Vancouver Canucks players make a statement by flipping their practice jerseys
Notebook: NHLers show solidarity during informal workout
Henrik Sedin fields media questions following an informal workout of locked out players at UBC’s Thunderbird Arena on Monday. The players had their jerseys turned inside out, hiding the Canucks logo.
Photograph by: Kim Stallknecht, PNG
VANCOUVER — We are all Canucks. Except for the 11 guys who skated Monday at UBC’s Father Bauer Arena.
In their first skate since the National Hockey League lockout took effect on the weekend, the players made a point by turning their Canuck practice jerseys inside out.
“I don’t know who the first guy to do it was, but we’re no longer employed by the Canucks so we’re not going to be representing them,” said defenceman Kevin Bieksa. “It’s not a big deal. I think somebody actually said they preferred that we had it inside out. I don’t care either way. Still got the Canucks’ (logo) on the pants and the helmet. Who really cares.”
The Canuck regulars who skated Monday included Bieksa, Dan Hamhuis, Cory Schneider, Maxim Lapierre and Daniel and Henrik Sedin.
“I’m not sure whose decision it was, but I mean, it makes sense,” Schneider said of the jersey reversal.
WAITING GAME: A number of NHL players have already signed with European teams, but most of the Canucks seem to be taking a wait-and-see attitude about chasing overseas employment.
“I think it’s too early to talk about that,” Bieksa said. “It’s in the back of everybody’s mind, I think. I don’t think too many people want to miss an entire season of hockey. We are going to be doing this (working out in Vancouver) for a few weeks and see how talks go and I guess in a month or two we’ll make our minds as far as that is concerned.”
By that time, of course, it might be tough to find a job in Europe.
“Obviously things are going to be pretty clogged up,” Bieksa said. “You are looking at 750 players looking for a job and then you have all the guys who have been overseas for a while that have contracts and then there’s the import rule and all that. There’s a lot of factors, it’s complicated. Hopefully it doesn’t get to that point.”
HEADING HOME?: Danish reports on Monday indicated winger Jannik Hansen is contemplating signing to play in Denmark during the lockout.
Hansen’s former team, the Rødovre Mighty Bulls, have put out feelers to Hansen, who wants to wait awhile before committing to a deal.
“I’m a little reluctant to go home to play for a month or three weeks,” he told Danish media. “I will wait a little and hopefully soon get a little clarity. Because if this is short, then there is no reason to go home and play. But if it is a whole season, I will of course play.”
ESCROW EXCITEMENT: If the lockout delays the start of the regular season, the players will miss their first pay cheques in mid-October. But they won’t be starving. At about exactly that time they are scheduled to receive their escrow cheques from the NHL.
Last season, the players had 8.5 per cent of their salaries put into escrow. But with record league revenues, they are getting almost all of it back in mid- to late October.
That means Cory Schneider won’t have do something he joked about on Monday.
“Might go work at a gas station for a little bit if that’s allowed, but I think my (Canadian) work permit says I have to play hockey only,” he said.
Based on his $900,000 US salary last season, Schneider’s escrow cheque next month should amount to about $72,000 before taxes.
NO. 1 and ONLY GOALIE: Roberto Luongo returned to his Florida home on the weekend and Eddie Lack is in Chicago preparing for the start of the Wolves’ AHL training camp. So that leaves Schneider as the only goalie participating in this week’s informal workouts.
This probably isn’t what Schneider had in mind when he became the team’s No. 1 goalie.
“The hard thing being a goalie is that it’s hard to duck out or leave early,” he said with a smile. “I think we’ll probably see if anyone else is around who wants to come skate, but I don’t mind it right now.”
ICE CHIPS: The players have to pay for the ice they are using at UBC and also must launder their own jerseys ... Former Canuck and current L.A. King Willie Mitchell skated at UBC on Monday.
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