The National Hockey League announced Friday afternoon that all games through November 1 have been cancelled. The league and the players’ association have been negotiating a new Collective Bargaining Agreement… or so they say. Quite frankly, the negotiations have gone like two little girls in a sissy slap-fight. From each party’s Public Relations department, it appears as if the two sides are very far apart in discussing how to share the league’s revenue.
With this current lockout, several Penguins players have decided to play overseas in the meantime. Evgeni Malkin, 2011-12 scoring champion and league MPV, joined the KHL like many players in the NHL. Malkin is undeniably a pivotal member of the Pittsburgh Penguins. Without him, the team’s chances of hoisting the Stanley Cup are very slim. What if Malkin were to suffer a serious injury in the KHL? Penguins’ fans would be furious.
Sidney Crosby has seemingly neglected the idea of playing overseas during the work-stoppage. Crosby has been a key part in the negotiations for the NHLPA, while also organizing team workouts for his teammates who also decided against playing in foreign land. This lockout is a time for the leaders and hardest workers to thrive and separate themselves from the rest. Crosby’s leadership and work ethic have his team practicing at South Point in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Penguins defenseman Ben Lovejoy had a few words about the practices being held by team captain Sidney Crosby, “One day three guys skipped, and we got [PO’d] at them, and nothing like that has happened since.” Crosby is already a motivated soul after suffering a bitter playoff loss to the Flyers last April. This additional edge will make the Penguins an even more dangerous opponent for the rest of the NHL this season… if an agreement is eventually made.
The Penguins would have played the Philadelphia Flyers Thursday, October 18. It would have been the first game between these two barbarous rivals since the Flyers defeated the Penguins in the first round of the playoffs last season. If the NHL and the NHLPA can come to an agreement within the next week, the Penguins would open the season November 2 against the Columbus Blue Jackets. The Pens’ home opener would be November 10 against the Edmonton Oilers. Pittsburgh’s first meeting with the Flyers would not come until February of next year. However, be prepared for the league to cancel more games.