Agent: Expect long lockout, maybe another lost season


Agent: Expect long lockout, maybe another lost season

While a number of Bruins players are hanging around for the next week or two before finally leaving Boston for other hockey opportunities in Europe, there are no talks currently underway between the NHL and NHLPA.

The chasm between the two sides remains as expansive as the Grand Canyon where they cant agree on the simple breakdown of hockey related revenues for each side, and cant find middle ground on the expected importance of revenue sharing. One side wants a 10-20 percent rollback right off the top and the other side is looking for a deliberate decrease in their piece of the pie while continuing to link it with the burgeoning growth of the league.

Theres not a lot of common ground, and one player agent told that he's thinking that the whole season might once again be in danger. The agent also is among the many on the players side that feel the late rush of player contracts signed just before the lockout -- including the 70.5 doled out to Brad Marchand, Tyler Seguin and Milan Lucic -- were agreed upon with the idea that the teams would never have to pay the full value of the deals.

The agents tone is ominous, and makes it sound like the NHL season is legitimately in danger -- something everyone once saw as unthinkable after the incredibly damaging year lost in 2004-05.

"I see zero chance of a deal anytime soon," said the agent. "The idea of a 'roll back' and 'term limits' is all over the deals signed right before the lockout and Don Fehr knows it and is not going to roll over and agree to it.

"Expect a long lockout and maybe another lost season. Did not have to happen -- NHL no longer is even pretending to be 'partners' with the players. The players proposal addresses the weak team's problems. NHL touts franchise values rising and yet everyone losing money?"

With many of the NHL teams beginning to discuss staff layoffs and pay reductions and the NHL league office reportedly holding a Wednesday morning meeting to discuss potential lockout layoffs as well, it appears the league is digging in its heels for a lengthy fight.

Perhaps rather than holding meetings about laying off employees the NHL would be better served by continuing to work on a deal that could save a season thats slowly ambling into the crosshairs. But thats just one mans opinion, of course.

Spooner responds positively to healthy scratch


Spooner responds positively to healthy scratch

BOSTON -- It wasn’t perfect by any means, but Saturday night represented a step in a positive direction for Ryan Spooner.

The 24-year-old speedy forward was scratched for the home opener against New Jersey in classic message-sending fashion by Bruins coach Claude Julien, and deserved it based on a passive lack of production combined with some costly mistakes as well. So he stayed quiet, put in the work and then returned to the lineup Saturday vs. the Montreal Canadiens where he scored a power play goal in the 4-2 loss to the Habs at TD Garden.

“He was better,” agreed Claude Julien. “He was better tonight.”

Spooner could have had even more as he got a couple of great scoring chances in the first period vs. Montreal, but Carey Price was able to turn away a couple of free looks at the Montreal net. So the Bruins forward felt he possibly left points on the ice after it was all said and done, but also clearly played his best game of the young season after going from the press box back to the lineup.

“Yeah, I had like maybe four or five [chances] that I could have scored on,” said Spooner. “I’ve just got to bear down on those [scoring opportunities], and a lot [of them] in the first period. It’s good that I’m getting those looks, but I have to score on them.

“I’m just going to go out there and just try to play. I can’t really think about [fighting to hold a spot]. I’ve just got to go out there and try to play, I guess, the game I can and try to use the speed that I have.”

The Spooner power play strike was a nifty one with the shifty forward and David Backes connecting on a pass across the front of the net, and the young B’s forward showing the necessary assertiveness cutting to the net from his half-wall position.

Spooner had five shot attempts overall in the game, and was one of the few Bruins players really getting the chances they wanted against a pretty effective Montreal defensive group. Now it’s a matter of Spooner, along with linemates Backes and David Krejci, scoring during 5-on-5 play and giving the Bruins a little more offensive balance after riding Boston’s top line very hard during the regular season’s first couple of weeks. 

Sunday, Oct. 23: Hall fitting in with Devils


Sunday, Oct. 23: Hall fitting in with Devils

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading while waiting to find out which Walking Dead character got brained by Lucille in last season’s cliffhanger. I’m going with Abraham.

*The SI roundtable talks about the future of Jacob Trouba, and where he’ll end up going when his current situation resolves itself.

*P.K. Subban is apparently getting very comfortable in Nashville, and enjoying life in a city with NFL football.

*Fun conversation between Yahoo’s Josh Cooper and Brad Marchand about a whole range of random topics.

*A cool father-son story where they became the goaltending tandem for the Ontario Reign through a series of dominoes falling after Jonathan Quick went down with injury for the Los Angeles Kings.

*Pro Hockey Talk has Taylor Hall serving as exactly what the New Jersey Devils have needed for the last couple of years.

*For something completely different: FOH (Friend of Haggs) Dan Shaughnessy says that the MLB playoffs couldn’t have played out any worse for the Boston Red Sox.