The Skate Down The 138

- November 5th, 2012

This, courtesy of the website Choose Cornwall.
(More from me below).

Driving Directions from Ottawa
The fastest and easiest way to get here is to take the Queensway (Highway 417) east, keeping to the right at the Orleans split. Travel about 30 minutes and exit on to Highway 138 (exit 58). Proceed south towards Cornwall. Turn left on Cornwall Centre Road, then right onto Pitt Street. Proceed South and Pitt Street will take you to the downtown core, filled with shopping and restaurants, as well as scenic Lamoureux Park along the St. Lawrence River. Turn left to access the Cornwall Civic Complex and Le Village shopping district, or turn right to head to Brookdale Avenue for more shopping and restaurants.

I truly hope I’m not able to canvas the crowd – in an attempt to find out how many people actually needed those directions – at Monday night’s exhibition game being played by locked out NHLers at the Cornwall Civic Complex.
Because proceeds are going for charity, I hope the turnout is too big to do that.
But frankly, I have my doubts.
Oh, I think some will show up. There has to be people living in Cornwall who would rather pay $20 to watch some NHLers take part in a game of pond hockey than stay home and watch the Philadelphia Eagles and New Orleans Saints on TV.
But I can’t imagine there are many, if any, folks in Ottawa that would bother.
Fortunately, Daniel Alfredsson has decided to make the journey and lace them up. His presence alone with sell some tickets. But if you’re a frustrated hockey fan who makes his home in the nation’s capital, you’re probably not going to spend the gas and time, especially since it means you’re not going to get back much before midnight.
If not for my job, I wouldn’t even consider it.
Then, I wouldn’t spend a cent on a ticket even when the NHL does start up again. There are others out there who feel the same way, of course, but you know as well as I do that Scotiabank Place will be sold-out, or close to it, for the first post-lockout Senators game of the season, and most if not all of those to follow it.
And for that, we are thankful. It’s good for the newspaper business and a lot of others.
Anyway, I firmly believe that the marathon meeting held by Steve Fehr and Bill Daly Saturday will lead to a resolution of this ridiculous spat. I see where Rick Tocchet (the former player) said on Twitter this morning that he has a “hunch” it will be over in 14 days.
I’m predicting seven, if not sooner.
The one question that will never have a good answer is this: why did Fehr and Daly finally get together for their breakthrough session one day AFTER the league was forced to cancel the Winter Classic, its huge moneymaking attraction? Why not a week earlier? They could have saved the outdoor game and a little face.
For that matter, why did they not sit down for a grownup meeting in the summer? They could have saved two months of the season.
Now, people will tell me this was hardcore negotiating, that the sides were standing firm, that they were calling each other’s bluff … whatever else.
I think it’s all a bunch of crap.
They knew they were going to find common ground at some point. They knew there was a deal to be made. They were just never desperate enough to avoid the league’s third lockout since 1994.
The Fehrs, Bettmans, Dalys … they will all be applauded for getting a deal both sides can live with when they finally get it.
But, for all the damaged caused, they should all be embarrassed and fired for not getting it done when they should have got it done.

Categories: Hockey

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11 comments

  1. Lee Donovan says:

    uh Don, you are “supposedly” a sports writer…one that would not even consider a short drive to see the NHL players and also, you wouldn’t spend a dime when the NHL continues ???

    Why dont you move over to the entertainment section where you might find an excuse to get off your lazy butt and cover your subject……

  2. Don Brennan says:

    uh Lee, I think you missed the point. But thanks for your contribution.

  3. PaV says:

    uh Lee, you missed the point. Uh maybe you should go back and uh read it again.

    Even if there is a deal made this week, we are looking at a what? 60 game season at best?

    I am just pissed at both sides, players more than owners, but still pissed. It will be a while until I go see another NHL game live.

    I find it funny that this overnight meeting happened on the heals of the NHL scapping the winter classic. Maybe the players realized that a 100K people at an avg of $100 a ticket + food sales + drink sales + sponsors = a lot of $$$$$$$$$$.

  4. Bobby Goodman says:

    I agree with Don and applaud his candor. He will go to games when play resumes, it is his job but he is certainly allowed to comment on how he feels. I wouldn’t go to Cornwall to watch the “pond” hockey (good description). I don’t even watch the Allstar Games anymore…zero entertainment value to me. Why God is clebrated for particpating in the Cornwall game is beyond me.

    I watched the Russians kill the QHL “Allstars” last night and I wondered when was the last time a team from Russia, Sweden or Finland didn’t select the very best to play. I laughed out loud, but wasn’t surprise, when I heard the QHL hockey gurus chose to go for a “top six and a lower six”. After getting beat by the Russian Selects for years, the geniuses came up with a new plan. Sounds like Hokey Canada to me. I guess the “new formula” didn’t quite work out. When did all this crap start. Dave Cam-moron wouldn’t invite the OHL leading scorer Toffoli to even try out for Team Canada! Cam-moron, that brilliant hockey mind even cut Ryan Nugent- Hopkins (I know murray Murray Costello woudn’t have appointed Cam-moron as coach and allowed that to happen). I am quite sure the American, Russian, Swedish and Finish team officals loved those decisions. Of course Cam-moron who never won anything as a coach at any level is now coaching for our very own Ottawa Senators…go figure. It makes one wonder, what is the prerequisite to become an NHL coach (Cory Clouston “The Little General” anyone).

    I listened to one of the Hokey Canada gurus in an interview last night and he indicated that have a team A and B pencilled in already. You have to wonder if Graovic, Monohan and Ceci on on either list. Two of them are 6-2 and one is 6-4. Perhaps they are too talented to represent their country; I know I have heard one of the Hokey Canada officials suggest that Ceci will have a difficult time. I would wager that Domi’s diminutive son will be on the team though. It wouldn’t surprise me at all if two or even all three didn’t get to pull on a Team Canada swearter.

    When did this crap start? Why did guys like Daisey the Air Rifle find work in the best league in the world. I remember when he arrived, the brothers Murray had him plastered in full page in the papers, promoting him as the a first line winger with Spezza. When it became painfully obvious he couldn’t put the puck in the ocean, he quickly slid to the second, third and ultimately the fourth line where he was celebrated by the media and fans alike. After 4 years, and nearly 3m he is out of the NHL (as I predicted). Why a guy who was never drafted by a major Junior team, never drafted by the NHL, who scored 8 goals in his final year in NCAA signed a 2 year one-way contract is beyond me…but teams need players like him…right….WRONG!

    After the Russians dispense with the Q, they will play against the best from the O. Will the OHL have a new plan as well?

  5. Visitor - Pierre D. says:

    Agreed with Don. I could not be bothered to go to COrnwall and I have a good friend there! Even he, a diehard hockey fan, did not have the will to spend $20+ to see a game of pond hockey. Sad state of affairs. I am not so sure that Scotiabank Place (SBP) will be full to the rafters once games resume. I expect 16,000 – 17,000 at the first game back at the old SBP with attendance rising or dropping according to performance, as has always been the case in this town.

    As for the WJC, Olympics and so on there has always been an element of politics to those things. Remember that Olympic squad that was overloaded with pluggers and was praised as having that element of “grit” that was oh so necessary to win at the international stage and then…poof we came back with nothing of note. We will do well at the WJC, we almost always do. If Ceci gets picked then fantastic but if not he is going to get rest.

    So I’m wondering why we aren’t hearing much about Zibanejad in the papers these days. The Team 1200 is doing its usual spin job with everything related to the Senators (Bingo) and saying they beat last year’s champs except they didn’t…that team was owned by the Tampa Bay Lightning and passed over to the Anaheim Ducks whom now own the Norfolk Admirals. Of course they split the series (not bad) but we can’t expect Team 1200 to be objective or regale us with facts or truth. As for Zib, still sitting on 2 assists. Silf only scores when killing penalties. Both look extremely lost at five vs. five but according to a Senators blog (SilverSeven) Silf will be a 50+ goal scorer at the NHL level, that’s quite the leap! While I completely understand the need for the local media and the team to flog its prospects so that fans continue to be interested after Phillips and Alfie retire (they need to sell tickets), maybe it’s time to admit that the Senators should have taken Sean Couturier instead of the kid that does chocolate milk ads in Sweden (Zib). And maybe Silf will be a respectable player but has a lot of beans to eat before he’s as consistent as Alfredsson.

    All over I hear Gary Bettman should or will be fired. Why? Bettman is working for the owners. He isn’t saying anything or doing anything that hasn’t been vetted by the NHL Illuminati clique of Jacobs, Lamoriello etc. etc.
    I thought I would be missing hockey and truly if this were 2008 I might be quite upset. Right now with an average product I’m merely indifferent. I’ll got to a game or two down the road but there isn’t any rush or paucity of tickets in this town!

  6. Mike8888 says:

    I went to a 67′s game a few weeks ago and I didn’t have to take out a bank loan to do it. It was $15 for a the first level instead of $100 plus. I’ll watch Sen’s games on TV, but I won’t be going to very many.

  7. Bobby Goodman says:

    Mikey, your not givng up on them are you?

  8. Bobby Goodman says:

    So “Lehner is a leader in the AHL” because he is defending a couple of Swedes he plays with in Bingo (I guess they need defending?). Wasn’t it the Management Team that put “too much pressure on them” to produce? Interestingly, the kid “who would be Spezza’s right winger for the next ten years” didn’t get syllable from Lehner last year but then again he didn’t really need it, did he; AP scored 23 goals as a 20 year old rookie, in a strange land, on a smaller ice surface, playing a different game with only one other Swede on the team for support (there are currently 6 in Bingo?).

    With all signs pointing to the looming return of the NHL season, wont it be interesting to see who gets invited to play for the team this year? Any gueses who will be on the ice at Scotia Bank Place? I wonder how Timmie, Perriere, Randi and Brian will justify their decisions should silly bugger play out as I suspect it will. I wonder where they have been since the AHL season began?

  9. Mike8888 says:

    Not at all Bobby. But I will probably spending less on them. Watching them on my 60″ is way cheaper, and so is the beer. When and if they do ever start playing, we should all meet at a sports bar and watch them.

  10. Bobby Goodman says:

    I am down mon chum et mon vieux.

    I watched the 67s on the tube last night…I have to say, a good half of the kids playing on that team do not belong in the OHL. I was impressed of course with Graovac and Monohan but very disappointed with Ceci’s play. I expected him to be leading rushes, making plays, taking many more shots and using his body. Throughout much of the game, he was invisible. He is a fabulous skater and at 6-2, he aint small. He also possesses a Big League shot (it did leed to one of Graovac’s goals). I just want to see him more “engaged” and making things happen. To me it looked like he was waiting for things to happen and then responding. For a skilled kid, that is not acceptable.

    Graovac is 6-4, mobile and a goal scorer. Monohan is as smooth as silk. He is a beautiful skater, slik, wonderful with the puck and phoenominal passer. I believe he is 4th in the league scoring currently. We will be seeing all three in the O’s turn in the Subway Series.

  11. ChokerHater says:

    uh Lee!
    not to pile on but I don’t even read the NHL/NHLPA crap in the papers so I’m glad he wrote something a little different.
    Here is hoping that Canadians don’t all pile back into the arenas after this is over and make millionaires and billionaires of these two groups of greedy people. But I doubt that will happen, you’ll all be sucked right back into it with free offers and BS apologies. There is a sucker born every minute and the ones who go back and pay and don’t make these players and owners pay big time are the latest suckers to be born.

    Keep in mind, and this is no slight at Don and Bruce, but these guys can’t really tell you how they feel about the lockout/strike bash the players and owners because their employment depends on them, but the fans can, and I sure hope there are some fans that are so pissed off that it’s be like baseball…..a lot NEVER went back

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