Thursday, December 20, 2012

NHLPA Looks Into Decertification to End NHL Lockout (with comments from José)

On Frozen Pond
by George Richards

TWITTER: @GeorgeRichards

Locked out hockey players working out in small ice rinks across North America do so wearing black or white jerseys with their union's letters -- NHLPA -- printed across the chest.

The National Hockey League Player's Association could be closer to breaking up and being decertified come Friday morning.

Following the lead of the players' associations from the NFL and NBA, the NHLPA's 700-plus members are expected to overwhelmingly vote to authorize its executive board to "file a disclaimer of interest" and decertify the union.

Decertifying would allow individual players to file antitrust lawsuits against the league in an attempt to end a lockout about to enter its fifth month. Players represented by the union cannot file suit against the league, hence the decertification.

It should be noted that even if the measure passes - as expected - the NHLPA won't necessarily be broken up. But it will be a much easier process if that becomes the course of action.

"Right now, anything different to make the process move forward has to be looked at as good news,'' Panthers goalie Jose Theodore said.

"We have tried pretty much everything so far. I think we have given up a lot and have always offered to talk. They are the ones who always want to take breaks and don't want to negotiate. If you see things aren't moving, you have nothing to lose. We're not playing. Things aren't going in the right direction.''

High-profile football players such as Tom Brady and Peyton Manning filed a class-action suit against the NFL soon after they were locked out and the NFLPA decertified.

Both the NFLPA and NBPA came back together not long after agreements were reached to officially negotiate with the league again.

The NFL lockout lasted four-plus offseason months after the NFLPA disbanded; the NBA lockout ended less than two weeks after the NBPA decertified. Both of those lockouts ended as league owners didn't want to lose a season -- or in the NFL's case, any meaningful games.

The NHLPA is most definitely taking a risk because NHL owners haven't shown they collectively care if there is a season or not.

The NHL, after all, is the only North American professional league to lose a season to labor strife (2004-05).

"We have been left in a position of last resort with what has gone down,'' Panthers defenseman Ed Jovanovski said. "I still have confidence in the system that something is going to get done. I've been through this before and had a little more patience. This is frustrating.''

Electronic voting by the NHLPA's members began on Sunday with a deadline of midnight Friday. Results of the voting -- some players have said 99 percent of the union will vote in favor of it -- should be available Friday morning.

The measure needs two-thirds approval to pass. If it does, the NHLPA -- led by former baseball union boss Donald Fehr and his brother Steve -- would have until Jan. 2 to file the disclaimer with the National Labor Relations Board.

The NHL is led by commissioner Gary Bettman -- an attorney by trade --and anticipates the measure passing and eventual decertification.

The league proactively filed a class action complaint in New York Federal Court saying it has every right to lockout players in order to negotiate a new Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA).

The league also filed an unfair labor charge with the NLRB.

"Things worked out for the other leagues, but will it work out for us? Time will tell,'' Jovanovski said.

"You look back now and we're somewhere around 100 days. I didn't think it would take this long. I'm running out of things to do. It's nice being around your family, but we're athletes. We want to be out there on the ice.''

Through all the legal wrangling, time to save a portion of the 2012-13 season is running out.
On Wednesday, NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly told Toronto's 590-AM that a deal needs to get done soon as Bettman doesn't consider anything less than a 48-game schedule to be realistic.

A 48-game season was salvaged after the 1994-95 lockout although the 2004-05 season was completely cancelled in February of that year when a new CBA couldn't be agreed upon. That lockout didn't end until the summer of 2005.

The league is announced the cancellation of another swath of games on Friday as games through Jan. 14 are gone.

With an abbreviated scheduled, however, cancellation of games now really doesn't matter as a new schedule -- think East vs. East and West vs. West games only -- will need to be drawn up.

In 1994, the NHL ended its lockout on Jan. 11 with teams kicking off what would be a 48-game schedule a few days later. If this lockout were to end, players would begin reporting immediately -- although a short training camp wouldn't open for a few days.

"I didn't follow the NBA lockout but everyone is bringing it up now,'' Theodore said. "We have to try something new. After meeting with a lot of players and reps, I think this is the best option. We want to play, but we wanted to play in 2004 and that didn't happen. It takes two to Tango. I don't know if they want us on the ice as much as we want to be there.''

Read more here:

Friday, December 14, 2012

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

José Switched Things Up at Practice Today

My friend, Angi, gave me the first heads up that José wasn't in goal during today's informal practice. He was playing center! The guys were short skaters, and they had the other two goalies there (Vokoun and Clem), so José stepped in. I actually bet it was fun for him to do something different for a change.

After Angi messaged me about the change, I saw George Richards of the Miami Herald tweet about it as well. And he included an outstanding photo.

His tweet:

George Richards@GeorgeRichards
are down some players so they have a new center at practice. Jose can pass it pretty well...
And then he made a little hockey card for José. I love it! We can actually see his face for a change! ;o) Although it's very odd to see him in skater's gear and not goalie gear...he looks much tinier.
And then someone else who was at practice tweeted:
Can anyone ID our new shooter?

 Then Oscar tweeted a bit later:

"Yes that is Jose and register no goals no assist no points but definitely "A" for effort and lots of swagger"


Monday, December 10, 2012

José won his preliminary round in RDS' Face-to-Face Nos Champions Juniors feature

José came out on top in his preliminary round vs. Jimmy Waite.

Next he will face Marty LaPointe. I'll let you know when voting begins! There are other preliminary round match-ups to wait for.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Vote for José in RDS' poll for the best Canadian WJC Player of all time

RDS. is having an online survey/competition to see who readers feel is the best Canadian WJC player of all-time.

José is currently going up against Jimmy Waite. Vote now and vote often!!! :)

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Nothing much changing...

The lockout's not looking promising, but I still have hope for a partial season.

José is still in Florida, practicing periodically with a group of about 10 players (some Panthers and some former Panthers.)

They typically practice on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, but José doesn't go each day. The other two goalies that practice are Scott Clemmensen and Tomas Vokoun, and it seems they arrange for there to be no more than 2 goalies, so they can play a mini-game.

They are practicing at a different rink than Saveology, and it's more difficult to get photos. So Angi and Nelly haven't been able to take any for a bit.

And that's all I know. This lockout really stinks.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

"Practice" photos from 11/7/12

Angi took a few photos at the November 17th informal practice. She apologized for the quality, because she said it's not the best place to take photos in, but I'm glad to see any photos!! Thanks, Angi!

Monday, November 5, 2012

José on September 30, 2012

On September 30, 2012 José participated in the Conine Poker Classic, a charity event that benefits the Conine Clubhouse at Joe DiMaggio Children's Hospital in Hollywood, FL.

He played poker, and it looks like he also contributed an autographed stick. I finally found these photos over the weekend.

And he's the one wearing glasses at the table.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

José and Stephanie in Les Boys III

José and Stephanie made an appearance in the 2001 Quebecois movie, Les Boys III. The Les Boys series of movies told the story of an amateur/garage hockey team calling themselves Les Boys. José actually played himself in this nightclub scene from the 3rd installment.

I'm not great at recording videos from my laptop and editing yet, so it's not the best quality, but it's better than nothing for those of you who haven't seen it.

There are parts mixed in that aren't him, but it was easier for me to leave it all in rather than separating out the other parts.

Then here is his part in the "Making of Les Boys III" extra.

First, Paul Houde, who plays Fern the goalie, is asked how José is doing. He says, “He’s learning, it’s exactly like his profession, you learn by playing with veterans.” ;o)
Then José is asked about acting and he says, “It’s my first time but I like it, it’s fun. When you make a mistake you can restart, but in hockey you can’t restart, you’re done.”
Then Paul/Fern talks about his tie: “This is a tie of a goalie with experience on the bottom, and here the white means shutout.”
Val says in French it’s called blanchissage (shutout), which has the root blanche, which means white, so because half his tie is white he makes that joke. 
Then after the clip from the movie, they come back to Paul, and he points out that José isn’t wearing a tie. He says “See, he’s not wearing a tie, the young ones no ties. Jacques Plante always wore a tie, Ken Dryden always wore a tie, but the young ones, this is how they dress.” (and José flourishes his outfit ;o)
Thanks, Val!

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Comments from José Today at Practice

The few Panthers that are in Florida are still practicing on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. But they aren't at Saveology anymore. They've moved their practices to Glacier Ice and Snow Arena in Pompano Beach, according to Harvey Fialkov of the Sun Sentinel and George Richards of the Miami Herald.

José was there today, along with Jovo, Weiss, Weaver, Upshall, and former Panthers Sturm and Devorak.

Harvey talked to José after practice, and here's the article:

In case you're thinking that zombie knocking at your door in Parkland asking for candy on Halloween looked a lot like Panthers out-of-work defenseman Ed Jovanovski, odds are it probably was.

A few doors away, a slightly built gentleman with a French accent, possibly wearing a goalie mask, was actually going as himself and not cinematic psycho killer Freddy Krueger.

(I think he meant Jason Voorhees.)

Veteran goalie Jose Theodore and several Panthers teammates who participated in a self-run practice Wednesday morning at Glacier Ice and Snow Arena are upset at the owners for locking them out during acrimonious negotiations for a new collective bargaining agreement.

However, they're trying to make the best of an exasperating situation.

"I will go trick-or-treating with my daughter, Romi [6],'' Theodore said, smiling. "I've been through [a lockout] before in 2004, so I know what to expect. I was in the cold weather of Montreal then, and now I'm here and am using it to make up spending time with my daughter, time that I missed over my career.

It could change very quickly. We need more cooperation from the owners. We're willing to talk, but it seems like they don't want to dance right now.''

Theodore was being rushed by Jovanovski, who was in a hurry to get to the golf course, where they've been making up for their missed paychecks by relieving their teammates of some green on the greens.

"We need to find a way to pay the bills,'' Theodore joked.

"They're like human ATM machines,'' Jovanovski cracked of his bogey-prone pals.

With games through November already wiped out and the owners threatening to cancel the popular Jan. 1 Winter Classic outdoor game at Michigan Stadium on Thursday, Jovanovski's expression changed.

"Anytime you have extra time with family is good, but we're creatures of habit and are used to coming to the rink every day,'' said Jovanovski, 36. "To have it taken away from us is very frustrating, but I'm optimistic it will work out.''

Panthers forward Scottie Upshall, who lives in Newport Beach, Calif., isn't interested in any more down time.

"There's no real positives to things you're able to do during this lockout,'' said Upshall, fully recovered from abdomen surgery that reduced his first season with the Panthers to 26 games.

"At the end of the day we're not going to be in the same situation we were the last couple of years, but we've got to find common ground, a line of reality where they can't have us overcompensating that much.''

Upshall, who rejoined his teammates for the first time Wednesday, has no interest in playing overseas like several of his teammates (Tomas Kopecky, Jack Skille, Mike Santorelli and Marcel Goc). Neither do Stephen Weiss nor Tomas Fleischmann, both regulars at the Pompano rink.

The fear of injury is there, particularly since Panthers forward Sean Bergenheim played just two games for his hometown team in Finland before re-aggravating a groin injury.

"I enjoy the family time,'' defenseman Mike Weaver said. "But the NHL needs to realize how much this is hurting the game and the bad taste it's leaving in people's mouths. Out of sight, out of mind.''

The lockout won't stop Weaver from escorting his candy-seeking son, Owen, 4, who will be dressed as a policeman.

Weaver will, no doubt, go as a prisoner of billionaire owners holding the key to his future.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Photos from José's Montreal Days

I want to say thank you to Marielle, fellow José fan from Montreal, for sharing her old photos of him. Many of these she scanned from old magazine and newspaper articles. Enjoy!