Sen 'willing to lose season'

Ottawa Senators forward Daniel Alfredsson doesn't paint an optimistic picture that the NHL season...

Ottawa Senators forward Daniel Alfredsson doesn't paint an optimistic picture that the NHL season might be saved. He says the NHLPA has nothing left to offer. (Ottawa Sun File Photo)

BRUCE GARRIOCH -- Ottawa Sun

, Last Updated: 8:30 AM ET

The NHL season could go down without a fight.

Senators captain Daniel Alfredsson, a vice president on the NHL Players' Association executive committee, told the Sun yesterday the union has no plans to make a new offer and "they're willing to lose the season".

Speaking from his home in Goteborg, Sweden, Alfredsson said he had discussions with union officials last week and the players aren't going to do anything to change the offer of a 24% rollback they made Dec. 9.

"We're not working on anything ... we're not going to do anything to change our offer," said Alfredsson. "We've got nothing else planned. We felt that we gave them our best offer.

"We thought we made them an offer that they could work with. What we found out in that meeting was they have a one-track mind. (Gary Bettman) is stuck on one thing and we're not going to play under a cap system.

"We're willing to lose the season if that's what it takes. We're prepared for it."

There have been no formal talks between the two sides since the NHL flatly rejected the players' offer on Dec. 14. The NHL countered with an offer including a salary cap which included pay cuts of more than 30% for the league's higher-paid players.

Though there has been talk the players are putting pressure on union boss Bob Goodenow to get a deal in place, Alfredsson says the union remains united in its fight not to get a cap.

"Everybody I've spoken with, and I've talked to a lot of people through this, understands what we're going through right now and they support what we're trying to do," said Alfredsson. "We want a deal that is fair for both sides.

"I know that a lot of players are frustrated that we're not playing, but they're also frustrated that we made what we thought was a good offer and the league didn't engage in any kind of discussions to try to make something happen.

"If people are saying that (the players don't support the union), they're wrong."

Next up on the lockout agenda is a meeting between Bettman and the NHL's board of governors in New York on Jan. 14. Sources say the season won't be formally cancelled, but this will be a show of support for the cause.

Alfredsson has a backup plan in place. He'll begin skating with Frolunda in the next couple of days and plans on playing in the next two weeks.

"Right now, it wouldn't do me any good to play two or three games in Sweden and then find out we're going to have a season. I'm just going to wait," said Alfredsson. "Even if the league doesn't officially cancel the season next week, if this goes past the middle of the month there's not going to be a season anyways.

"A lot of guys are like me and making other plans."


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