Wednesday, 14 November 2012

Carbo and the '94 lockout

With talks between the NHL and its players' association at a standstill, let's go back in time eighteen years to the lockout of 1994.  It began on October 1, 1994 after a year of NHL hockey being played without a collective bargaining agreement.  The big issue was the implementation of a salary cap -- the owners were in favor of it while the players were opposed.

Guy was traded from Montreal to the St. Louis Blues on August 19 of that year, a move that stunned him.  Still, he found himself acting as the Blues' player representative for the NHLPA in negotiations with the league.  This role was not new to him -- he became the Canadiens' player representative in 1991 after Ryan Walter, the previous rep, was traded to Vancouver.

When the 1994 lockout was happening, Guy was quoted as saying that he wanted nothing more than to play hockey, but he'd rather be kept in the loop in negotiations than be left in the dark.  He also said of being a player representative with no formal education:

"It was really hard at the start.  There are so many things you have to remember, and I'm not an English (speaking) person, so there was a lot of vocabulary that I never heard of before. I got out of a few meetings with a headache. 
Now, it's a lot better. I understand a lot more. It's easier for me."

Guy also raised a few eyebrows at the time when he said of the NHL:  "I wonder why they don't ask Mike Keenan or guys who want to start the season."

When asked about the 1994-95 season being cancelled, Guy said:

"I don't think it'll be the end of hockey because you'll still have 650 of the best hockey players in the world, and we can do a lot of things.  If you have 26 owners without players, they're nobody...They have the contacts to bring the money in, but without us, they don't have the product to play and bring in that money.  We don't have (the contacts) now, but it could come. We can still play hockey without them. I hope that they realize that. I'm not going to make that much money, but there's still going to be hockey.  In what league and what form, it's really hard to say. A lot of ideas have been put on the table, but I don't want to talk about that. I want to wait a week or 10 days and see what their actions are going to be." 

The season wasn't cancelled, though -- the lockout was settled on January 11, 1995 and the season was shortened to 48 games.  Guy would play only one season in St. Louis before being traded to the Dallas Stars on the eve of the 1995-96 season for Paul Broten. 

(with quotes from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch; December 11, 1994)

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