Chara, Bergeron willing to help CBA negotiations

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Chara, Bergeron willing to help CBA negotiations

LAS VEGAS, NV The looming CBA negotiations elicited different reactions across the group of NHL stars at the Wynn Resort and Casino readying for Wednesday nights NHL Awards ceremony.

Detroit Red Wings forward Pavel Datsyuk wasnt hiding his concern for the good of the game and the ultimate winners and losers: hockey fans.

Of course Im worried about it, said Datsyuk when asked about the CBA. The last lockout was really bad for the fans. If it happened again it would be a bad, bad thing for the fans.

While CBA negotiations that havent yet begun but will in the not too distant future according to NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman the concern is tempered in most corners by a hope it wont come to that.

NHLPA Executive Director Donald Fehr is a deal maker as termed by Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli. But hes also an adversary for Bettman that isnt going to budge on an unfavorable deal for the players.

Both Zdeno Chara and Patrice Bergeron lived through the last lockout. (The 19-year-old Bergeron even had to play the lockout season in the AHL as a member of the Providence Bruins.) Both are hopeful that something will be worked out.

The Bs captain said hell be ramping up his offseason workouts to be ready for duty by mid-September as he always does.

"I think its still pretty early to be calculating when or if something is going to happen," said Chara, who said hed be more hands-on in his involvement with CBA talks if hes asked by the NHLPA.

"I think its going to get done. But well see. Anything can happen. Like any negotiation it can be smooth, or it can be a really tough one. Well wait and see. Right now my plans are to go back to Europe and see if Im going to be approached to be involved more. Ill make that decision if Im asked, but I think its always good to have more players involved."

Bergeron also showed optimism about the upcoming CBA discussions that will fill the rest of the hockey news for the summer once July 1 and free agency has come and gone. The 27-year-old said hed get deeply involved in the negotiations if hes asked to by the players union.

"Im a little bit older than the first (CBA) that I went through and I think I know a little more thats going on," he said. "But I dont want to be the one talking through the media and putting his foot in his mouth. If Im asked Ill definitely get involved, but I have full confident in Don Fehr and his team.

"He wanted everybody to have the confidence in him before he joined the NHLPA, and that right there shows that guys are more aware and understand whats going on."

Hopefully that involvement means a deal gets done before the Sept. 15 expiration date for the current collective bargaining agreement, but nobody will have certainties until Bettman and Fehr start talking turkey.

Tuesday, Jan. 24: Crosby, Matthews top coaches' poll

Tuesday, Jan. 24: Crosby, Matthews top coaches' poll

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading, while rooting for “Manchester By the Sea” to upset some favorites at the Oscars.

*Sidney Crosby and Auston Matthews top the annual NHL coaches' poll produced by TSN Insider Bob McKenzie.

*The oral history of Fox’s glowing puck used for the NHL during their run with the league is an entertaining one.

*Mike Babcock gives pep talks to the reporters along with his own players while running the show in Toronto.

*The Vegas Golden Knights are moving forward with their timetable toward hiring a coach with some good candidates out there now, and some other ones potentially available soon. I’ve wondered if Claude Julien would be interested in that spot if he’s let go by the Bruins this season, but the one sure thing is that he wouldn’t be out of work long if he is relieved of his duties.

*Claude Giroux needs to start playing a little more fearlessly and without dwelling on mistakes, according to his general manager.

*Detroit Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill doesn’t believe that fancy stats and analytics have had a major impact on the way the Wings do things.

*PHT writer James O’Brien has the rundown on a Millenial’s dream of performers at the 2017 NHL All-Star Game: Nick Jonas, Fifth Harmony and Carly Rae Jepsen.

*For something completely different: keeping an eye on the notion that Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg is going to run for President.

 


 

Julien: 'The less said and the more shown' is good for Bruins right now

Julien: 'The less said and the more shown' is good for Bruins right now

BRIGHTON, Mass – Claude Julien met with the media after Tuesday’s morning skate and there was a bit of a long pause between questions at one point early in the session.

“I understand because everything that needs to be said has already been said, right?” cracked the longtime Bruins bench boss, who was in good spirits after morning skate despite the turmoil around him.

It’s clearly less about words and more about results right now for a struggling team that’s lost a season-worst four games in a row in gut-punching fashion and has fallen out of a playoff position despite teams above them, Ottawa and Toronto, holding five games in hand on them. 

The Bruins are in a freefall at the worst possible time and at this point, Julien wants to see positive action and winning results from his team rather than the empty talk with the media.

“We want to respect our game plan, execute it well and that normally helps you. We’ve been a little bit all over the place, especially in the last game,” said Julien. “That’s what we addressed yesterday, moving forward.

“I haven’t used the All-Star break as a motivation. We’re basically looking at these last two games, and what we have to do in these last two games. I think we’re well aware of what’s waiting for them after that. The players normally know when the breaks are. That’s not for us right now. I’d like to see our focus on what we need to do [against the Wings] to right the ship. We’ve talked about it a lot, and I think right now the less said, and the more shown is probably the best thing.”

With two games left until the All-Star break, one has to wonder what Julien’s fate will be if the Bruins drop both games to Detroit and Pittsburgh before the group breaks up for All-Star weekend. 

A good showing might be enough to keep Julien calling the shots for the Black and Gold down the stretch this season. But the sense is that more of the same fragile, losing efforts from the Bruins in these final two home dates, a familiar look from this group over the past three seasons, could spell doom for the winningest coach in Bruins franchise history.

One thing is for sure: Words aren’t going to do anything for Julien, and instead it’s about cold, hard results for the coach and the Bruins players who are nose-diving in the middle of the regular season.