SAN JOSE Sharks defenseman Dan Boyle has let his strong opinions on the NHL lockout be known more than once since it began on Sept. 16. But, that doesnt mean he has a desire to join the official talks when they resume in New York on Tuesday.
Ive communicated with the people I need to on my end, and my opinion, where I stand on things. They know where Im at. Ill probably just wait and see what happens, Boyle said on Monday at Sharks Ice.
Several owners and players will sit down together without Gary Bettman and Donald Fehr on Tuesday in New York. Four owners new to the process Torontos Larry Tanenbaum, Pittsburghs Ron Burkle, Winnipegs Mark Chipman and Tampa Bays Jeff Viink will join Boston owner Jeremy Jacobs and Calgary owner Murray Edwards along with several players that have yet to be revealed by the players association. Sidney Crosby and Jonathan Toews could be among them, according to the Canadian Press.
The veteran Boyle is hopeful that some good comes from having new participants involved in what has been an ugly negotiation so far.
Im open to anything at this point. I would like to see a few different owners and a few different faces in there, but well take what we can right now. We just hope it sparks something positive, and hope for the best.
As for salvaging a season, Boyle said: Its been hard to be optimistic. Im just shocked were at this point to begin with. I dont even know how to feel about it, to be honest with you. You hope, you certainly hope, but I dont know.
Sharks forward Marty Havlat, who has returned to the Bay Area after several months in the Czech Republic, is more confident than Boyle.
In 1994-95 they started in January, so we have, lets say a month and a half left until we know whats going to happen. I believe still that were going to play, Havlat said. I believe in what were doing and what we stand for, and I believe in Don Fehr.
This week could be key in the labor battle for more than just Tuesdays meeting between the players and owners. The leagues Board of Governors is set to convene on Wednesday, and the lockout will obviously be the biggest topic on the agenda.
According to a team spokesman, general manager Doug Wilson, a former president of the NHLPA, and executive vice president and general counsel John Tortora will represent the Sharks at the meeting.
Speaking of Havlat, the 30-year-old forward welcomed a new baby girl, Tereza, on July 6. He and his wife Ivana had the baby here before the pair headed back to their native country shortly after. Havlat returned recently in order for his new daughter to have some routine shots.
Havlat is one of a number of NHLers represented by blunt and forthright agent Allan Walsh, who has been a vocal supporter of the players and vociferous critic of the league since the lockout began, via his Twitter page.
I asked Havlat what he thought about his agents outspokenness.
I know what hes doing, and what hes writing, Havlat said. I talk to him a lot, too. I think its been great. Unfortunately, he might be the only agent speaking out and supporting the players. It would be nice if we get some help, but hes been great. Hes doing a great job not just for his own players, but for the whole group of players.
As for his health, Havlat, who suffered a hamstring injury a year ago before returning late last season, said he was prepared for training camp had it started on time.
I feel great. I was ready to go in September and I am ready to go now. Im working out like everybody else and trying to stay in shape as much as I canwaiting for the call, he said.
Former Sharks captain Owen Nolan, a mean, physical player who could put the puck in the net in his prime, thinks the lockout and extended break could prove advantageous to players like him when (or if) the league opens its doors.
RELATED: Owen Nolan weighs in on lockout
It probably benefits the guys that play more physical because they get a longer time to heal, Nolan said. I always say when I started the season, I called it the wandering bruise. First game you got a bruise, and it just kept moving from body part to body part and it never healed until the summer came. When you play that style, you choose that style, thats what got you there, and youre certainly not going to change.
Sharks players Ryane Clowe and Douglas Murray, both of whom had off years last season, could be among those that will be rejuvenated should the NHL salvage a season if you buy into Nolans reasoning.
Worcester Sharks forward Tim Kennedy was named as the American Hockey Leagues Player of the Week on Monday, after scoring five goals in three games over the weekend.
Kennedy, who has NHL experience with Buffalo and Florida, is tied for third in the league in scoring with 23 points (11g, 12a).
Worcester is in first place in the Atlantic Division with an 11-8-1-1 mark (24 points). The club has won six of its last seven road games.