Players cautiously optimistic over latest NHL proposal

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Players cautiously optimistic over latest NHL proposal

Deal or no deal?

That is the question, now that the NHL has made a proposal to the NHLPA that sees a 50-50 split in hockey-related revenue and a full 82-game season, which would begin on Nov. 2.

News of a "50-50" split was an eye-opener in the hockey world on Tuesday. But what do the players think?

"It definitely needs to be reviewed, first and foremost," said one NHL player who has been involved in the negotiation process. "Past deals have been much worse than they initially appeared. But we hope this is the start of their true negotiations."

When that player was pressed to see if the NHLPA would accept the league's new proposal, he said, "Still too much to go through, but we hope it's a step in the right direction. We will have a counter-proposal as soon as possible, hopefully in the next couple days."

Another NHL player called the league's latest proposal "encouraging," and was pleased to see an offer that can be taken seriously, "unlike last time."

When this player was asked if the NHLPA would accept, he said, "Well, it's a start to work from. It's still 12 percent less than what we get now. But it's becoming more fair."

Backes: Most of the talk has me playing center for Bruins

Backes: Most of the talk has me playing center for Bruins

David Backes on the Felger and Mazz show on 98.5 The Sports Hub, and simulcast on CSN, tells fill-in hosts Jim Murray and Greg Dickerson there has also been some discussion with the Bruins of putting him on the wing with Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand.

Watch the video above for more. 

Bruins lose Stempniak, Eriksson, others in free agency

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Bruins lose Stempniak, Eriksson, others in free agency

The Bruins lost a number of free agents on after the market opened at noontime. None bigger than Loui Eriksson signing a six-year, $36 million contract with the Vancouver Canucks to play with the Sedin Twins.

It’s the exact level of term and salary that Eriksson said he was looking for from the Bruins in contract negotiations around the trade deadline, but the Bruins never really moved from their offer of a four-year deal at comparable money.

The Bruins will miss the 30-goal production and solid all-around, two-way play from Eriksson as he heads to the West Coast, but they also traded in a passive player in Eriksson for an in-your-face, physical leader in David Backes on a five-year deal. 

Backes is much more of a Bruins-style player than Eriksson could have ever hoped to have been. That part of it is a win for a Bruins fan base that wants intensity and physicality from their players.

The Bruins also watched Jonas Gustavsson sign a one-year, $800,000 contract with Peter Chiarelli and the Edmonton Oilers, Brett Connolly sign a one-year deal for $850,000 with the Washington Capitals, Zach Trotman signs a one-year deal for $950,000 and Lee Stempniak ink a two-year, $5 million contract with the Carolina Hurricanes after being a non-contract training camp invite with New Jersey last season.

Sweeney had maintained as late as Thursday that he was still keeping ties with many of Boston’s free agents prior to the noon opening of the free agent market, but clearly that’s changed.

“We’ll continue to have talks and sort of figure out where things may go. We’ve had talks with a number of players to see what they would like to see as the opportunity here or what we see as a fit,” said Sweeney on the Torey Krug conference call on Thursday night. “I haven’t ruled absolutely any of that out; just haven’t found common ground and obviously it gets harder and harder as we go further along in the process.”