SUN Hockey Pool

NHLPA calls player reps meeting

LANCE HORNBY -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 9:04 AM ET

The National Hockey League Players' Association is summoning its reps, but not to repair cracks in solidarity.

When the call went out yesterday for the 30 club liaisons to report to Toronto on Nov. 2, there was a link made to a recent outburst by Andrew Ference of the Calgary Flames and a constant stream of polls that show the public backing the owners in the five-week-old lockout.

"I wouldn't read that much into this meeting," a source within the NHLPA said last night. "If you look back to the last lockout in 1994, we brought all the players in a couple of times. This is just the reps and it just seems like the logical time to have a meeting.

"As far as what Ference said (severely criticizing both owners and players as "asinine" for not talking since the lockout began), that's only one guy speaking out."

Bryan McCabe, the Maple Leafs rep, told The Toronto Sun earlier this week that "(players are) a bunch of different personalities and things will come out. But collectively, we're on the same page."

Players are given daily updates through their NHLPA secure website, but this will be a chance for the reps to hear directly from executive director Bob Goodenow. On Nov. 1, the players will lose the third of 13 paycheques. The league has cancelled all games through Dec. 5 or 355 in total from the 1,230 originally scheduled.

Not all NHL players are going without pay. Officially, there are 30 players still getting salary as they recover from injuries suffered last season, as per the rules of the old collective bargaining agreement. They include Ed Jovanovski of the Vancouver Canucks, Saku Koivu of the Montreal Canadiens, Zdeno Chara and Wade Redden of the Ottawa Senators, Jordan Leopold of the Calgary Flames and Alex Mogilny and Ed Belfour of the Leafs.

The majority of the 30 players are expected to be healed by early December and therefore off the books.


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