Report: Fehr wonders if NHL offer is 'serious'

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Report: Fehr wonders if NHL offer is 'serious'

After hearing cautious optimism in the initial day the NHL offered up a 5050 deal to the NHLPA in their lockout negotiations, NHLPA Exec Director Donald Fehr didnt sound enthused in a subsequent letter to players and agents.

The letter detailed over 1.6 billion in lost revenues over the course of a six year deal with an option for a seventh year as first reported by CSNNE.com while lauding the NHL for making marked improvements from their previous offers. Fehr also wondered aloud to his membership whats in it for the players as NHL ownership is still asking for across the board salary cutbacks and contract reductions while raking in 3.3 billion in revenue.

Some of the content from Fehrs letter courtesy of TSN Hockey Insider Bob McKenzie:

"Simply put, the owners' new proposal, while not quite as Draconian as their previous proposals, still represents enormous reductions in player salaries and individual contracting rights," he wrote. "As you will see, at the 5 per cent industry growth rate the owners predict, the salary reduction over six years exceeds 1.6 billion. What do the owners offer in return?

"The proposal does represent movement from their last negotiating position, but still represents very large, immediate and continuing concessions by players to owners, in salary and benefits (the Players' Share) and in individual player contracting rules."

Fehr also openly wondered in the letter if the NHL offer was more PR move than CBA olive branch, but he vowed to soldier on with negotiations before potentially putting out their own offer in the coming days.

"We do not yet know whether this proposal is a serious attempt to negotiate an agreement, or just another step down the road," Fehr wrote. "The next several days will be, in large part, an effort to discover the answer to that question."

The NHL later released to the public the full offer sent to the players on Tuesday, but NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly denied that it was in any way connected to Fehrs letter becoming public.

Julien sidesteps job security question with "shock journalism" comment

Julien sidesteps job security question with "shock journalism" comment

BOSTON -- With three crushing losses in a row at a time when results are really all that matters, the Boston Bruins are reeling at the wrong time during the regular season. The B’s tried their best to win a game 0-0 with strong defense against a sleepy Chicago Blackhawks bunch on Friday night, but ultimately coughed up a Marian Hossa goal in the final minutes for a 1-0 regulation loss at TD Garden.

The defeat continued a swirl downward for the Black and Gold over the last week, and was a second straight shutout loss on home ice for the first time in almost 15 years. The losing stretch has also kicked up the chatter that Claude Julien is in trouble as head coach of the Bruins, and the hockey club’s underperformance up and down the lineup is ultimately going to cost the NHL’s longest tenured bench boss his job.

The Ottawa Senators have passed the Bruins in the Atlantic Division, and it’s only a matter of time before the Toronto Maple Leafs move by them as well with both Toronto and Ottawa holding six games in hand on Boston. Combine all of this with the B’s having missed the playoffs in each of the previous two seasons leading into this one, and it shouldn’t be at all surprising that Julien is squarely on the coaching hot seat.

The B’s bench boss was asked about his job security after the Chicago loss, and clearly didn’t appreciate the tough, but appropriate question.

“Well, I’m not into shock-journalism,” said Julien in a prideful tone. “So I’ll stay away from that question if you don’t mind.”

The Bruins posted their Saturday schedule shortly after Julien and the B’s players had addressed the media following the loss, and sure enough the embattled coach is scheduled to address the media post-practice as part of the regular practice day routine. So it doesn’t seem that a move with Julien is imminent this weekend despite another loss, but both the coach and the players know something is going to happen to shake things up with this team if they continue to struggle.

“Right now it’s a results based situation, so if you’re going to keep losing games then probably something’s going to happen,” said Torey Krug. “But right now we’re just pretty down emotionally after this game, so I don’t want to look at the big picture. I just [want to] focus on what’s going on in this room, and hopefully we can come back with a good effort the next game.”

A good effort might help Julien’s standing with the Bruins in the short term, but it’s impossible to imagine the B’s bench boss making it through the rest of the Bruins regular season given all of things working against him right now.