The NHL put this message on their site today and the Red Wings have re-posted it on DetroitRedWings.com
A message to our fans
Despite the expiration of the Collective Bargaining Agreement, the National Hockey League has been, and remains, committed to negotiating around the clock to reach a new CBA that is fair to the players and to the 30 NHL teams.
Thanks to the conditions fostered by seven seasons under the previous CBA, competitive balance has created arguably the most meaningful regular-season in pro sports; a different team has won the Stanley Cup every year; fans and sponsors have agreed the game is at its best, and the league has generated remarkable growth and momentum. While our last CBA negotiation resulted in a seismic change in the league’s economic system, and produced corresponding on-ice benefits, our current negotiation is focused on a fairer and more sustainable division of revenues with the players -- as well as other necessary adjustments consistent with the objectives of the economic system we developed jointly with the NHL Players’ Association seven years ago. Those adjustments are attainable through sensible, focused negotiation -- not through rhetoric.
This is a time of year for all attention to be focused on the ice, not on a meeting room. The league, the clubs and the players all have a stake in resolving our bargaining issues appropriately and getting the puck dropped as soon as possible. We owe it to each other, to the game and, most of all, to the fans.
Personally, I've also gotten a little tired of the players' rhetoric, but the NHL to answer that by using rhetoric of their own is a bit insulting to fans' intelligence.
Also, as a fan of the Detroit Red Wings, I would not necessarily say that a different team winning the Stanley Cup every year should be a stated success. In order for it to be a success, it has to be an intent and I personally don't feel the league should ever work from the intent that every team should get their turn to win the cup. I don't blame them for striving for competitive balance, but I would also caution against a system that intentionally derails greatness.
The next few weeks will likely be full of mud-slinging as to which side is more responsible for this deal not getting done by now. Both sides have had ample time and opportunity and both have engaged in aggravating brinksmanship so they could play tough-guy negotiating in order to make sure the other side doesn't see an early willingness to compromise as a weakness to be exploited later.
Get a deal done, you jerks.