Paille, Ference in Chicago for NHLPA meetings


Paille, Ference in Chicago for NHLPA meetings

The CBA season officially opened on Monday as the NHLPA Executive Board met with representatives from all 30 NHL teams in Chicago as they prepare to enter into negotiations with NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman on a new labor deal.

The meetings will be taking place through Wednesday at the Peninsula Hotel in Chicago, and there were approximately 50 NHLPA members in attendance. Bruins player rep Daniel Paille and Andrew Ference were in attendance representing the Bs. Ference was a former player rep that was involved heavily in player union activity when former NHLPA Exec Director and Massachusetts native Paul Kelly was ousted from power two years ago.

Among other things on the first day of meetings, NHLPA Executive Director Donald Fehr offered that the NHL season could begin on time even if theres no collective bargaining agreement in place if both sides were amenable to it.

Theres nothing magic about Sept. 15. The law is that if you dont have a new agreement, and as long as both sides are willing to keep negotiating, you can continue to play under the terms of the old one until you reach an agreement, said Fehr to reporters. All I know is that in baseball, there were any number of occasions in which we played while the parties were continuing to negotiate.

Thats a nice good faith gesture by Fehr, but its hard to believe the owners will go for that on Sept. 15 if theres a chasm between the players union and the NHL with training camp reporting dates bearing down on them.

The expectation is that Fehr and his NHLPA staff could sit down with Bettman and Co. prior to the July 1 opening of NHL free agency, and begin negotiations that are expected to last at least through the balance of the summer.

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.