Things must not be going well in negotiations (if negotiations is the right word for this lack of discussion) between the NHL and the NHLPA. The usually ever optimistic Wayne Gretzky, gave a rather down press conference Sunday night at the World Junior Hockey Championships in North Dakota.
Pinned down in the press centre, Gretzky expressed fears that not only this current season may be in jeopardy, but the beginning of the 2005-2006 one as well. Explaining that the players don't get paid from April to September, he suggested they would be less than interested in going back to work promptly in September, having survived over a year without pay what would be a few more months, possibly stretching over two years! Not a rosy picture to greet the New Year is it!
Unless things have been happening under deep cover of secrecy, there seems to have been no effort made by either side to resolve the impasse, get back to a table and settle things as soon as possible. The clock is ticking, many expect the January 14th date to be the end of hockey for this year. The end of January the last window of opportunity for North American pros to scramble aboard that European league lifeboat.
Should the two sides not make any progress by mid month, expect a swarm of North Americans to be stocking your favourite Swiss, Swedish, German and Italian league team. Before you know it you do may be chanting LETS GO MODO, LETS GO!!