The September 15th expiration of the collective bargaining agreement is coming up quickly, and as the owners and the players go another day without talking, it’s become quite clear that the phrase “post-lockout” will refer to a much smaller portion of time by this weekend. That is, unless you’re among the sunniest optimists in hockey (like whoever’s running the Canucks’ Twitter account right now, for instance).
There are a few such optimists among the NHLPA. “I’m still optimistic that we’ll all be able to figure it out with the amount of time that we have left,” said Zach Parise. “I’m optimistic by nature,” said Zenon Konopka. “I think there’s enough time to get a deal done by September 15.” Even Canuck goaltender Cory Schneider showed the audacity of hope: ”I think most guys are optimistic,” he said.
But optimism is a young man’s game, and in hockey terms, Daniel Sedin is an old-timer. His take on CBA negotiations was much more sobering.
“It doesn’t look too good. I’m not too optimistic,” he told reporters Monday.
Whoa! Not optimistic? What a old grump this guy is.
(Tellingly, he spent the next hour yelling at a chair.)
Of course, Daniel has every reason to sound like a dour old man when discussing the potential of a lost season. After all, an honest reading of the situation causes dourness. Plus, in hockey terms, Daniel’s an old man.
He knows it, too. Daniel admitted Monday that the lost time is a major concern to him and his slightly older twin brother.
That’s the one thing we would think about all summer. Every year now, we’ve got a chance to play for the Stanley Cup. … Hopefully, like I said, if not the whole season, have at least part of the season, get a chance to get in the playoffs again. And we’re getting older too. We don’t want to miss any games, or a season, that’s for sure.”
Not that their age is beginning to show (they’ve always seemed about 46), but at some point, it will. Maybe it’s worth it to lose the season in an attempt to fight the owners’ proposed rollback, but the fact that it also comes with a one-year roll-forward in age is likely hard for the twins to stomach in their prime.
The Sedins’ age and their desire to win a Stanley Cup before the end of their career has likely informed their plan of action for the coming year. As Canucks Army reported earlier this summer, in the event of a lockout, the twins aren’t going anywhere. They’re fully prepared to sit in Vancouver and wait it out. ”We have decided to go over [to Vancouver] and be there,” Daniel said. “We see no problem with that. We can keep on working out and practicing anyway.”
Daniel did give himself some wiggle room, establishing that they had spoken to Markus Naslund about joining MODO if it became clear the entire season was lost. After all, working out will only do so much to stave off a year’s worth of rust. But it’s clear that the twins are reluctant to go back to Sweden.
Why? Daniel indicated it was because of the kids. “We have children who go to school so we’ll see what happens,” he said. But clearly, that’s not really it, since they spoke to Naslund about the contingency plan.
Thomas Drance suggested the Sedins might be aiming to refuel after some lengthy seasons and a few injuries, such as Daniel’s concussion, but I’d say it has more to do maintaining the fuel they’ve already got, especially with the Canucks’ status as contenders. The Sedins are saving their vast reserves of wizardry for you, Vancouver.
Hockey breaks the body down, especially in an athlete’s mid-thirties. You can’t control that. However, you can control where you break down, and the Sedins would prefer it happens in North America, after leading a Stanley Cup-contending team to a Stanley Cup.
Thus, while the CBA negotiations may not be going anywhere, neither are they.Tags: Daniel Sedin, Daniel Sedin is a crotchety old man