2004-2005 season notes

April 17, 2005

With the season-long play stoppage, The Hockey News is desperate for things to write about. In the April 12, 2005 edition, the staff writers picked who of today's active NHL players would be on their teams if the league reverted back to only the Original Six teams. Mathieu was among the 108 player that made the cut. He was "chosen" 43rd by the Toronto Maple Leafs. The "GM" was Bill Watters, "long-time Leaf exec and opinionated, oft-quoted Toronto hockey pundit," who wrote that "his" blue line of 6 defensemen would feature Mathieu, "who just happened to be Detroit's best defenseman last year."

February 16, 2005

After a 153 day lockout, the NHL has cancelled the entire 2004-2005 season, becoming the first professional sport in North America to ever cancel a season due to a labor dispute.

September 16, 2004

The second NHL lockout in 10 years officially began today. Play will not resume until a new CBA is approved. Thus, there will be no NHL hockey indefinitely...

September 14, 2004

Mathieu remains unsigned as the expiration of the current CBA approaches. He will have to wait until after the work stoppage to sign with any NHL team.

August 17, 2004

The more specific reason that Mathieu opted out of participating in the World Cup of Hockey tournament is due to insurance problems. Players without current NHL contracts must purchase insurance themselves, and doing so can be difficult. And with the level of play at the tournament expected to be high, so is the chance for injury. Thus, insurance is a must.

August 11, 2004

Mathieu WILL NOT be participating in the 2004 World Cup of Hockey. Citing his unsettled contract status Mathieu withdrew from competing in the upcoming tournament.

July 25, 2004

Well, according to Detroit area papers, Mathieu and the Wings are still negotiating. There may be some chance that he will return to the Wings. Personal note: I promised myself I wouldn't make any editorial comments, but I can't help it. The Wings burnt their bridge with their lowball offer. You just don't neglect to offer one of your star players a base salary raise after the best season of his career. Mathieu may not get what he wants (or deserves) in this summer of unknowns, but he at least deserves a bit more respect and appreciation then he has gotten from the Detroit Red Wings...

July 19, 2004

TSN.ca featured an article about the looming lockout's effect on the free agent market. Under Mathieu's name was the follow quote: "This guy doesn't get enough credit for the kind of season he had with Detroit last year: 46 points (14-32) and a plus-22 rating in 78 games, stepping up big time when Derian Hatcher went down. He's likely out of Detroit.." At least someone sees the lack of appreciation Mathieu is being shown.

July 17, 2004

Apparently the $250,000 increase mentioned in the media was only in incentives. The Red Wings offered Mathieu no base salary increase.

July 7, 2004

Mathieu's days with the Red Wings might be over. The two sides remain, in the words of Detroit GM Ken Holland, "a ways apart" in negotiations. The Red Wings offered only what amounted to a 6% increase, giving Mathieu $6 million less than Niklas Lidstrom and $1 million less than Derian Hatcher. Following a career year that saw him 7th in voting for the Norris Trophy, Mathieu was looking for a more significant increase, and a salary more equitable to his defensive colleagues. And this is were, as Holland puts it, "there's a big difference of opinion." Although the Red Wings have not abandon efforts to re-sign Mathieu, the distant in common ground is great and there have been no talks recently.

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