Article

NHL players hold hope of lockout resolution

23 October 2012 18:39

Dallas Stars forward Jamie Benn is hopeful the NHL can sort out their ongoing labour dispute and get the new hockey season up and running.

The 23-year-old Canadian has made the switch to Europe during the 2012 lockout, plying his trade with German side the Hamburg Freezers until the dispute is resolved.

"It's definitely tough in North America with no hockey," Benn said. "It hurts the players, the owners, businesses and fans especially.

"If we lose a whole year it's not good for anybody. Hopefully we can get it sorted out and start playing soon."

Benn remains confident the season will not be a complete loss, but had no qualms about switching continents in the meantime.

"I'm having lots of fun out here and I'm pretty happy I came over," he said. "It's just nice to play some hockey again.

"I don't think we're going to lose a whole year, I hope not, but you can learn from the last one that we had.

"There was a proposal made yesterday, I know the NHLPA is looking over it and are talking about it quite heavily right now.

"Like I said, hopefully we'll get something figured out soon and can start playing some hockey."

Meanwhile, Anaheim Ducks winger Matt Beleskey has explained his reasons for moving overseas during the lockout, while claiming he understands the arguments made by team-mate Bobby Ryan.

Beleskey made the switch to the United Kingdom to play for the Coventry Blaze, while negotiations continue back home - a ploy Ryan has openly criticised as being motivated purely by profit.

"He's a well-known name, he's established himself," the 24-year-old said.

"He's got a multi-year contract he's sitting on, that's the situation he's in. For me, if I don't play this season, if the lockout goes all year and I have no contract and I haven't played in a year then that's pretty tough negotiating that way.

"So, it's different situations and from his standpoint, I hear what he's saying.

"He's sitting behind (his contract) and sticking up for the union but I think that all players that are over here are so we're just preparing ourselves for the season to get started."

Beleskey expressed his sympathy for hockey fans but insists players gave up too much during the previous lockout negotiations and are loathe to making the same mistake again.

"Obviously there's going to be some fans and I feel for them, and they're not going to want to watch hockey, they're upset," he said.

"It's a great sport and we should be playing, I agree with them in that way but you can't just settle for anything because, you know, it's the second lockout in how many years?

"Last time we gave back huge concessions and now they're asking for the same. It's something we've got to put a stop to it.

"You can't have a repeat in another six years when this agreement's done and give back more. It just doesn't make sense to do that."

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