Rob Rossi's post on Pittsburgh Penguins | Latest updates on Sulia
No good feeling about #NHL labor situation, but feeling worse for #NHLPA rep Josh Gorges. Read more:
It is the nature of a reporter. We never want to see anybody hung out to dry. Certainly that was not the intent of the NHL's union regarding a conference call today to discuss the lockout prevention tact chosen by Montreal Canadiens players, but it sure sounded to me that Josh Gorges was totally out of his element while trying to discuss specific details of the situation.
We all get it by now. Player want to play. They believe owners are forcing a lockout, set to come Saturday if no new CBA is reached. Fair enough, even if it can be equally argued this impending lockout is being sought by union leadership as much as it is forced by owner leadership.
No matter where you stand on that debate, it is hard to disagree that Gorges was in a tough spot Monday -- and that he probably had no business trying to answer the questions asked of him by reporters. I actually felt sorry for him when I asked about why Canadiens coaches would participate in practices involving players that had filed and won a suit preventing Montreal players from a lockout. Gorges admitted he had to presume they would participate. He also had to openly discuss the possible discomfort Canadiens players may feel for collecting salary when players on other clubs -- including all U.S. clubs, per a labor attorney I spoke with for my Trib Total Media story -- will not be receiving checks during a lockout.
Sorry, but even if this tact taken by Canadiens players works, this conference call today was a mess, and a public relations misstep for the NHLPA.
Where was the top union brass to support Gorges, to interject when he started stumbling over specifics? That is a question I would be asking today were I one of Gorges teammates, whether I played for the Canadiens or played in the NHL, period.
Another question I'd be asking were I a player, especially with a lockout fast approaching, a lockout no player I've spoken with wants:
What was the point of Monday?
The read here is that it was just another wasted day with no movement, at least by early evening.
As this day winds down, and who knows what will happen before it ends, I am left to wonder what the NHLPA gained today.
I dare suggest ceding the perceived high ground was not the intent of this Canadiens' initiative or the union that no doubt supported it.