Local NHL players worried about possible lockout


NHL players from Newfoundland and Labrador are worried about another lockout. Talks between the league and players began this week, but they haven't gone very far.

"I don't know if I'm as optimistic as I was before," said Detroit Red Wings forward Danny Cleary Friday at Danny Cleary's Hockey School in Torbay.

"Adam Pardy, Luke Adam, these guys," he said. "Everybody's concerned. There's a lot of money at stake to lose. A lot of fans to lose. A lot of fans to upset. And workers at the arena. The trickledown effect goes far."

Changes are looming over contracts and bonuses, and hockey team owners want to pay players less. Under the current system, the salary cap is $70.2 million. The NHL is proposing a $55.3 million cap. The players are proposing a $69 million cap.

"I think as a union we've come to their side a little bit, so let's hope we can bridge the gap a little tighter," said Cleary.

Cleary said during the 2004-2005 lockout he went to play in Sweden, but said so far players are still planning to play a regular season.

"Everybody will head to their respective cities in early September," he said. "You still have to prepare, that will be the mind set ... it will be normal training regimen."

He said he's not sure if he'll go back to Europe and play again this season is if the impasse continues.

"It was important for me to keep playing, so if we do this year, now that I'm a little bit older, I don't know. I need to make sure I'm healthy, then we'll see."

The deadline to reach a deal is September 15, 2012.

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