Today's dose of alarmism and pessimism comes to us via CBS Pittsburgh:
“From all three days, to kind of go through all of that and get a response like that is pretty devastating for everyone,” Penguins captain Sidney Crosby said Friday, following the collapse of CBA talks in New York City Thursday.
Crosby returned to Pittsburgh Thursday night and practiced with seven others at Southpointe Friday morning.
Crosby said the owners and players meetings without NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman and union head Donald Fehr were productive, saying, “if it’s the case, like what Gary said in his press conference where they are going to draw a line in the sand, just say that. Don’t waste guys’ time there discussing stuff for three days and then come and say that.”
Crosby said he is closer to playing in Europe, because he just wants to play hockey and that the lockout is getting ridiculous.
Now, there's a good chance that Crosby is just frustrated or that he's using the threat of playing in Europe as a negotiating tool. However, if Sidney Crosby does go play in Europe, consider the season gone. Once big-name North American players start heading away from the NHL, it's because they don't feel like there's any hope of playing here this year.
Or they're negotiating and using the opportunity as PR. We don't even know anymore. It seems as though everything is PR now.
In somewhat related news, Ryan O'Reilly – who led the Colorado Avalanche in scoring last season – has signed a two-year deal with Metallurg Magnitogorsk of the KHL. He's currently an NHL RFA and his KHL contract states that if he is "offered a contract on more lucrative terms in the National Hockey League, Metallurg will not interfere in that contract being concluded" but the two-year term is still interesting.
Are North American players now using the KHL as a big-time negotiating threat against the NHL?