Big Mike OK with cap
Commodore willing to negotiate
RANDY SPORTAK -- Calgary Sun
|Calgary Flames defenceman Mike Commodore says he would play under a salary cap - if it was fair for both sides.(CP PICTURE ARCHIVE/Jeff McIntosh)
Flames defenceman Mike Commodore said he'd accept a salary cap to solve the NHL lockout.
Going against the NHLPA mantra a salary cap is not acceptable, at the risk of being chastised by his brethren, Commodore said on Calgary's Fan 960 radio station yesterday if it takes a salary cap to solve the stalemate, so be it.
"I'll risk the slap on the wrist," said Commodore when asked if he's willing to accept a cap. "I don't want to spend however long my career lasts playing here in the American Hockey League (with Lowell), so I think whatever it takes.
"It's got to be give and take on both sides, not one side can be making all the money. But if (a salary cap is) what it takes -- the sport has to go on -- so I'm going to say, yeah.
"There's different kinds of caps and it's got to be a realistic one. You can't cap it up at $30 million, we're over that. It's got to be realistic so both sides are making money."
The hulking defenceman knows similar statements from New Jersey's John Madden were retracted a day later and that he'll likely be contacted by the NHLPA for his stance.
"It's no worse than getting slashed on the wrist in the American Hockey League," he said.
Commodore also said the lack of negotiation is grating on his nerves.
"It's ridiculous and it's immature, if that's even a way to describe it," he said. "Get a room, lock these guys in the room and have them bang something out."
Bill Daly, the NHL's executive vice-president, and Ted Saskin of the NHLPA did meet yesterday but the dispute was not a chief topic. According to sources, they chatted about the recent World Cup and other issues.
"This wasn't a bargaining session," a source told the Canadian Press.
One of those won't likely happen until more players speak out, so Commodore doesn't have much hope a solution will be found sooner than later.
"When this lockout started and throughout the summer, I thought we'd be going by Christmas or January 1st or whatever the deadline was there but I've got to be honest and I don't think there's going to be a season this year," he said. "I hate to say that and I really wish there was one but from what I hear and what's going on, they haven't even talked.
The NHLPA will gather its 30 team reps next Tuesday, a day after the players miss the third of their 13 paycheques.
Commodore said it's likely several players will contact Flames rep Jarome Iginla before the meeting.
"I don't know if I'm gonna call Jarome or not but we're getting some thoughts together as a team over the e-mail on what we think is going on and how we think things should be solved -- put our two cents in," he said. "I think it's important the guys do something or say something about it. If one or two guys say one thing, it's not going to do much but if you get a bunch of guys together ... people start listening."
Commodore also expressed his displeasure in not having much of a voice in the process.
"I don't think it's being handled well at all," he said. "The thing is, you look at the PA and who's in charge ... it's all the guys that have made $30 million playing this game. If there's never another game of hockey ... and they don't make another cent playing in the NHL, they're gonna be all right.
"Sure, they have their views but I think, as far as guys in charge of the PA, there should be people in my situation so they get everybody's perspective.
"There's lots of guys in my shoes that if we miss a couple of years, that's a huge deal."