MOSCOW, November 17 (R-Sport) - Negotiations to resolve the NHL lockout "don't look very rosy," Buffalo Sabres defenseman Andrej Sekera told R-Sport on Saturday, citing his contacts in the North American league.
Sekera joined KHL expansion team Slovan Bratislava in his native Slovakia after the lockout was announced September 15 following an impasse in pay talks between NHL owners and players.
Sekera said he and his lockout teammate, New York Islanders defenseman Lubomir Visnovsky, had been keeping tabs on the talks.
“Lubomir and I talk about the lockout, and we’ve got guys who work for us all in the players’ association. They keep sending us messages about how the talks are going and the situation around the lockout, and they don’t look very rosy,” he said.
Sekera added that he was ready to return to Buffalo at a moment’s notice if the lockout ends.
The last lockout wiped out the entire 2004-05 season and this year’s deadlock has already caused the first-ever cancelation of the NHL’s showpiece Winter Classic on New Year’s Day.
Since moving back home to Slovakia with Slovan, Sekera has played 12 games, scoring two goals and making five assists.
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Any response would likely boomerang on Russia – the partnership between Rosneft and ExxonMobil is a case in point. The United States has hit Russia with a third round of sanctions. This time the Americans went with a higher caliber weapon, targeting Russia’s biggest energy companies (Rosneft and Novatek) and banks (VEB and Gazprombank).