It was reported last night by Rob Rossi that over the past few weeks Sidney Crosby and Penguins owner Ron Burkle had been in discussions about how to bridge the gap between the players and owners and end the lockout.
Rossi also reported that Burkle and Crosby, with his agent, flew into NY together from LA.
Elliotte Friedman writes at CBC that the Penguins have long been upset with the pace of negotiations and “It’s clear that they arrived in New York City with a plan to get things back on the rails. While details are still to come, Burkle and Crosby were two major parts of yesterday’s discussion. They crafted an agenda and discussed how to implement it.”
Nick Cotsonika tweets “Can see why Burkle positive influence. Rode elevator with him last night. Introduced himself as “Ron.” Wearing sneakers, jeans today. Burkle obviously has strong background in business, labor relations, but has common touch. Approachable. Helps at times like this.”
Pierre LeBrun writes at ESPN.com that Burkle and Mario Lemieux were constantly talking with Crosby’s agent Pat Brisson about ways to end the lockout. He adds “Combined with a similar desire shared by Crosby to do everything possible to save a season, the Penguins owner and his superstar captain put their best feet forward Tuesday in an attempt to push things back in the right direction.”
Adam Rotter: Burkle was the right guy at the right time to come into talks and it makes sense since the best and most important player in the league plays for him. That being said, had James Dolan been in the room yesterday I think many of the stories would be about how he and Brad Richards are making the big strides to end the lockout.