No Bruins present at Wednesday NHL, NHLPA meetings

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No Bruins present at Wednesday NHL, NHLPA meetings

So far its not a complete and utter disaster, and thatregisters as good news in the bad news factory known as the NHL lockout.

The NHLPA and NHL met for roughly 90 minutes at the NHLoffices in New York City on Wednesday morning with the players making a fullproposal to Gary Bettman, Bill Daly and a collection of NHL owners. The twosides will meet again in the NHL offices following a break for lunch. Therewere nine players in attendance for the negotiating session along with Donaldand Steve Fehr leading the NHLPA staff.

Fehr, the NHLPA Executive Director, told reporters their latest offer is about as good aswe can do and said the two sides are about 182million apart over the course of a five-year deal. The players have also agreed to a strict percentage base for their Hockey Related Revenue (HRR) share, a move the league was demanding as part of the negotiations. That leaves room for some optimism even if there isn't expected to be a full agreement on this day. There were no Boston Bruinsplayers in attendance among the player contingent on Wednesday afternoon, justas there werent any Bs at the proceedings earlier this week.

According to the NHL, the players in attendance for Wednesdaysmeetings include: Adam Burish, Chris Campoli, Dan Cleary, Mathieu Darche, RonHainsey, Shawn Horcoff, Kevin Shattenkirk, Andy McDonald and Daniel Winnik.

The2012-13 regular season isnt lost if the two sides cant come to an agreementthis week, but the NHL is expected to officially cancel the NHL All-Star gameand at least two weeks worth of games if they hit another stalemate in CBAdiscussions.

Felger: Bruins have no choice but to overpay for defenseman

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Felger: Bruins have no choice but to overpay for defenseman

Yes, four first-round picks for Jacob Trouba is crazy.

Yes, two firsts and David Pastrnak for Kevin Shattenkirk is stupid.

And, of course, Taylor Hall for Adam Larsson is ridiculous. (Remember Bruins fans: As bad as it's been, it could be worse. Peter Chiarelli could still be here.)

No one is disputing that the asking price for good, young defensemen across the NHL has gone haywire. If you're acquiring one of those players, you are likely going to lose the deal, and that's no way to run a franchise.

But here's the question for the Bruins: What's the alternative? Do the Bruins want to try and win in the Patrice Bergeron window or not?

That's what it comes down to for the B's. Bergeron will turn 31 in three weeks, and while he may have plenty of seasons left, his time as one of the best two-way players in the NHL is certainly more finite. He will likely be out of that elite status by the time anyone currently in the B's system develops into the type of No. 1 defenseman the team so desperately needs -- if there's even anyone who fits that description in the first place.

In other words, if the B's want a top-pairing defenseman anytime soon, they're going to have to pay for it. Or overpay for it. Draft picks. Players. Offer sheets. Whatever. Something unappealing is going to have to go out the door.

If there's another way, I'd like to know what it is. There's virtually nothing to choose from in the unrestricted pool. And everyone on the current depth chart is either too old, too young or too crappy.

So four first-rounders and a $7 million annual cap hit for Trouba? That's an impossible price to wrap your head around, until you consider the alternatives.

Ideally, the B's are using that Jets offer sheet threat as a leverage play, an attempt to create options in hopes the Blues lower their ask on Shattenkirk, or the Ducks lower their price on Cam Fowler. Maybe the B's have been trying to work a trade with the Jets for Trouba himself and are just bringing a hammer to the table. Lower your demands or we'll offer sheet him. Perhaps that offer sheet isn't even a realistic consideration and is nothing more than noise.

I have no idea. The only thing I know is that the B's still stink on D.

The players they have drafted the last few years may not be any good, and if they are it will be a half-decade before they're capable of playing the kind of playoff minutes necessary to contend for a Cup. The Bruins keep saying they want to contend now, which is pretty much impossible given the personnel on the blue line.

So what do they want? To wait for the kids and blow the rest of Bergeron's prime? Or give up an exorbitant price in a deal they'll very likely lose?

I'd probably lean towards the later, but there's really no right answer. It's called Bruins.

Email Felger at mfelger@comcastsportsnet.com. Listen to Felger and Mazz daily from 2-6 p.m. The simulcast runs on CSN.

OFFSEASON

Report: Durant will be meeting with Celtics on Saturday

Report: Durant will be meeting with Celtics on Saturday

Kevin Durant’s weekend of free agent visits has come into focus on the final day of June.

According to David Aldridge of NBA.com, the Boston Celtics will be meeting with the free agent superstar on Saturday.

After meeting with Durant on Saturday, the Celtics should have a better idea if they will need to waive Amir Johnson and Jonas Jerebko before Sunday's July 3 deadline. Waiving the duo would create additional salary cap space to potentially sign Durant and another near max-salaried player.