Perhaps the suggestion by the Toronto Sun that there be replacement players in the NHL is not such a wacky idea after all. Joe Warmington's article (http://www.torontosun.com/2012/09/17/replacement-players-could-solve-nhl-owners-problems-end-lockout) mentions that there are enough unsigned free agents and other players around to fill all 30 teams.
It is an interesting premise. Would unsigned players agree to play without a collective bargaining agreement in place? Would they refuse on principle or say, what the heck?
But if they did play, it might be motivation enough for both sides to come to an agreement on a new CBA. As it stands, the NHL canceled the remainder of the pre-season games yesterday.
They still are claiming an October 11 start date to the season. Would that be 2012 or 2013 Mr. Bettman?
Fans do not want to see replacement players any more than they want to see replacement refs. While the guys in stripes are a little more homogenous, can you really replace someone like Teemu Selanne? Of course not.
And no one wants to pay NHL money to see guys who otherwise would not be in the NHL. Although as the poll connected to the Toronto Sun points out, most folks in Toronto feel that replacement players would not be any worse than the current Leafs roster.
Although both sides are meeting today in New York to discuss "non-economic" parts of the CBA, there is still not a whole lot of hope that an agreement on all parts of the CBA will be agreed upon soon.
Folks who remain convinced the season will start by the time the Winter Classic is supposed to be played on January 1 are 1) naive, 2) delusional and 3) clearly believe it is unimportant for the first three months of the season to be played.
Sorry Michigan, but keep those plans for the Winter Classic on the table for another year. I'm not a betting person. I just don't ever gamble. But in this case, I am willing to bet the whole season is going to be a wipe out. I wish it wasn't, but there is nothing that indicates a different result.
What a bunch of dumbasses!