The threat of an NHL lockout “is scary,” Blackhawks center Dave Bolland admits, but the players are trying to do what they hope hockey fans also will do: “stay positive.”
“We’ll see what comes along and hopefully we’ll get back [to negotiating,” Bolland said Sunday. “We have a great team with Don [Fehr, head of the players association] and a great team working for us. We’ll see what happens.”
Bolland and teammates Patrick Sharp and Jamal Mayers were at Wrigley Field Sunday to take part in Blackhawks Day. But the ongoing labor tension between the NHL and players was the main topic away from the festivities.
Talks have broken off, with owners saying they will lock out the players Sept. 15 when the current collective bargaining agreement expires if no new accord is reached.
“I think Don [Fehr] has done a good job of communicating and putting out updates so that the guys are engaged,” Mayers said. “The reality is it may happen. It’s unfortunate talks broke off, but hopefully we an get back to the table.”
Mayers said he played in Sweden during the last NHL labor dispute when the 2004-05 season was lost. “But it’s different now that I have kids,” he said.
Bolland said he has talked to his agent about opportunities overseas should a lockout happen.
“You work out all summer and get ready for the start of training camp Sept. 21, and now it could be pushed back,” Bolland said.
Asked if another lockout might turn fans off to the sport, Bolland said, “I hope not. You work all summer and get jacked up [for the season.] I think fans are, too.”