Vancouver Canucks star Henrik Sedin not surprised by NHL Winter Classic’s cancellation (with Twitter reaction)
Owners ‘are the ones cancelling things. It's up to them. How far will they go?’
VANCOUVER — Friday's cancellation of the Winter Classic by the National Hockey League was not an unexpected development to Vancouver Canucks captain Henrik Sedin. As the lockout drags into an eighth week, Henrik has apparently become numb to the league's decision-making.
To him, it seems more of the same.
“I don't really think anything surprises us anymore with the owners in the league,” Henrik said following another lockout practice with the UBC Thunderbirds. “I mean, it's one of those things where I think they have a timeline, or a time limit, or a time plan. They are the ones cancelling things. It's up to them. How far will they go? That's the question we are asking ourselves every day.”
Henrik counts himself among those who enjoys the Winter Classic each Jan. 1 and feels it is an outstanding event for the league. He was sorry to see it get the chop, at least for this year.
“As a player, you always look forward to it, to watch the game and follow the buildup,” he said. “It's one of those things that builds some interest in markets where maybe the fans aren't as crazy as Canadians about hockey. But like I said before, we gave them what I think were three good options to negotiate and they came back after 10 minutes and said no. I think that says a lot about what they're willing to do.”
Bargaining committee member Manny Malhotra insists the players won't panic with the scrubbing of the Winter Classic, an apparent pressure point for the league. There seems nothing on the horizon now to push the owners into offering something more acceptable to the players.
“I think the cancellation of the Winter Classic is trying to create those artificial pressure points,” said Malhotra. “We're not surprised by any means. I'm not really concerned with it. The league is creating exactly what they want to create. They want to try and stir up a little bit of hysteria among the players. They want to try to create those wedges with guys wanting to get back at any cost and be rushed into a bad deal.
“We've been educated on what's going on and why these pressure tactics are being used so, again, we're not fazed by it. It's sad that this is one of their only methods but it is what it is.”
Malhotra reiterated that the players absolutely want a return to the bargaining table.
“If we had no desire to get back to the games, we'd be on vacation somewhere stuffing our faces rather than skating and working out every day,” he stated. “To say that guys don't want to negotiate and get things done would be a wrong statement.”
ICE CHIPS: Canucks defencemen Alex Edler (back) and Jason Garrison (groin) both skated again Friday with UBC and a half-dozen locked-out players. Canuck head athletic trainer Mike Burnstein was on hand to watch Edler and Garrison, who are not locked out due to their status as “unfit to play.”
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