CBA talk not welcome
By BRUCE GARRIOCH -- Ottawa Sun
Don't mention the NHL's collective bargaining agreement in the Team Canada dressing room.
The 26 players are polite when asked about the subject, but they're not going to get into any heavy discussions regarding the contract negotiations between the NHL and its Players Association.
With the CBA set to expire Sept. 15, talks resume in Ottawa today in an attempt to find some common ground.
The Canadian players have decided as a group that they're not going to worry about the subject until the end of the World Cup.
"I would guess about the only thing I'm going to say is that I'm optimistic something is going to get done," Calgary Flames captain Jarome Iginla said last night. "I'm hopeful, but it's not really something that anybody in this room is thinking about.
"We all came to this tournament and we agreed we weren't going to think about this stuff. We're here trying to win the World Cup. That has to be the focus for this group. We all want to win a championship for Canada."
None of Team Canada's players will be involved in today's negotiations. Instead, they'll be preparing to face Team USA tonight in an exhibition game at the Corel Centre.
Senators defenceman Wade Redden said the only update any of the players will get is from the NHLPA's website after the meeting today.
FOCUS ON CUP
"We're not thinking about it at all," Redden said. "As a group, we all want something to happen and a deal to get in place. There's still time, but the focus for us is winning this championship. We have to put the rest of that stuff aside.
"Hopefully, they'll have good discussions and they'll get closer to making something happen. I don't think these discussions are going to overshadow the World Cup. Everybody is excited about playing in this tournament."
Asked about today's discussions, Pittsburgh Penguins owner/captain Mario Lemieux politely dismissed the subject.
"As an owner, I'm not allowed to talk about (the negotiations)," he said.