Daily Cupcakes - Links from around the locked out NHL - September 20th, 2012

NASHVILLE, TN - MARCH 12: Ryan O'Byrne #3 of the Colorado Avalanche celebrates after a goal against the Nashville Predators on March 12, 2011 at the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Frederick Breedon/Getty Images)



The Calgary Flames are practicing on their own.

Maybe at a glance, it is the same.

Parties disagreeing. Owners locking out employees. National Hockey League shutting down.

But there is a fundamental difference between what happened eight years ago and what is happening now.

"People don’t care as much this time around — that’s what’s scary," Brendan Morrison, a member of the NHLPA’s 31-man negotiating committee, said on Day 3 of the latest lockout. "Last time, people were in an uproar, right? This time around, I don’t sense that as much . . . it’s almost like, ‘So what? I’ll save 20 grand on season tickets this year.’ That’s a little bit scary.

Ryan O`Byrne won't be playing overseas during the lockout - he'll be behind a bench. And he's not in it for the money, but his charity will benefit from it.

"From my own experience in the BCHL, I know what a pivotal time it can be in a player's development," said O'Byrne. "I am excited to be involved and do what I can to help the next generation of Grizzlies as they pursue their hockey goals."

O'Byrne will not receive remuneration from the team, however the Grizzlies are pleased to be making a donation to the Ryan O'Byrne Youth Sports Society. Earlier this summer the society's Ryan O'Byrne Charity Camp raised $25,123 for KidsSport Victoria, an organization that pays the sports registration and equipment fees for children whose parents can't afford them.

Ovechkin is heading to Russia.

Alexander Ovechkin has become the latest high-profile player to return to Russia since the NHL announced a lockout on Sunday when he signed a contract with his former club Dynamo Moscow.

Several big-name Russian players have taken advantage of the work-stoppage in North America to move across the Atlantic and join the rival Kontinental Hockey League (KHL).

New Jersey Devils forward Ilya Kovalchuk signed a lucrative deal with big-spending SKA St Petersburg on Tuesday while three other players, including NHL MVP Evgeni Malkin, joined Metallurg Magnitogorsk at the weekend.

Colorado Avalanche goaltender Semyon Varlamov said he was returning to his former club Lokomotiv Yaroslavl, who have assembled a new team this year after their entire roster was killed in a plane crash that left 44 people dead last September.

Interviews with Tyson Barrie and Ryan O'Byrne about the lockout.

"It’s tough on guys like Tyson, who are on the cusp [of making the NHL], but he understands its a business," said Avs teammate O’Byrne.

More than most, since Tyson’s dad Len Barrie is a former owner of the NHL’s Tampa Bay Lightning.

"It sucks, for sure, because I only got a taste of it [NHL] last year," said Tyson Barrie.

"It’s obviously frustrating but this is a business, and that’s evident more than ever right now. I have a neat perspective since my dad sat in the room with those guys [owners]. I stick with the PA [players association] 100 per cent. This is for the long term. It kind of has to be done. And it will get [settled] because there are a lot of smart guys in that room on both sides."


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