Smolinski wants progress

Ottawa Senators centre Brian Smolinski has a lot on his mind during the NHL lockout of its players....

Ottawa Senators centre Brian Smolinski has a lot on his mind during the NHL lockout of its players. (File Photo)

BRUCE GARRIOCH -- Ottawa Sun

, Last Updated: 4:41 PM ET

All Bryan Smolinski wants to hear is good news.

The Senators centre has decided not to attend the NHL Players' Association meeting set for tomorrow in Toronto since teammates Daniel Alfredsson, Todd White and Wade Redden will be there.

At the meeting, NHLPA executive director Bob Goodenow is expected to face plenty of questions about why no contract negotiations are taking place to end the lockout that threatens the season.

"I'd like to hear something that is going to give me some hope," Smolinski said yesterday from his Detroit home. "I'd just like to be able to hear something that is going to make me think that the glass is half full. Right now, that's not the case for anybody ... I'm like everybody else. I'd just like to see the effort (on both sides) to get something done."

Players will miss their third paycheque today since the lockout started almost seven weeks ago. Recently, some players at the lower end of the salary scale have suggested they could live with the owners' demand of a salary cap.

REMINDER

Sources say Goodenow will likely remind players tomorrow that they were warned a lockout could last a full season and they will have to patient if they're going to get a new collective bargaining agreement without a cap.

Smolinski said he can understand why some players have spoken out.

"I'm sure those are guys who are just frustrated and want to get back to playing," the Senators veteran said. "As a union, we're going about it the right way. I fully support the approach taken by (president) Trevor (Linden) and (Goodenow). Guys have to realize you can't squeeze blood from a stone if there's no talks."

Between 80 and 90 players are now expected to attend the meeting

Meanwhile, the NHLPA reportedly has invited player agents to a meeting Nov. 17 in Toronto to discuss issues surrounding the lockout.


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