B's players: 'Recchi sees lockout differently now'


B's players: 'Recchi sees lockout differently now'

Mark Recchis former teammates with the Bruins still love and respect him for the future Hall of Fame legend that he is.

Theres no denying Rexs imprint on the Black and Gold squad that won the Stanley Cup two years ago, and the lessons he taught Bostons young players are still paying dividends to this day.

But those same admiring teammates arent exactly seeing eye-to-eye with Recchi after his pro-owner comments about the lockout earlier this week in the Boston Globe. For those that need a refresher, Recchi essentially advised the 700 plus members of the NHLPA that they needed to cut their losses and take the leagues latest offer before things get worse.

My advice, said Recchi, who owners part of the Kamloops Blazers junior team in British Columbia is that the longer it goes, the worse the offer is going to get for the players.
Hey, Im an owner, too, so I see both sides. We lose money on our team, and obviously thats not the same, the moneys not nearly as significant as in the NHL. But the business dynamics are similar. Weve lost money every year weve owned it.

The longer theyre out, the revenues are going to go down and down. Corporate sponsors arent going to be lining up...so there goes that money. The schedule isnt going to be 82 games, I dont think, at this point. Thats more money lost. So, how are you going to get a better deal? Personally, I think the best time is now.

The NHLPA and Exec Director Donald Fehr have publicly blanched at the idea of moving to 5050 immediately without any guarantee that player contracts will be honored, and the NHL has refused to budge on strict player contract guidelines that will severely limit a players options. Theres also a discrepancy as to how close (the NHLPA believes the two sides are a few hundred million dollars apart) or far (the NHL is saying there could be a billion dollar difference in their proposals) the two sides remain more than 60 days into the lockout.

But Recchi indicated that the players will still make their money in the system being proposed by the NHL, and its up to them to step up and accept it. Give credit where its due: Recchi lived through a pair of work stoppages including a lost season to the lockout in 2004-05. Like his past-generation peers in Jeremy Roenick and Bill Guerin, Recchi has regrets about the full season lost to labor strife.

Shawn Thornton said hes been in regular contact with his beloved former teammate, and knows exactly where Recchi sits on the lockout subject.

Not surprisingly Thornton doesnt agree. But its about more than the make whole provision or the Hockey Related Revenue formula which by the way is no longer an issue.

Ive talked to Rex a lot through this process, and I know where he stands. So its not much of a shock to me, said Thornton. But as far as it goes guys like me probably get screwed more than anybody by this lockout and I wouldnt take this deal. There is stuff in there that just isnt doable for the betterment of the league or the players.

Some of the stuff about the player rights just cant happen. There are some things that they need to move on before accepting.

When asked to elaborate, the Bs enforcer actually referenced the proposed cap on AHL salaries as a sticking point. Adding AHL players to the salary cap would unnecessarily punish longtime AHL veterans like Trent Whitfield, who deserve something for their long years of service and wealth of experience.

No matter what comes out from the other side weve given up a lot: weve given over a billion dollars, we gave a proposal on back-diving contracts and we gave a proposal on capping minor league contracts, said Thornton. I dont think you can cap a guy like Trent Whitfield thats played in that league for 16 years. Hes almost like a member of the Providence staff grooming the kids to be good professionals for when they come up to the NHL level. To take 100,000 from him just isnt right.

I was in that position during the last lockout when I was in the NHL. I went from 125,000 to 75,000 and almost had to sell my house in Oshawa. It sounds tough because I know some people dont even make 75,000, but when you have an agent, you pay rent in two places and you have a family it doesnt go a long way when you only have a ten-year career to earn money. Thats been one of my biggest concerns during the meetings: we shouldnt even be allowed to cap those AHL kids. There is stuff like that where the deal just isnt good enough yet.

Daniel Paille said he gained all manner of respect for Recchi during their two years together in Boston, but the fourth line winger disagreed with the retired forwards call for the players to sign a deal. Recchi has been linked to Dallas Stars owner Tom Gaglardi over the past couple of years as fellow Kamloops residents, and Paille wondered if perhaps that tight relationship has slanted his viewpoint toward the owners.

A guy like Rex is highly respected by everyone and hes only been away from the game for a year, said Paille. But he does see it in a different way now. For him to say the things that he said, I was a little surprised. But hes an owner now and I think he sees it from the business aspect of it. But I think he understands it from the sense of what the players are fighting for, and thats important as well.

While his Bruins teammates had always fully adopted Recchis advice in the recent past, its no surprise theyre going their own way this time around with so much on the line for the present and future of the players.

Bruins lose third straight with 4-1 loss to Leafs


Bruins lose third straight with 4-1 loss to Leafs

BOSTON -- The Bruins’ season has gone in extreme swings both up and down thus far through the first couple of months, and that was the case as they lost their third game in a row to the Maple Leafs on Saturday night.

The Bruins couldn’t only scratch for one goal despite outshooting the Maple Leafs by a 32-20 margin, and fell by a disappointing 4-1 score to the young and talented Toronto club at TD Garden.

The Bruins never enjoyed a lead in the game against the Leafs, and were flirting with danger after failing to score in the first period despite out-shooting Toronto by an 11-2 margin in the game’s opening 20 minutes. Instead it was a David Pastrnak neutral zone turnover in the second period that was picked off by William Nylander, and ended with Auston Matthews firing a rocket over Tuukka Rask for his 12th goal of the season.

Toronto extended the lead with five minutes to go in the period when Zach Hyman tipped a wobbly Jake Gardiner point shot past Rask, and made it three games in a row that the Bruins have dug themselves a considerable hole. Brad Marchand got one goal back at the end of the second period on a nice hustle play as he sealed off Frederik Anderson’s clearing attempt and then stuffed the puck past the Leafs goalie on a second chance bid.

That’s the way the score remained until the third period when the Bruins couldn’t convert on a couple of offensive chances -- included a bang-bang shorthanded bid for Austin Czarnik in front of the net -- and then James van Riemsdyk scored in front as a Toronto power play expired. That was the backbreaker for a Black and Gold bunch that continues to scrap for goals, and has now scored two goals or less in 20 of their 20 games this season.

Connor Brown added an empty netter in the final two minutes of the game to truly put it out of reach for the Bruins. 

Celtics' team plane receives bomb threat


Celtics' team plane receives bomb threat

BOSTON -- There was a bomb threat to the Boston Celtics’ team plane to Oklahoma City on Saturday afternoon, but no one was injured.

The incident will be investigated by NBA security which will work in conjunction with the FBI on this matter which was one of several hoaxes called into airports across the country on Saturday.

News of the bomb threat was first known when Celtics forward Jae Crowder posted an Instagram photo showing players departing the plane with the caption, “BOMB THREAT ON US”.

Celtics officials declined to comment on the matter and instead referred all bomb threat-related questions to the league office.

Messages to the league office were not immediately returned.