Van Allen, White see no end to lockout

BRUCE GARRIOCH -- Ottawa Sun

, Last Updated: 6:41 AM ET

Todd White and Shaun Van Allen are both trying to stay positive these days. The two Senators are concerned, a bit bored and wondering what their future holds as they wait along with the rest of the 700 members of the NHL Players' Association for a solution to the labour dispute with the league.

Locked out by the NHL eight days ago after the collective bargaining agreement expired, White and Van Allen are going to kill time by playing in the fledgling Original Stars Hockey League.

Senators White, Van Allen, Mike Fisher, Chris Neil and goalie Dominik Hasek are scheduled to suit up during for an OSHL game which is scheduled for Oct. 31 at the Civic Centre.

'NOT OPTIMISTIC'

But ideally, everybody would like to get back to work playing in the NHL.

"As I stand here right now, just in my opinion, I'm not too optimistic there's going to be a season," Van Allen said yesterday. "Not when you see what's happening (with no talks) right now. I'm hopeful, but I don't know what's going to happen.

"I know that the owners want a salary cap and I know we're not going to accept a salary cap. I don't know how they're going to get this worked out or if we're going to get this worked out, but we're all going to have to wait."

There have been no meetings between the two sides since NHL commissioner Gary Bettman locked the doors and cancelled training camp. The last bargaining session was held Sept. 9 and the league quickly rejected the union's offer -- which included a 5% pay cut and revenue sharing. It was similar to an offer made by the NHLPA last October.

"I know (Bettman) is sitting there saying that the players want the status quo to remain. That's not the case. We've made it clear that we know the status quo can't continue and we made offers to reflect that," said White, a Kanata native.

"I'm disappointed it has come to this. I really felt with the offer that we made back on Oct. 1 that would have been something that would have been positive to start negotiations with the league. We're sitting here 12 months later and we haven't made any progress."

Like the rest of their teammates, White and Van Allen have been left to look for work. An unrestricted free agent, Van Allen isn't even sure where he's going to play if there is a season because he likely won't be back with Ottawa.

Van Allen had considered retirement, but isn't ready. He decided to play in the OSHL because if the opportunity presents itself, he'd like to be ready to step on the ice at a moment's notice.

bruce.garrioch@ott.sunpub.com


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