WINNIPEG - At least one locked-out Winnipeg Jet believes the NHL season will soon be toast.
"Like I said a week ago, I think it's a shame if you miss any games and the season doesn't start in time," forward Olli Jokinen said after skating with four Jets teammates and some other NHL players at the MTS Iceplex on Wednesday morning.
"So, you have to look at it like you might have to miss the whole year. I think that's the mindset you have to have right now. If you think otherwise, you just keep your hopes up maybe for nothing."
Jokinen has already has a contingency plan should the season be lost because NHL owners and the NHLPA cannot get a CBA deal done in time.
"I have a plan and I'll follow my plan," he said. "It's the only thing you can do. You try to stay in shape and start playing pretty soon … I don't think there's any league in North American that could take us so, going overseas is one option. Right now, that's Plan B.
"Right now, they have a national-team break with most of the leagues in Europe for early November for 10-12 days. I think that's when you can see a second wave of (locked-out NHL) players going overseas in mid-November. By then, you would think that there would be some kind of direction and some kind of message of what's gonna happen with the CBA. I think the longer you're gonna go, the harder it's going to be to get a deal done."
Jokinen was more positive about a deal getting done a couple of weeks ago.
"Everybody felt it was a good thing they're talking," he said. "That's the only positive thing as you try if you really want to go into positives. But, at the end of the day, you just do a weekly schedule and follow all your training programs and you come here (Iceplex) and escape.
"You stay in your routine and stay busy. That's the biggest thing right now. You have to stay organized. You've got to do things that you use during the year. So, we practise. We pretty much skate every day. Our off-season programs are still going and you just try to stay busy."