Bettman, Fehr outline CBA strategies


Bettman, Fehr outline CBA strategies

NEWARK, N.J. The Collective Bargaining Agreement for the NHL will be terminated in September, but thats about the only thing thats a certainty after hearing from both NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman and NHLPA Executive Director Donald Fehr at the Prudential Center prior to Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Finals.
Bettman addressed the media at his customary press conference prior to the start of the Cup Finals and among other things announced that the NHL broke league records with 3.3 billion in revenue in 2011-12.
The commissioner also addressed the upcoming CBA negotiations with Fehr and the NHLPA that could go one of two ways: come to an agreement prior to next season that will keep a growing league on an upsurge or result in a work stoppage that could truly cripple a league that has fully recovered from the lockout in 2004-05.
"I'm hoping something works out because labor peace is much more preferable to the alternative, said Bettman.
The commissioner said that the NHLPA has expressed interest in beginning the bargaining conversation, and thats expected to take place in the next couple of weeks. Once the Stanley Cup Finals have been completed, then both sides can push forward with informal discussions that will then lead to negotiations.
As for the scope of talks, it will include a multitude of things: Olympics involvement in the future, improvement in player safety, the player suspension appeal process and of course the player and league share of the revenue pie.
The players currently get 57 percent of the NHL revenues, which would mean close to a 70 million salary cap next season under the current CBA. There is plenty of speculation out there that the NHL wants something closer to a 5050 split of the league revenue, and the players wont be willing to grant the same 24 percent salary rollback that ended the last NHL lockout.
Dont you like me in this job? cracked Fehr when asked if the players would again agree to roll back their salaries as they did during December 2004. All I can say is that we wont make any economic proposals that the players arent aware of or dont approve of. Thats first and foremost. Secondly they recognized that they made enormous concessions in the last round of bargaining. That is part of the backdrop that leads us into this round of negotiations along with a myriad of other factors.
Well see what happens when we get to that. I dont make predictions. Coming to mutual agreement is the goal. Hopefully thats a goal that everybody shares.
Fehr wouldnt come right out and say it, but its no secret that many NHL players werent happy about sacrificing 24 percent of their salaries, and they wont be endorsing that kind of a concession this time around.
Even if the CBA negotiations are weeks away from truly gaining steam, it appears that the first round of positioning and posturing has begun with Bettman and Fehr outlining their bargaining stances with a long summer ahead of them.

Wednesday, Oct. 26: Crosby scores in season debut


Wednesday, Oct. 26: Crosby scores in season debut

Here are all the hockey links from around the world, and what I’m reading while having a deep thought while watching commercials: how lost in your own quirkiness do you have to be to name your kid Beowulf?

*The Predators had a nasty case of food poisoning hit their team, and Adam Vingan has all the gory details.

*A great chat with FOH (Friend of Haggs) Jimmy Murphy and the legendary Russ Conway about the legendary Bobby Orr.

*Martin Biron says that Frederik Andersen looks like a much different player now with Toronto than he did with the Anaheim Ducks last season.

*An observation from a Tuesday with 1,000 decisions is that Dallas Stars head coach Lindy Ruff has a really tough job.

*As mentioned above, Toronto Maple Leafs goalie Frederik Andersen is having a tough time in his new locale, and there may be several reasons why.

*An early Christmas present for Tampa Bay Lightning goaltender Ben Bishop would be his two front teeth.

*Pro Hockey Talk has Sidney Crosby returning on Tuesday night, and immediately leading the Penguins in a balanced attack.  

*For something completely different: A. Sherrod Blakely has his Celtics preview, and says it’s a new year with tons of new expectations for the Men in Green.

Backes out at least two more games (and likely longer) after elbow procedure


Backes out at least two more games (and likely longer) after elbow procedure

The Bruins look like they’ll be without gritty veteran forward David Backes for at least the next couple of games, and probably more like the next couple of weeks.

It was announced that the gritty Bruins forward underwent a procedure on Monday remove the olecranon bursa from his elbow, and that “his condition will be updated after the weekend.” The procedure is commonly performed when bursitis in the elbow becomes an untenable, and seems more like an injury that worsens over time rather than anything that happened in a particular game this season.

Backes’ effectiveness did seem to be impacted after he got into a fight with Nazem Kadri in the second game of the season in Toronto, but it’s unknown if there’s any connection between that sequence and the forward’s elbow issues. According to the AAOS (American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons) website, it may take “10-14 days” for the skin to heal following the procedure, and three-to-four weeks before a doctor would clear the average person to resume normal activity.

The 32-year-old Backes is off to a good start for the Bruins with two goals and four points in five games prior to missing Tuesday night’s loss to the Minnesota Wild, and his absence makes an already-thin Bruins forward group smaller, softer and much less dangerous. With Backes on the shelf for at least the next two games against the Rangers and Detroit Red Wings, the Bruins have recalled young center Austin Czarnik after his short stint with the Providence Bruins.