2012 NHL Lockout: Major assists by Tampa Bay Lightning owner Jeff Vinik and GM Steve Yzerman in labor talks

Tampa Bay Lightning owner Jeffrey Vinik is said to be an important ally in brokering a deal between the NHL and NHL Players Association. - Clark Brooks

Though Pittsburgh Penguins owner Ron Burkle and captain Sidney Crosby are getting much praise for progress today with talks between teh NHL and the NHLPA, Tampa Bay officials have been major allies.

The owner-player meeting in New York is ongoing as I write this post. It had briefly adjourned for a little more than an hour for dinner at around 7:30 PM EST. At that point news started to leak about the meetings and a general positive vibe was coming from it.

Focus of reports cited the Pittsburgh Penguins - owner Ronald Burkle and captain Sidney Crosby - as being integral characters to trying to bridge the divide. That was their task, and it was laid out weeks ago as talks proved not to be progressing.

But who gets the primary assist on this? The Tampa Bay Lightning. From the TribLive.com report:

Among the other owners in the talks Tuesday was Tampa Bay's Jeff Vinik, who has become a favorite of Burkle and Lemieux since Vinik purchased the Lightning in February 2010. Lemieux has discussed ways to end the lockout with Lightning general manager Steve Yzerman, a fellow Hockey Hall of Famer, the sources said.

If these sources are right, it clarifies how Jeff Vinik ended up in today's meeting. Burkle would hold more sway than Vinik by himself... Vinik, who had been in Boston for much of his professional career, is known and respected by Boston Bruins owner Jeremy Jacobs (who is the central figure from the owners position).

Regardless when an official end to tonight's talks happens, a press conference has been scheduled for 1 PM EST by Commissioner Bettman.

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

Join Raw Charge

You must be a member of Raw Charge to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Raw Charge. You should read them.

Join Raw Charge

You must be a member of Raw Charge to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Raw Charge. You should read them.

Spinner

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9355_tracker