Jan 6, 2013|
Automatically Generated Transcript (may not be 100% accurate)
And again now following twin big stories today the bills have hired -- in her own. As their new head coach and as expected the bills to be formally announcing that that is true and correct after various sources reporting that. Sometime before the game and today. Also the NHL lockout is over in here to talk about it is one of the premier hockey writers in fact he's a hockey writer for USA today. Kevin Allen joining us Kevin good morning how are you. Well there's a good morning and I -- -- hockey's back to credential and you've got to be pleased and it was a very contentious negotiations but you know after his sixteen. Our bargaining session yesterday and you know the -- of the day is Scott back and -- of the US federal mediation -- -- So early age and service because. He really brought the the two sides in -- Yeah that's the obvious starting point I mean without this guy who by the way should probably be enshrined in the hockey hall of fame for his work. Other would be no agreement today. Well I agree -- get credit for the days because what he did was. You know on Thursday when they boil over and that's been commonplace in these negotiations. -- you lead they did not get back in the room together on Friday that he went from the UN HL players association a hotel to live NATO headquarters in. Sort of shuttle diplomacy. Paul being aware they had room to move events Saturday when he got back together -- He moved demand that direction and you know in the and there are probably three issues -- the players -- that getting attention they're only gains in this by the way. That's similar to Major League Baseball and the owners acknowledge that they -- some liability for that pensions and secondly the players. Did light at the sixty million dollars salary cap that would have had to have occurred in the second year in order to get down to the 5050 split. So they've got the owners agree is 64 point three 3% that's spectator so -- -- Great news for for big markets we're gonna have trouble getting -- and finally. -- the owners end up with a individual are with the cap on individual contract for seven years. Which is gonna prevent a lot of the you know odd dec contract we've seen in recent years a lot of the back diving. Our contract but the other is a because that allows -- resigning as well -- free -- -- He'll -- the negotiation was about give backs have by players the big objective for hours was to get a fifty. Fifty split in the last CBA players -- giving 57%. For the for the win for owners but. There really was a lot for both sides but how much I was lost. He had just looking at these these numbers and I guess I yet you hate to go through that the -- You know who won who lost because ultimately it but he's a fan of hockey lost the NHL has lost because now you've. Really had some problems. Anyway trying to market this game because it's such a niece Ford but a huge in places like here Detroit and Pittsburgh. So is the next order of business for Gary to start mending fences Gary Bettman the commissioner. Well that's that's the question I mean do we of course certain here and you know you know again Gary -- happiest -- general that's that's the key in this same would be true Donald -- You know what we have here is -- as the basis for peace for a decade. But in order to have a good piece. You know you've got to have good peacetime leaders and I know -- the question you know are they gonna now by over every little thing. That -- cropped up because there are a lot of issues and that in the course of the year that have to be. Decided interpretation of the contracts fell. You know what you hope is is that you know in the name of trying to grow the game and have let's let's face -- you know -- -- -- like they were entering a golden era in alas this season. All the games all the playoff games on national television for the first time in the winter classic -- an instant hit -- -- out of place on New Year's Day. Revenues have -- the 3.3 billion dollars Gary Bettman took over. That's what this 700 million dollars sport. So there's a lot alike about the future of the NHL as demographics are good so. All of that in mind you know what this chance for a labor peace he multiple sides we'll take advantage of that. And I am along with that the fact that it's a ten year agreement certainly has to. Be a positive for both sides and for the league as well. I I said early on when the players were pushing for a shorter deal that I didn't understand that because I thought the long term deal within their best interest because I got news for all you gotta do is look at the landscape. Now only in -- sports. But in management labor relations in the United States and it's about about it has been in the and I will. You know predict about being an economist Soto will be in the foreseeable future as everyone tries to get beat by economics at -- -- -- the -- player. And I'm Sidney Crosby for example I'd like the idea that for another did you know ten years I don't have to worry about. Somebody you know taking myself. For a year after the lockout so. I think that the good thing for players some of them may not believe that there. They may believe that the shorter deal would -- more cent to -- go back and revisit the some of the issues they're concerned about but. I think this is that everybody is about it is particularly fans they did not wanna go through this again. Lab on the line with the USA today hockey writer Kevin Allen about the fans -- Posit this at the end of the article this morning -- the question is how fans will react to this cell block out. What are you -- fan's reactions going to be. Can't integrate question I don't have a great answer for it and I've been asked all the time I mean -- have a history and history says that. In Canada they will be a 100% committed to coming back which shouldn't be surprised. But what I have pointed out there is it historically Americans fans. I have been similar. Lisa dedicated ones to Canadian fans and hasn't that they -- due to. Quite devout you know on in terms of the percentage. Attendants say that he -- cities have had particularly in need you know stronger areas you know it's really shown that. You know they show up in numbers that by the gas but I guess despite all the talk about more fan backlash that they probably won't happen will be. Little less dedication in the one last time but I still think the attendance will be strong I I think all that talk about I'm gonna stay away in there I'm done. I think that was -- again until pinnacle of the sport a comeback. Well I don't have the exact numbers in front -- -- but I can tell you that the at the emirates buffalo affiliate DHL played a couple games here in both of them were extremely well attended for what it's worth. -- I mean you know it could be -- hockey fan in America particularly if you're older. You know you had to be a stand when it. When being a -- wasn't easy you know oftentimes in the seventies and eighties you would meet it's your hockey fan like that crazy sport I mean there was a guy that walked by. We run the streets in front of the and NATO headquarters and yes what all the big hubbub was about about W and as we sit at the and it felonies -- who cares it's irrelevant well. -- still some people feel that way but. You know for the most part a lot of hockey fans two years to put up with that so when you be able to put up of that kind of attitude. I think he'll come back to back them bail on the sport. The -- now since the news broke just before 5 this morning and we had any definitive word or even any tentative word on. What the schedules going to look like in when in my start. No we don't because that has not even been resolved and not there's been a lot of reporting on Twitter about it but. I've I've got from a very reliable source that that has not been finalized it it's it's clearly a minimum of 48 games but there's still. Tinkering with the idea may be you know adding a couple of games to that maybe fifty games it'll start working anywhere in nineteenth which is what. You know they hit their goal what he could start as early as the fifteen. But we're gonna play 48 to fifty games somewhere in the air they haven't even resolve the issue -- whether the -- -- this month. I have just written a column. Suggesting that it it just might be the year to try you know maybe a fifth round of playoffs that you know have as many as. Twenty -- teams get in and have that first. About them three series B you know because obviously if he's as diplomat what -- -- so embrace that and embrace the -- the date it's that it's different we know it's different. Really going to be in usual -- have kind of unique kind of play up for a but I don't think the -- -- radical but I think there's still a chance that. -- consider maybe having you know appointees in the. And last thing -- this might be a little premature but I'll give it a shot. Even if you don't give me names what quality to certain teams would make them perhaps favorites to win the cup this year. Or at least start. Well I I I think just changes everything obviously because you know about the spread America -- and that marathon -- favors some teams like the Los Angeles kings of very large physical team. But a lot of endurance. And that they proved that that was important event last year when they won the cup in Minnesota. What the team that you know was very good for the first 48 games. That -- that and then kind of petered out at some injuries and had -- difficulty. You know down the stretch was an. Didn't have good endurance for the seasons -- I would think it's gonna favors skilled teams. Altered -- carry it up in Russia -- Pittsburgh is going to be on -- he's gonna hit the guys you know 48 game season I'm gonna predict market gonna have a lot of points. He's playing that well over there he's in great shape he's dominant. I think that we won't have the Stanley Cup came over this year for LA's so they're going to be tough as well thought -- I think skilled teams. As opposed to physical teams -- defensive teams have the advantage. Very good Kevin very much appreciate it no it's early and you've been spent an awful lot of time on this so thank you for joining us here this morning. All right Kevin Allen the great hockey writer for the USA today yes.