Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

New Tampa Bay Lightning forward B.J. Crombeen not sounding alarms about labor talks

When it comes to the negotiations between the NHL and the players association over a new collective bargaining agreement, B.J. Crombeen isn't ready to sound any alarms.

It would have been easy to do after the owners' initial proposal, which reportedly drops the players' share of league revenues from 57 percent to 46. Owners also proposed entry-level deals of five years instead of the current three and unrestricted free agency after 10 years instead of the current seven or at age 27.

But Crombeen, the Lightning's new forward who is part of the players association negotiating committee, said, "I just think it's all part of the negotiations."

"Obviously, we're taking it and analyzing it," he said. "We're trying to break down why they made that proposal and where it's coming from. We'll look at it, and when we get a full understanding of it, we'll say where we're coming from."

Crombeen's measured tone reflects what has come from the union leadership. Executive director Donald Fehr has even said players are willing to start the 2012-13 season under the current agreement, which expires Sept. 15, if negotiations for a new one are ongoing and productive.

Crombeen, acquired this month from St. Louis, where he was the team's player representative, attended the first round of negotiations in Toronto and said he likely will attend whatever meetings are scheduled this week.

"I don't think there is any owner, player, anyone in the league or (union) offices that wants to lose a day," he said of starting the season on time.

Not all share that sentiment. The New York Post's Larry Brooks called the owners' initial proposal a "declaration of war" against the players, a phrase repeated by agent Allan Walsh.

Owners also took a public relations hit with the Wild's signing of Ryan Suter and Zach Parise to a combined $196 million over 13 years after Minnesota owner Craig Leipold in April told the state's Star-Tribune newspaper his team was in the red and blamed player salaries.

Then came last week's 14-year, $110 million offer sheet from the Flyers to Predators restricted free agent defenseman Shea Weber.

Even so, Crombeen said the exorbitant contracts did not affect how he viewed the owners' proposal that drastically reduce the players' take of overall league revenues but did not include revenue sharing among teams to help the financially weaker organizations.

"We're just in the process of looking at what they proposed," Crombeen said. "I don't think any players have gotten to the point when they're saying 'this guy did this' and 'this guy did that.' And I don't think it's going to get to that point. We're making our decisions moving forward about how we're going to respond."

Asked if he was optimistic a deal would get done by Sept. 15, he said, "That's the hardest thing, because you really can't look too deep into it. Most guys are optimistic because they want to believe it's going to get done, and players are excited to get it done and get back playing. But it's a process. It's going to be a tough process, and it's going to have to go through its course."

New Tampa Bay Lightning forward B.J. Crombeen not sounding alarms about labor talks 07/21/12 [Last modified: Monday, July 23, 2012 11:00am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Cubs down Dodgers 3-2; force NLCS Game 5 Thursday


    CHICAGO — Javier Baez snapped an 0-for-20 skid with two home runs, former Ray Wade Davis hung on for a six-out save and the Cubs avoided a sweep, holding off the Dodgers 3-2 Wednesday night in Game 4 of the NL Championship Series.

  2. Bucs' Vernon Hargreaves: 'I'm not making any plays'


    TAMPA — Eli Manning gathered his receivers together on the sideline during the Giants' Week 4 game against the Bucs and told them he planned to target the weakest link of the secondary all afternoon.

    Patriots receiver Chris Hogan gets position in front of Bucs cornerback Vernon Hargreaves for a 5-yard touchdown pass in New England’s win on Oct. 5.
  3. Lightning's J.T. Brown to stop anthem protest, focus on community involvement

    Lightning Strikes

    COLUMBUS, Ohio — Lightning wing J.T. Brown will no longer raise his first as a protest during the national anthem before games.

    J.T. Brown says he will work more with the Tampa police and groups that serve at-risk young people.
  4. Signs point to Jameis Winston dressing vs. Bills


    TAMPA — The Bucs didn't sign another quarterback Wednesday, which would suggest they are confident that Jameis Winston can be active as a backup to Ryan Fitzpatrick on Sunday at Buffalo if he doesn't start.

  5. FSU doesn't feel need for ongoing reminder of last year's beatdown at Louisville


    Of course Florida State remembers what happened against Louisville last year. The 63-20 loss was one of the worst defeats in Seminoles history.

    Louisville's Lamar Jackson looks back at the action from the sidelines during the first half of an NCAA college football game against Murray State, Saturday, Sept. 30, 2017, in Louisville, Ky. (AP Photo/Timothy D. Easley)