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Thursday, October 11, 2012

Andy McDonald is not optimistic about lockout ending soon

Last week, St. Louis Blues head coach Ken Hitchcock announced that Blues forwards Andy McDonald and Alex Steen would be paired with Russian rookie sensation Vladimir Tarasenko.

The news was exciting for Blues fans hoping to see hockey return relatively soon.  Unfortunately for Blues fans, one third of that future line is not very optimistic about the NHL lockout ending anytime soon.

In comments made to Pierre LeBrun of ESPN.com, McDonald was very outspoken about the prospects of hockey returning soon, how it affects the fans, and how the players have tried to negotiate with little coming from the owners side.

"It’s pretty disappointing," McDonald said.  "At first everyone thought the season would just be delayed. Now a lot of people think this thing might go all year. I mean, it’s shocking, in a sense."

"The owners got the cap and cost certainty last time around," McDonald said. "Since then, the revenues grew every year. Last year [had] record revenues. Fans probably wonder why there could be another season without hockey. And I’m sure they look at players and say, 'You guys make so much money, how can you not just take the deal, you’ll be making a pile of money?' The players just feel that we want a fair deal. What’s going to happen the next deal? We give back 20 percent this time and next time they'll want 20 percent again? We have to break this lockout pattern somehow. The players recognize there’s a revenue disparity among teams. That's why we’re willing to make concessions. But we expect some concessions on the owners' side to do the same thing."

"To me, it’s difficult to see how a deal is going to get done when it doesn’t appear that we have a negotiating partner," McDonald said. "Their first proposal was so offensive to the players that it’s not even like they’re willing to make concessions for the sake of the league. And that’s the tough part; the players understand there’s a revenue disparity among the teams and are willing to make some changes and make some concessions based on that fact. But the league doesn’t seem to be willing to do that at this point. So I don’t know how a deal happens. The players aren’t going to keep giving back and giving back without concessions on their part."

McDonald certainly did not hold back regarding his feelings on negotiations at this point and if his words are any indication, hockey does not look like it will be returning soon.