Poile says apology a necessary first step as NHL returns from lockout

Monday, January 7, 2013 at 5:45pm

David Poile started with an apology.

“On behalf of myself and our organization, I’d like to apologize to our fans, anybody that cares about hockey and especially the Nashville Predators,” the Predators general manager said as part of his opening remarks at a Monday press conference. “This was a situation that none of us really thought would ever happen. I think we’re all disappointed that it turned out the way it did.

“It’s really unfortunate, but like anything in life whether it’s your relationship with the Predators or hockey or your personal relationships, sometimes things go wrong and you need to apologize. I’m apologizing. Sometimes you need forgiveness and then you need to move on. And that’s what we’re doing today.”

Also Monday, the franchise’s two highest ranking executives, chief executive officer Jeff Cogen and chief operating officer Sean Henry, sent an email to season ticket holders that read, in part, “We apologize for the delay in the start of the season and can’t thank you enough for your support. We look forward to filling Bridgestone Arena with fervent fans like you that provide the Predators with a true home-ice advantage.”

It was not business as usual — yet — but things were moving in that direction after the NHL and NHL Players Association agreed early Sunday on the framework of a new collective bargaining agreement (CBA), which would end the lockout imposed by owners on Sept. 15, 2012, and allow for a shortened 2012-13 season.

Franchise officials were prohibited from commenting on the particulars of the deal, which include limits on the length of player contracts and the amount players’ salaries can vary from season to season as well as expanded revenue sharing because neither side had ratified it.

Regardless, no one sought to claim victory. Instead, most on both sides struck a conciliatory tone as they awaited the release of the schedule, the official start date for training camp and other critical elements that have yet to be resolved.

“Obviously it’s been tough,” Predators defenseman and captain Shea Weber said. “This is the worst part for the fans. They’ve had no hockey. I’ve seen people out on the town and how excited they are for the game and how excited they were for it when it wasn’t even playing.

“I think this city is a huge hockey town and they’re ready to go.”

The start of the season, according to Poile, is set for Jan. 19. Until then, the longest tenured member of the organization is prepared to make amends.

“I’ve been very proud to be here for all these years and to help be part of building this franchise,” Poile said. “I really want to get back on track. I know I’m speaking for our ownership and I believe I’m speaking for our players.

“… Everybody says, after the fact, ‘It’s business.’ And I think you get by it — actually — pretty fast. I don’t want to just shrug it off because it’s a day later. … I think an apology is owed to everybody from us, meaning management and ownership, and probably from the players.”

8 Comments on this post:

By: Rasputin72 on 1/7/13 at 7:05

I had so hoped that the entire season would be cancelled.

By: La-La on 1/7/13 at 7:42

I agree with Rasputin. In other words, who cares? Is hockey really considered a sport? It just puts me to sleep. I have never seen the Predators play and hope that I never do.

By: ancienthighway on 1/8/13 at 3:35

In hockey, the puck is in play for up to 20 minutes without break for three periods. The only stoppages that may occur is after a goal is scored, a penalty is called, the puck is knocked out of play or in rare cases, the puck gets caught in someone's uniform. Basketball is similar with 412-minute periods, as is soccer has 2 45-minute halves.
Football on the other hand allows teams to delay up to 40 seconds between plays, allowing players to get back onside and catch their breath. Baseball is the worst with not only the pitcher controlling the pace of the game, but the batter as well. There's a real snoozer for you.

Maybe it's not the pace of the games, but your understanding of the rules and how the game is played that is the problem. Every kid grew up on football and baseball which accounts for their popularity as adults. Watching a different sport without trying to understand the rules and how it's played would challenge anyone's attention span. I guess that's why I don't understand NASCAR and don't even see why it's called a sport.

By: foxman on 1/8/13 at 10:50

Hockey puts you to sleep but you have never seen the Preds play. Makes sense...

By: foxman on 1/8/13 at 10:53

Hoping for the season to be canceled? Yeah lets throw away all the tax money coming into downtown.

By: PKVol on 1/8/13 at 11:22

foaxman, you have to come to the realization on these CP comment sections that if it doesn't apply to you, i.e. Rasputin or La-La, that it must not be worthy. The world revolves around these people and if anything encroaches upon that world, it must be bad and therefore shunned. These aren't the only 2, but they are the only 2 who have commented on this post. For a more detailed list, check out the topic of the day.

By: Rasputin72 on 1/8/13 at 12:07

PKVol.......I could not agree with you more!

By: Jughead on 1/8/13 at 1:35

Screw hockey. It will be a long time before I spend a dime on the Preds again. These millionaires could have resolved this long ago.