Second NHL offer still leaves Bruins in a tough spot

747879.jpg

Second NHL offer still leaves Bruins in a tough spot

File the latest NHL counter-offer in the pessimistically hopeful category.

The NHL and NHLPA met again in New York at the NHL offices on Tuesday afternoon, and Gary Bettman mapped out the leagues second effort. It was slightly different from the first offer, but it continues to turn back the clock on salaries, player rights and pretty much everything else.

The players percentage of Hockey Related Revenue would drop from its current 57 percent level to 51.7 percent in the first year of the proposed six-year deal, and would eventually drop to a 5050 split between the players and league in the last three years of a new CBA.

The salary cap for 2012-13 would drop from a planned 70 million cap ceiling next season to a projected 58 million, and 16 NHL teams would be over the cap heading into next year without any salary rollback or CBA adjustment. It would deflate the current cap ceiling to a level between the 2008-09 season (56.8 million) and 2009-10 (59.4 million), which clearly sounds like an improvement over the first league offer.

So what does this all mean for the Bruins?

They currently sit at 68.8 million worth of payroll designated for next season, and would be nearly 11 million over the salary cap if the current CBA proposal was accepted.

With Tyler Seguin, Brad Marchand, Nathan Horton, Milan Lucic, Andrew Ference and Tuukka Rask among others set to be free agents after this season, salary cap constraints would result in a painful fire sale for the Black and Gold roster prior to the start of the hockey season.

The current CBA would finally reach a salary cap ceiling of 71 million in 2017-18 during the final season of the six-year proposal, so essentially the NHL is hoping to turn back time by six years with their meaningful proposal, as Bettman called it.

The NHLPA will discuss the offer and theres something positive about the two sides continuing to discuss and negotiate. But it also appears the two sides are no closer to a new CBA than they were a month ago, and the NHL is less than a month away from beginning to cancel meaningful dates on its regular season schedule.

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.