Maple Leafs' Clarke MacArthur not optimistic about NHL lockout
TERRY KOSHAN, QMI Agency
|Maple Leafs forward Clarke MacArthur looks up ice during a skate with teammates at the MasterCard Centre in Toronto, Ont., Sept. 19, 2012. (DAVE ABEL/QMI Agency)
TORONTO - Clarke MacArthur hasn’t cast his hockey net toward Europe, but he figures he will in the next couple of weeks.
“Looks like we are a long ways away,” the Maple Leafs winger said on Thursday, referring to any chance of a resolution involving the NHL and the NHL Players’ Association happening soon.
“There are a lot of mixed emotions. We’re hockey players and we want to play hockey. It’s a great game and to sit out the whole winter, it would not be good for either side.”
Had there been no work stoppage, Leafs players would have reported to their training facility at the MasterCard Centre in Etobicoke on Friday morning for medicals and fitness tests. Instead, those who have not already left town for their off-season homes might gather at the MCC for another on-ice, informal workout with members of the Marlies.
But some Leafs have made plans. Goalie James Reimer left the MCC on Thursday with two bags of equipment, his pads and his sticks, bound for Winnipeg. Reimer plans to work out with goalie coach Rick St. Croix, who is expected to be named the Leafs’ next goalie coach. Defenceman Cody Franson is heading for Kelowna, B.C., where he plans to spend the duration of the lockout. Others likely will pack up and travel to their off-season homes during the weekend.
The past few days have presented some wrinkles, whether it was ex-NHLer Mike Modano saying that missing the entire 2004-05 season because of the lockout was not worth it, or current star Alex Ovechkin telling Russian media that he would consider staying in the KHL even if a new CBA is done this season.
And then the NHL went ahead on Wednesday and cancelled pre-season games through Sept. 30, a move the players were expecting.
“It was pretty obvious we were not going to be on the ice by (the first pre-season game on Monday),” centre Jay McClement said. “It’s disappointing that (games have been cancelled) and that we’re not going to start on time.”
“We knew something like that was going to happen,” MacArthur said. “Everyone is trying to stay in shape and when the thing gets done, it gets done. There is no time line. Guys are signing in Europe and you are probably going to see more than that. It’s an option I want to look into, for sure.
“You want to get back and play, but at the same time, you can’t risk the future of the players by not doing things correctly. We have to hold our ground and do what is right.”