It’s no secret that the current Collective Bargaining Agreement expires on September 15th, 2012 and a new agreement must be made before midnight in order for the 2012-13 season to move forward as scheduled. The date is coming fast and furious, but for some of the Winnipeg Jets players who are already in Winnipeg, it’s business as usual until they are told otherwise.
A handful of Jets players, which included Captain Andrew Ladd, Bryan Little, Mark Stuart, Olli Jokinen, Alex Ponikarovsky, Toby Enstrom, Derek Meech, Jason Gregoire, Kevin Clark and Ivan Telegin, gathered at the MTS IcePlex Monday morning for a skate and an off-ice workout.
"As a player there’s not much to do,” Little told a few local media Monday. The 15th is a day that everyone is paying attention to and whether it gets worked out, we don’t know, but we’ll wait till then and go from there."
Little mentioned that he will continue to skate in Winnipeg in preparation for the upcoming season and noted that he doesn’t have an alternative plan if there is to be a lockout.
"Basically the 15th is marked on the calendar and I’ll just train up until then and see what happens and go from there,” he said. “Honestly, I haven’t been paying too much attention to what everyone’s been saying. I’ve just been kind of following it and checking up on the e-mails. I’m sure a lot of guys don’t know what’s going to happen or when the season is going to start. All we can do is keep in shape and be ready at any time."
Ladd and Stuart are two Winnipeg Jets set to join the many other NHL’ers in New York later this week for the next round of NHLPA meetings and feel they’ll have a much better idea of how everyone is feeling at this late stage in the game.
Currently, there are no meetings scheduled between the NHL and the NHLPA and with no meetings scheduled- comes no agreement. The hourglass sand continues to fall with September 15th less than a week away.
“After dealing with negotiations, you realize that everything takes time and you have to be patient, but you have to be able to stand up for what you believe in. Everyone is comfortable with what we’re doing and will stand strong behind that.”