Lightning RW Teddy Purcell says CBA situation "hopeless" and is considering Europe
Teddy Purcell on Monday was blunt in his assessment of negotiations between the league and Players' Association on a new collective bargaining agreement, calling the situation "hopeless." If things don't change by Christmas, he said he expects to be playing in Europe not long after Christmas.
"I've been trying to stay positive the last couple of months that something was going to get done," Purcell said after a skate at the Ice Sports Forum in Brandon. "Hopefully, something still gets done, but I don't want to take a whole year off. I know I want to go play. You just want to stay competitive."
A couple of things affected his thought process, he said. That the league on Thursday took all its proposals off the table after angrily breaking off negotiations in New York, and that the league on Monday canceled games through Dec. 30. Previously, games were canceled through Dec. 14. The Jan. 1 Winter Classic and Jan. 27 All-Star Game also were canceled.
"Just deflated," Purcell said of how he feels about the situation. "When you found out last week they took everything off the table, everybody is going, 'Where do you go from here? What's the next step?' It's frustrating, but you can't let it get you down. It will just drive you crazy. I don't know if it's a game or what the deal is going on. It's painful."
Wing Marty St. Louis, who also has threatened to bolt to Europe, said he still is in a holding pattern and will wait until after Christmas to assess where things stand. There is speculation the sides could resume talks on Wednesday.
"Right now to Christmas I just want to get a good week of work in," he said. "I'm hopeful they'll get us back to the table."
Center Steven Stamkos said he has no plans to play in Europe at this time. He also has kept his optimism.
"I still believe we will be playing," he wrote in an email.