Couture: 'Every game is going to be so big'
Logan Couture: "There are still some hard feelings towards the other side." (USA TODAY IMAGES)
It’s going to take a few days, perhaps as long as a week, for the NHL and NHLPA lawyers to finalize the language of the new collective bargaining agreement.
Listening to Sharks center Logan Couture, that time might also act as a cooling off period.
Speaking with CSN Bay Area’s Brodie Brazil on Sunday, Couture was asked if the labor battle, which mercifully ended after 113 days, is now just “water under the bridge.”
“I can only speak for myself, but I would say no to that,” Couture told Brazil. “It’s definitely not water under the bridge. I understand it took both parties to go through this, but there are still some hard feelings towards the other side. I was able to be in some meetings and really realize what they were trying to do. We fought hard to get what we got. Basically we were fighting to give back less than they wanted, to take more and more and more from us. I wouldn’t say it’s water under the bridge, no.”
Prior to leaving for Switzerland in September, Couture was in the room in July when the league presented its first proposal, asking for the players’ share of hockey-related revenue to be reduced to 46 percent (43 percent by some accounts) from 57 percent under the last CBA. The two sides eventually settled on a 50-50 split.
Couture also had a message for fans. The Sharks’ lone All-Star last season, the two-time 30-goal scorer was just 15 years old when the entire NHL season was cancelled in 2004-05. As a fan of the game growing up in Ontario, he recalled how that felt.
“I was a fan in 2004-05 and the lockout hurt. At first I said I wasn’t going to watch hockey, and that lasted about one day. If you love the game, you’re going to come back. It’s tough that we took it away for four months. As players we definitely didn’t want to do that. That’s our job, we want to play hockey. We want to entertain fans as much as we can. We’re hopeful that they’ll come back and show their true love for the game of hockey, because I know hockey fans are the most passionate fans out there.”
Couture won’t have to worry too much about support in the Bay Area, as fewer than 100 Sharks season tickets holders cancelled their seats during the lockout, according to executive vice president Malcolm Bordelon.