While most of the Hockey World's attention is focussed on laughing at Scott Howson and following Shane Doan as he kicks the tires of every team in the East, in Toronto the negotiations for the next CBA are beginning in earnest. Aside from the NHL and NHLPA officials, there is also the formidable Players Negotiating Commitee, where elected representatives from the NHL's 30 teams also take part. After the jump, we take a closer look at some of these motivated, passionate and committed negotiators. And Adrian Aucoin.Rick DiPietro NYI
Who He? Oh, come on! You remember! Drafted 1st Overall? Mike Milbury traded Luongo away to make room for him? Has played 47 games in 4 seasons? Injured himself in the Skills Competition at the ASG? That fight with Brent Johnson? No?
Pro: Any time Charles Wang tries to say something, Fehr plans to make DiPietro hold up a sign saying "15 years/$67.5 Million". Further comment will be superfluous.
Con: Misses rest of negotiations after sustaining paper cut on first morning and losing three pints of blood.
David Backes STL
Who He? All that is Man. Manful Captain of the Manliest team. The Man.
Pro: Knows that finding another team to play for in the event of a lockout will be especially hard for teammate Ryan Reaves as there are strict laws governing the movement of diseased livestock.
Con: As soon as the negotiations become difficult will revert to form and start trying to goad Gary Bettman into a fight.
Brandon Dubinsky CBJ
Who He? That guy weeping quietly in the corner of the room.
Pro: No stranger to tense situations, missed a week of Training Camp in 2009 as part of an 8-day holdout before settling on a new contract of $3.7 million as opposed to the $700,000 Qualifying Offer originally proposed. Now reflects that this may have annoyed Rangers' front office more than he originally thought.
Con: May be secretly in favour of a Lockout, say for 3 more seasons? Please?
No photoshop needed here.. look at the insincere rictus, the horror in those eyes..
Kevin Westgarth LAK
Who He? Stanley Cup winner. Name on Cup. Cup Ring. No, really. Jesus wept. Was prepared for a lifetime of fighting by his parents who christened him "Kevin Reginald"
Pro: A graduate of Princeton, the school that has given us two US Presidents, a Chief Justice, the current First Lady, a much-decorated Army General who is now head of the CIA, multiple Nobel Laureates, some of America's greatest writers, the man who pretty much invented computers and now the guy who broke David Koci's face.
Con: Spent an entire session quivering under the table after Bettman casually placed a "Reserved for John Scott" sign at his seat.
Chris Campoli MTL (UFA)
Who He? I have no idea. Last time I remember seeing someone who looked like him was celebrating right after Patrick Sharp's OT winner in Game 7 against the Canucks in 2011. Sigh.(Looks at clock, realises it's too early to start drinking. Opens beer)
Pro: At some point he managed to negotiate Gia Allemand into being his girlfriend. Which, considering he looks like the TJ Maxx John Cusack, pretty much makes him some sort of Jedi.
Con: Anytime he's asked to contribute he says "I'd just like to turn this over..."
PHX LAK VAN DET MTL PIT?
Who He? Veteran Forward who has spent his career in the same Franchise, going from Intense Heat in an Icy Wasteland in Winnipeg to an Icy Wasteland in Intense Heat in Phoenix.
Pro: Has somehow convinced many of the Owners of the NHL's leading teams that he is the solution to all of their problems. Convincing them that the Players should get 90% of Revenues should be a walk in the park.
Con: If the pace of his his FA negotiations are any guide, expect a new CBA sometime in 2015.
Adrian Aucoin CBJ
Who He? Pilote. Mikita, Savard, Chelios.. Aucoin. Pick the odd-Captain-out.. if you answered "Aucoin: because he was the only one traded for Andrei Zyuszin" you are correct.
Pro: Over his 18-year, 7-team NHL Career, Aucoin has done an exemplary job of making Owners regret being in the same room as him.
Con: He's spent the last few years in Phoenix: the idea of empty Hockey stadia, night after night, really doesn't faze him
George Parros FLA
Who He? Another Princeton alumnus, famous for his moustache, fighting and donating his hair to charity. You'd think he'd consider Ryan Getzlaf first?
Pro: Parros wrote his thesis on the 1934 West Coast Waterfront Strike in California. which, after a protracted and often bloody dispute led to the establishment of Union power on the docks of the Pacific and a 95 Cents-an-hour wage for the Longshoremen. Not likely, therefore, to over-exaggerate the ramifications of a dispute between Millionaires and Billionaires
Con: May be comprehensively Out-Stached by Stan Kroenke.
Shea Weber NSH
Who He? Recently the centre of a spectacular offer-sheet tug-or-war between the Flyers and the Preds for his services. Fehr is planning on keeping him towards the back when the Players are pleading poverty.
Pro: Preds CEO Jeff Cogen had to borrow busfare from Weber just to get to Toronto. If he wants to get home, he's going to have to play nice.
Con: Prone to saying things like "Sure, restrict contracts, cut profit-sharing, whatever you guys like" before going back to building a fort out of bundles of dollar bills.
Enjoy your Lockout, folks.