect a new rep, since all this blew up so damn quickly. I'd like to know what Kelly was canned for, what the players beef with him was. Sigh...

LTL said...

Hey Wally.. from what I've read camp actually starts Saturday but it all off-ice physicals type stuff.

The first on-ice action is Sunday.

Max - yeah it will be interesting to see what the "reasons" were. I'm not holding my breath given the NHLPA's previous history.

Part of the big problem was that it happened so fast. How they can fire their Executive Director after one meeting and at 3:30 a.m. is baffling. To top that off they have guys voting for teams they don't even play for anymore.

I think Burnside is right in that they need to just sh*tcan everyone and everything and build that thing from scratch... because what they have now clearly does not work.


anml034 said...

Everybody knows that Nash is going to go first with RJ and Brass to follow. If you are owner four and assuming this is a snake draft, I think I am thinking of taking Commodore and Hedja back to back. You would be gauranteed the top pair defensmen and none of the foward lines are going to be together.

scioto slim said...

Good post till you got to the part about creed tickets. man those guys suck. It kinda makes you look like a tool, and here we thought LTL was the man.

Mase1 said...

Manny's still w/o a team? Aww, couldn't happen to a more delusional A-Hole...

How's that pipe dream of getting $2+ mill/year going? Jay Willy settled for $1 mill, and you're not even in the same class as he.

Man, I'd have thought that whopping "career year" of 35 points (the asterisk year, with the 1st line) wouldn't gotten you Spezza money...

Wonder if he'd now take that $1.6 mill/yr. now?

MM: The heck with voting for a new NHLPA rep, you need to concentrate on finding a new agent...

patrick said...

Although you say that Chelios is taking this matter more seriously, he still agreed with their decision to fire Kelley. soooo... i dont know how you reached the conclusion that he was taking this more seriously.

LTL said...


Not sure I follow the point you're making.

Chelios has historically been involved in all matters behind the scenes with the NHLPA. For instance he led the charge to have Saskin removed.

He is also always quoted when anything involving NHLPA and it's leadership arises.

When I say he is "more seious" than other players in the happenings of the NHLPA those are the kinds of examples I'm referring too.

How often do you hear Crosby or Ovechkin quoted? Or even older guys like Iginla or Thornton?

Quite frankly I think the players in their prime or younger are nuts for a allowing a dinosaur like Chelios to continue to play such a key role in their futures.


patrick said...

well in the quote, "It seems to be taken (the decision to fire kelly) seriously only by a few older and vocal players (Chelios for example) and that minority are driving this union straight into the ground.", you imply (by contrast) that Chelios doesnt agree with their stance, when the opposite is true. Chelios is even the PR guy for this group. Buy my real problem is how this story is being used (burnside, puck daddy) by some to write sensationalist, sky-is-falling opinions (some with serious credibility problems such as wharnsby of globe and mail using lack of denial to cite a reason for kelly being fired) that inevitably results in more anti-union drivel. maybe im naive, but i dont think the players union would risk another stoppage and everything will be fine in 2012.

LTL said...

"It seems to be taken (the decision to fire kelly) seriously only by a few older and vocal players (Chelios for example) and that minority are driving this union straight into the ground."

Hmm.. I guess I'm reading it differently Pat but I'll clarify... my point is that Chelios is part of that older and vocal minority that take the union seriously and drive it into the ground.

I think we agreeing with each other.

I hope your right about the non work stoppage in 2012. I really wish I could share your optimism but unfortunately I don't b/c I have no confidence in their leadership -- whomever that may be.