Crosby, players show frustration with breakdown in talks

{eot} Staff
12/7/2012 5:32:28 PM
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A day after the National Hockey League broke off collective bargaining talks with the NHL Players' Association on Thursday night, locked out NHL players took to Twitter and other media sources to express their frustration.

Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby - among the most visable faces in this week's negotiations -  told reporters on Friday that after both sides worked hard for three straight days, to get the news that the talks had broken off was "devastating for everyone."

"We knew what the issues were and we moved on those," said Crosby. "If it's the case, like Gary (Bettman) 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 try to find a way to make something work and then come and say that.

He also expressed frustration with how the negotiations were handled once the players and owners meetings transitioned when Bettman and Donald Fehr rejoined the talks.

"I don't really know what the next move is from here," he said. "That's not really the best way to get a deal done, I don't think. As far as trying to get progress, I don't think that helps anything."

Crosby, who reiterated that he's considering going to Europe to play in order to stay in game shape, feels that the foundation for a new labour deal is there.

"The foundation of course is still there," Crosby said. "I don't think all of those talks were for nothing. I think that it was good to get that dialogue and I think there is a clear understanding from that."

And Sid The Kid wasn't the only player to sound off.

"It really seems that since the start of the lockout and negotiation that the partnership we had talked about coming out of the last lockout has really been thrown aside," Montreal Canadiens forward Erik Cole told The Montreal Gazette. "We're here to grow the game of hockey and what they're doing with this lockout is doing anything but grow the game.

"If you want to know when this lockout will end, only (the owners) know."

Fellow Canadiens player Brandon Prust tweeted his reaction to the recent turn of events. "I'm done caring," he wrote. "We keep moving and giving...This 1 way street sucks."

Florida Panthers forward Scottie Upshall tweeted that the recent setback in negotiations has only solidified the players' resolve, saying, "Plain and simple these owners think they can break us apart. GOOD LUCK! We r stronger than we've ever been and r behind Fehr %100.

"There's no pressure yet on the owners to lose this year, that's why they still treat us like Cattle. They'll need a partner come January."

Washington Capitals star Alex Ovechkin, who is currently playing in the Kontinental Hockey League, believed that the owners that took part in the meetings on Wednesday might have had a different agenda than NHL commissioner Gary Bettman.

"We were talking to the owners and [they] say one thing, and Bettman says a different thing," Ovechkin stated to the media. "I don't think they have a good plan like we have."

San Jose Sharks forward Logan Couture voiced his support for union head Don Fehr.

"100 percent in agreement with our @nhlpa leader for all of (sic) you asking," he said.

Washington Capitals forward Jason Chimera is discouraged that talks broke down with a possible deal in the offing. "It's pretty disappointing for hockey in general," said Chimera. "To be that close and just stop talking is absurd."

Winnipeg Jets defenceman Ron Hainsey, who has been a part of the negotiations, was frustrated with the owners' stance that Donald Fehr returning to the table could be a deal breaker.

"We are not capable of closing billion dollar deals, we can get them close I think, we're trying to do that, but as far as closing them out, I don't see any other way we could do it without our staff in there," said Hainsey. "That's why they're there."

The work stoppage, which began Sept. 16, has already forced the cancellation of regular season games through Dec. 14, as well as the Winter Classic and All-Star Weekend.


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