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 CSNNE.com 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.
Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading, while proud of my wife and daughter participating in today’s Women’s March.
*This is from a few days ago, but Bob McKenzie weighing in on the prospects for Claude Julien and his job security is always worth checking out.
*The New York Rangers have themselves a rookie named Pavel that’s doing a pretty darned good job for the Blueshirts.
*What should the St. Louis Blues do with Kevin Shattenkirk as the trade deadline approaches and the seven-year, $49 million contract waiting for him in free agency is pretty daunting?
*FOH (Friend of Haggs) Kevin Allen has a list of underperforming NHL stars, including Jamie Benn and Jonathan Toews, that may have been impacted by the World Cup of Hockey. Certainly Patrice Bergeron could have made this list as well.
*Blackhawks backup goalie Scott Darling may be earning some more playing time after the way he performed against the Bruins, according to Pro Hockey Talk.
*Good news with Ottawa Senators goalie Craig Anderson set to return to the team in a couple of weeks after tending to his wife in a battle against cancer.
*The struggles of Anthony Duclair with the Arizona Coyotes mirror the team’s issues this season as well. It’s interesting that Duclair has popped up in trade rumors with the Desert Dogs this season.
*For something completely different: the final Wolverine movie with Hugh Jackman is going to be extremely emotional with its characters.
BRIGHTON, Mass – While both Kevan Miller and Colin Miller were missing from Bruins practice on Saturday morning, both injured Bruins defensemen could be rejoining the team soon.
Colin Miller skated on his own prior to Saturday’s team practice at Warrior Ice Arena for the second or third time since suffering a lower body injury in the win over the St. Louis Blues. Claude Julien said his presence on the ice was proof that the puck-moving defenseman is “definitely on the mend”, and could be nearing a return to practice soon with Sunday marking the sixth straight game that he’ll have missed.
Kevan Miller is out with a concussion suffered last weekend in the win over the Philadelphia Flyers, and the B’s current three-game losing streak has coincided with his absence from the lineup.
Julien said Miller has actually been away from the team for the last couple of days while dealing with a virus, and that his recovery from the concussion symptoms was good prior to being knocked down by the illness.
“Kevan was actually feeling really well and then he got hit by a virus that’s kept him in bed for the last two days,” said Julien. “It’s nothing to do with his original injury. There was a possibility he could have been ready very soon, but that’s set him back a bit.”
Both are obviously out for Sunday’s matinee against the Penguins, but a return to practice at some point next week seems like a good bet for both players. Here are the line combos and defense pairings from Saturday’s practice with the Bruins focusing on getting a good result in Pittsburgh with the hockey club on a “mom’s trip” with 22 of the players’ mothers traveling with the team to and from the game: