Players present league with counteroffer; more talks expected Tuesday


Players present league with counteroffer; more talks expected Tuesday

The NHLPA on Monday presented the NHL with what commissioner Gary Bettman called a "comprehensive" response to the league's proposal of late last week, and Bettman said the league would review the offer overnight.

The sides are expected to meet again Tuesday.

Neither Bettman nor NHLPA executive director Donald Fehr would characterize the offer, or speculate if the sides were closer. Bettman also confirmed that a settlement must be reached by Jan. 11 to salvage a 48-game season.

After the NHL sent Fehr a 300-page offer at the end of last week, the players responded by delivering their own counteroffer on Monday at the NHL offices in New York. NHL players Ron Hainsey, Rick DiPietro, Martin St. Louis, Jamal Mayers and Chris Campoli arrived with the NHLPA contingent shortly after 2 p.m., and they were soon joined by Phoenix Coyotes forward Shane Doan.

It was the first time the two sides had met since talks blew up on Dec. 6 when the league rejected an NHLPA proposal via voicemail. Bettman followed with a more than 30-minute, fire-and-brimstone press conference that was full of emotion, anger and an unwillingness to budge from the leagues offer.

Three weeks later the league came back to the table with an offer that included movement in key areas like longer term for individual player contracts, amnesty buyouts for one contract per NHL team prior to the 2013-14 season, and no changes to Hockey Related Revenue splits or the 300 million make whole money that was previously agreed upon.

Many have speculated that the players will have issues with the 60 million salary cap ceiling planned for next years full 82-game season and a long-term CBA without a cap on escrow given some of the fallout possible from the current lockout. The question now is whether either of those smaller details to a long term CBA will be the hill to die on for the players in a protracted NHL lockout thats drawn severe amounts of blood on both sides.

Saturday, Dec. 10: Vegas,scoring on NHL governors' minds

Saturday, Dec. 10: Vegas,scoring on NHL governors' minds

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading, while doing some early Christmas shopping ahead of the late rush. 

*Mike Zeisberger sits down with a quartet of NHL governors and discusses a number of hot topics including the Vegas franchise and scoring around the league. 

*Carolina Hurricanes owner Peter Karmanos has been removed from the NHL Board of Governor’s Executive Committee amid rumors that the Canes might be a prime candidate for relocation. 

*Pierre McGuire weighs in on Connor McDavid’s war of words on the ice and Carey Price losing his mind in the crease against the New Jersey Devils. To that end, Wayne Gretzky liked seeing McDavid get a little combative at such a young age. 

*The New York Islanders signed Cal Clutterbuck to a five year contract extension, and some are skeptical it will turn out well for the Isles.

*David Pastrnak is a premier scoring threat in the league, and Scott Cullen has some details behind that. I will say this: his stock falling in the draft had less to do with his size or heaviness, and more to do with him being concussed for a long stretch of time during the year leading up to the draft. 

*The Florida Panthers are really struggling to stay positive with a 1-5-0 record since the ownership group and management decided to fire Gerard Gallant. 

*For something completely different: Baywatch stars then and now. 



Curran: To gauge Patriots' plans for Jimmy G, look to Brissett

Curran: To gauge Patriots' plans for Jimmy G, look to Brissett

When trying to figure out what the Patriots will ultimately do with Jimmy Garoppolo, forget about the speculation and instead focus on the little things the team does. 

Like how they are tending to Jacoby Brissett. 

After having thumb surgery on Oct. 7, Brissett was put on IR. But the team used its one "Get off of IR free card" on Brissett and he's been practicing with the team for the past couple of weeks while not taking up a roster spot. 

That alone isn't compelling evidence that he's the backup-in-waiting and Garoppolo's about to be packed up and shipped out, argued my compadre, Senator Phil Perry. The team had no other players on IR that they could use the designation on at the time. Why not use it on Brissett?

Prior to that, though, we've seen Brissett accompanying the team to away games including the cross-country junket to San Francisco. A reason? Since the Patriots played three straight at Gillette at the start of the season when Brissett was the direct backup to Garoppolo, he didn't get a good look at the road operation and the tempo of being the visiting team. How things work on flights, in meetings, at opposing stadiums and on the sidelines is worth getting a promising young players' eyes on. Also, getting his offensive teammates used to having him around is probably an even bigger benefit. It's not unprecedented to have IR players travel but its not conventional practice either. 

With so many quarterback-needy teams around the league, Garoppolo is perhaps the most attractive option out there. By the end of this year, he will have apprenticed three seasons behind the best quarterback of all-time in a sophisticated offense for a program that's as demanding as any in the league. In the 10 quarters he was able to play as a starter in place of Tom Brady, he was sensational.

He got hurt and that's not great. But any team making a deal for him that has concerns about his durability can take him for a spin for one season. Garoppolo is on the books for $825K in 2017 and then his contract is up. The team that dealt for him can franchise him if they need another season to think on it. 

I don't think the Patriots are itching to move Garoppolo. They know they are sitting comfortably with a stack of the most valuable commodity in the sport -- good quarterbacks (or at least one great one and two promising ones) - piled in front of them. They can let the game come to them. 

If it does, as former Patriots executive and Bill Belichick consigliere Mike Lombardi thinks it will, the Patriots can rest easy dealing Garoppolo knowing that they already did advance work getting Brissett up to speed.