Paille, Ference in Chicago for NHLPA meetings

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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.

Thursday, Jan. 19: Torts doesn't think LeBron could play hockey

Thursday, Jan. 19: Torts doesn't think LeBron could play hockey

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading while wondering if the Bruins are ever going to poop, or get off the pot.
 
*John Tortorella wants everybody to know that he thinks there isn’t a chance that Lebron James could play hockey.
 
*In the interest of self-promotion, here’s my radio hit with Toucher and Rich this morning about whether or not Claude Julien should be fired after back-to-back bad losses against the Islanders and Red Wings.
 
*How did Shane Doan arrive at an unhappy place with the Arizona Coyotes where he now is open to moving elsewhere ahead of the trade deadline?
 
*Henrik Lundqvist’s season is entering a crisis level based on what he’s done, and the diminished performance level he’s showing as a more mature goaltender.
 
*A nice piece with a Canadian hockey hero, Hayley Wickenheiser, who recounts some of the legendary moments of her career through a series of pictures.
 
*I totally respect the work that Travis Yost does, but stating the Bruins should stick with Claude Julien because their shooting percentage is bound to turn around isn’t good enough grounds to keep a floundering situation intact, in my opinion. You need to check where the shots are coming from and how many of those shot attempts are completely missing the net to get a better grasp on some of the reasons behind Boston’s dreadful 10-year low shooting percentage. That would also explain some of the reason why Julien needs to be replaced coaching a team that’s largely content on perimeter shots to do it for them while also only sporadically showing the effort required from a middle class talent type of team.

*The Lightning are struggling at Joe Namath levels right now without Steve Stamkos in their lineup, and they need that to change.
 
*For something completely different: congrats to the Boston boys in New Edition for a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.