Unhappy tidings expected

BRUCE GARRIOCH -- Ottawa Sun

, Last Updated: 8:08 AM ET

CHICAGO -- Be prepared for the worst.

That could be the message NHL Players' Association executive director Bob Goodenow conveys to player agents at a meeting today.

Goodenow warned agents in the summer to prepare for the cancellation of the entire NHL season. With no end in sight to the labour dispute, he might have to make that point again today.

"I don't think anybody should be surprised with where we are at in this process," said NHLPA senior director Ted Saskin. "It has been (NHL commissioner) Gary Bettman's plan all along to cancel the season since he started this lockout. It's not like what is happening here is unexpected."

The agents have been strangely silent since the lockout started. Some have been working quietly to try to find a solution, but one cautioned that everyone should let Goodenow do his job.

"Nobody should go in there and second guess the way negotiations are being handled," said Buffalo-based agent Steve Bartlett of Sports Consulting Group.

"I know when I'm doing a contract and somebody second guesses me, it pisses me off when I hear that somebody doesn't like a deal I've done or they're questioning the way I'm going about something. Let's go in there and see what (the union) has to say."


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