The NHL CBA discussion inched forward yesterday when the league notified the NHLPA that the current collective bargaining agreement will indeed be terminated by the middle of September. Some may take it as the first shot over the bow between NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman and NHLPA Executive Director Donald Fehr, but in truth its just a necessary part of the process.
Its a customary piece of clerical work for both the league and the players union, but it also represents the first step in what could be a rocky road toward a new agreement despite unprecedented financial growth in the NHL over the last five years. The league and the players union are expected to engage in substantial discussions once the Stanley Cup Finals are over in the middle of June.
Hockey agent Allan Walsh had another interesting nugget when he tweeted about a number of NHL rookie camps already getting cancelled in the wake of a potential upcoming work stoppage.
But Bruins fans should fear not for their annual prospect camp thats become a summer showcase for the teams best and brightest young talent.
The Bruins have indicated they play to move ahead with their prospect camp despite the CBA uncertainty likely to be surrounding them. The Bs have tentatively scheduled the camp to take place prior to the July 4 holiday almost immediately after the NHL draft in Pittsburgh during the last weekend of June.
Dougie Hamilton will be the unmitigated star of the Bs prospect camp with the expectation he might win a regular roster spot at training camp provided that cooler heads prevail in the CBA negotiations. The hope is that both sides havent forgotten a lockout in 2004 nearly destroyed the NHL.
The Bruins prospect camp will be entering its fifth year of existence this July, and Milan Lucic, Brad Marchand, Tuukka Rask, Tyler Seguin and Adam McQuaid are all alumni of the summer camp designed to ease a young players transition into the Bruins Way of doing things.