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Thursday, December 6, 2012

Henrik Lundqvist is Depressed & Annoyed; Thinks NHL Should Move Teams to Canada


The anxiety-provoking process to produce a new collective agreement continues to plague the world of hockey. We are thrown between hope and despair.

At this writing, the trade leader Donald Fehr just given a fairly positive report to the media, which he summed it up with a full agreement on the dollars is reached, but there remains some details of the contract issues.

However, we have not heard the NHL's side of the story - and we know from experience that the two parties have a tendency to speak different languages.

But Fehrs message was still surprisingly positive!

UPDATED: What a drama! And what a turnaround! Unfortunately, against the pitch-black negative way ...

Shortly after Fehr finished his press conference, he returned to the podium - and declared that the NHL had rejected the union's bid outright. Via a message on the answering machine!

The message from the NHL to the players was that no new appointments are needed at present.


I may ask to come back on Friday with more updates. Now I close my eyes and dream me away from all that lockout devices. END OF UPDATE.

I have not kept up with fully in the day's events, because I took the car down to Gothenburg to interview Henrik Lundqvist. The result will be a "cover story" to Pro Hockey's March issue, the idea, but we talked a lot about the daily fresh lockout news.

So, here comes a new Q & A with an NHL star if the labor dispute:

The door to the top division was shut for you locked-out NHL players - have you considered on sabbatical for the NHL season is canceled completely?
"The thought has crossed my mind. The body has flaws here and there, but I feel better mentally to play. I know you it's a big part of my life is missing. I have become more and more depressed the longer the lockout going on. I need something that drives me. And then it's positive to be able to spend more time with family and friends. "

What about the negotiations between your union and the league so far?
"The most frustrating thing is that we have not had anyone to negotiate with. We have given more and more and more, but there has been no negotiation, until now really. The more I thought about it, the more annoyed I have become, but I try to let it go because it's out of my control right now. "

PR-wise and from the fans' point of view, both sides found it difficult to build understanding of its line in this conflict. Can you ask for people to understand what you are fighting for?
"I do not expect people to understand. There is so much money involved. If you are not in the turn itself is quite difficult to grasp. "

"The sport has been miserable lockout, you can not get away from. And I think it's embarrassing for all concerned that we have not agreed previously. Really lousy. We have had such a strong league in recent years, it has grown seven percent each year, so the last seven years, it has grown by nearly 50 percent. Then it's more about finding a system that works for the entire league. "

"Then there's some teams that have been heavily, and then maybe you need to look at the market. There has been talk of how many years any time that you might be moving some teams, but it never happens. There are other cities that are very eager to get an NHL team, the Toronto area, Ontario area, which I think could be a boost for the league. "

And therefore you press hard on the "revenue-sharing" (revenue sharing)?
"We have to be accountable for the decisions (for the league lead) takes. Sure, we realized that we had to reduce our share, even though the league has progressed, but somewhere you have to find a balance. And it felt like their first bid was neither honest or right, but at the same time so it's business. "

Do you think the NHL's first bid delayed the process? For you were the cursed when you saw it and many emotions from 2005 was torn up right away.
"It set the tone for this entire hearing. We got to know where they were and that we were not even close to each other on the question of what was an okay deal. It is not primarily that we should have more, but it is about finding a good system that works in the future, so we are not here for four or five years with the same thing. Baseball has not had a conflict in a long time. They found a system that works. All other sports (big leagues in North America) is the conflict and all have had lockouts. The question is - what makes baseball the right and what do the other wrong? "

"I think it's really important that we find a system that we do not end up here again. This lockout has been hard - for both fans and sponsors and people who work near the gate. And the players, too. "

What do you think is this foundation to stand on in order to avoid future conflicts lockout?
"I'm the wrong person to sit here and say what is right and wrong. But of course we can not have a lot of clubs that go back. At last the deal was the rich richer and the poor poorer. But I have no good answer to that. "

"It just feels so unnecessary with this breaker. We have lost the respect and the goa feeling we had with the fans. I understand that people are annoyed. "

How much of the damage could be repaired if it gets quick reconciliation and the season will start, say at Christmas?
"It is extremely important that we play this season, no doubt about it. And the most important part're from Christmas onwards. Soccer ends, baseball is over, so we get the more space in the media. That's when the owners earn the most money and it generated the most interest. But then, it remains to see how hard the hit is when it comes to audience and sponsors. "

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