NHL and NHLPA to meet Thursday; counter-offer expected

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NHL and NHLPA to meet Thursday; counter-offer expected

There was genuine curiosity waiting on a reaction from NHLPA to the NHLs Tuesday offer that broke a month's worth of ice in negotiations.
Would NHLPA Executive Director Donald Fehr reject the 5050 offer out of hand and enrage hockey fans that have been lulled into a false sense of security that the NHL regular season is now going to start on Nov. 2?
Would the players put their collective minds together and counter the NHLs proposal with a thoughtful rebuttal built off the leagues offer while staying true to their own idea of fairness?
It appears it will be more of the latter than the former as sources inside the negotiations confirmed to CSNNE.com that the NHLPA and NHL will meet in Toronto at 1 p.m. on Thursday. The NHLPA is expected to have a counter-proposal for the league at that time, and it should set off a week of intense negotiations provided the NHL is receptive to Fehrs modest proposal.
While the public release of the NHLs entire CBA offer on Wednesday morning was rather unorthodox by professional sports league standards, it appears Bettman and Co. were attempting to accomplish a pair of goals.
First, they wanted to put a little pressure on Fehr and the NHLPA after the league has been more bug than windshield during the CBA negotiations. The notion of a 5050 split of revenues is the kind of proposal that seems inherently fair to the public at large, and is the current CBA arrangements in both the NBA and NFL.
Secondly, theres a suspicion on the players side that the offers very public release was an effort on the NHLs part to get the verbatim offer directly in the hands of the 700 plus members of the NHLPA. There may be some concern on the NHLs part that Fehr is filtering their message to the players above and beyond the reasoning given that there have been widespread reports attempting to describe and characterize the terms of the offer that understandably are incomplete.
Either way, its simply a positive development that both sides are actively negotiating, and there will certainly be ups, downs and all-arounds over the next week as the two sides gamely attempt to preserve an 82-game regular season.

Pastrnak, Marchand and Vatrano represent Bruins at World Championship

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Pastrnak, Marchand and Vatrano represent Bruins at World Championship

The Bruins have three players headed to the IIHF Hockey World Championship, which begin this weekend in Russia.

Brad Marchand was invited to play for Team Canada early on in the process, coming off his 37-goal season for the Bruins. Last week the Czech Republic added 19-year-old right wing David Pastrnak to their squad with plans to skate on a line with the Montreal Canadiens' Tomas Plekanec.

And Frank Vatrano -- who scored a total of 44 goals between Boston and Providence in this, his first full professional season -- was added to the Team USA roster this week. Vatrano, 22, confirmed it on his own Twitter account on Tuesday night prior to hopping on a flight bound for Russia:

Torey Krug played for Team USA last season, but was unavailable this time around after undergoing right shoulder surgery just a couple of weeks ago that will have him sidelined until late October. 

Vatrano is one of four Massachusetts players on this year's version of Team USA. The others are Canadiens goaltender Mike Condon, Hurricanes defenseman Noah Hanifin and Devils D-man David Warsofsky.

Both Marchand and Pastrnak previously suited up for their countries in the World Junior championships, and Vatrano played in the U.S. National Team Development Program prior to playing college hockey at the University of Massachusetts. Vatrano also previously represented the U.S. at the 2012 IIHF Under-18 Men's World Championship in Brno and Znojmo, Czech Republic, where he helped Team USA claim the gold medal.

The IIHF Men's World Championships will start Friday and run until May 22 in Moscow and St. Petersburg, Russia. It features featuring many of the NHL players that aren’t participating in the Stanley Cup playoffs.

Haggerty: Anticipate ‘great deal of player movement’

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Haggerty: Anticipate ‘great deal of player movement’

Ahead of the expansion draft, teams may look to get something in return for players they’d otherwise lose for nothing.

May 4, 2016: If expansion hits, which Pens goalie is protected?

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May 4, 2016: If expansion hits, which Pens goalie is protected?

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading while giving a warm May the Fourth Be With You to everybody out there.

*Mike Francesa has declared sports radio war on former New York Islanders goalie Rick DiPietro, and it’s getting ugly folks.

 

*A humbled Bruce Boudreau, who really didn’t need to be humbled given what a nice man he is, will have a long line of NHL suitors interested in his services.

 

*The Northeastern University hockey team has gone to some extremes with their pregame wrestling matches.

 

*Pro Hockey Talk asks the question: if there’s an expansion draft, which goaltender should the Penguins protect given what’s going on in their playoff series?

 

*A really nice gesture within the PHT morning skate with Tampa Bay Lightning head coach Jon Cooper going to bat for a Lightning beat reporter that finds himself out of a job.

 

*Max Domi had a very memorable rookie season even if it didn’t end with any serious consideration for the Calder Trophy.

 

*The Nashville Predators got a little better this week with the decision to kick Mike Ribeiro up into the press box.

 

*For something completely different: these Han Solo uniform jerseys for the Durham Bulls’ Star Wars Night are the freakin’ truth.