May 20, 2012; Los Angeles, CA, USA; NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman in attendance before the Los Angeles Kings play against the Phoenix Coyotes in game four of the Western Conference Finals of the 2012 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-US PRESSWIRE
To say that the current labor dispute between the NHL owners and players is on the minds of everyone in the hockey world would be an understatement. Even at the Buffalo Sabres alumni golf tournament, the former and current players there to play a round of golf couldn't escape getting asked about the labor situation.
There were a handful of players in the tournament that have been through both lockouts and some were willing to share their thoughts on what is going on with the current situation. Former Sabres defensemen Jay McKee, who was drafted in 1995 and went through the 2004 lockout, had this to say about the situation:
I think if you look back at what's happened, I think everyone's been happy with the way its went and its been successful. Players are still making money, the owners are getting their money and I think after losing the season in the last lockout...that I don't think there is a whole lot that anyone has been complaining about.
The only current player at the tournament, Patrick Kaleta, didn't have much to say on the situation except for the fact that he was just preparing to be ready for whenever the season was going to be ready. No one was immune to talking about the lockout, even Rick Jeanneret was asked about his thoughts on a shortened season:
I'm hoping, obviously, that their going to come to a resolution and it won't cost us any part of the season. Unfortunately, I do remember back in 1994 when they shortened the season to 48 games and that was not a lot of fun. It wasn't a lot of fun for anybody. The travel was horrendous and in those days we didn't travel by charter. Quite frankly, the hockey wasn't that great either, I didn't think.