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.

Morning Skate: NHL passes on participating in 2018 Olympics

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Morning Skate: NHL passes on participating in 2018 Olympics

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading while still digesting all of the awesome trailers and tidbits released at Comic Con in San Diego. 

*The NHL says there is no alternative regular season schedule for next season, and that any hope of participating in the Olympics is dead

*PHT writer James O’Brien has the Predators just one Ryan Johansen deal away from a piece of salary cap artwork, and being able to keep everything together.  

*Clark Booth is either upset or mystified that the Bruins haven’t done anything this offseason. My good man Clark, they need to re-sign David Pastrnak and let some of their young prospects continue to grow and develop. Better that than sign another premium-priced contract to a player like David Backes or Matt Beleskey. They don’t need that at this point. And they shouldn’t panic and trade one of their good, young players either. 

*Former UMass-Lowell goaltender Connor Hellebuyck has agreed to a one-year deal with the Winnipeg Jets. 

*It’s a wonderful time to be a sports fan in Pittsburgh as the Penguins have been dominant, and it looks like the Steelers are in position to finish in second place behind the New England Patriots in the AFC. Well, that’s something to write home about. 

*Minnesota native Kyle Okposo opens up for the first time about a scary season-ender with the Buffalo Sabres where Illness forced him to the hospital. 

*Larry Brooks explains why the New York Rangers have short-changed Mika Zibanejad in their salary arbitration exercise. 

*For something completely different: Are you kidding me with this Stranger Things 2 trailer to Michael Jackson’s Thriller? This looks awesome. 

Morning Skate: Tempered expectations for Bolts' rookie Sergachev

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Morning Skate: Tempered expectations for Bolts' rookie Sergachev

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading, while simply shaking my head at David Price. What a typically soft, boorish ballplayer not meant for a big market where more is expected of those wearing the Red Sox uniform.

*There are tempered expectations for rookie defenseman Mikhail Sergachev as he gets things going with the Tampa Bay Lightning.

*Keith Yandle believes that Dale Tallon being back in charge of the Florida Panthers is going to bring unity and solidarity to the Panthers once again.

*Kevin Shattenkirk believes that the New York Rangers are right on the cusp of challenging for a Stanley Cup title.

*Here 20 thoughts from the just-concluded Chicago Blackhawks prospect camp, where there’s some pretty strong, young talent.

*Even as the highest-paid player in the NHL, Connor McDavid is underpaid for what he brings to the table, says Ron MacLean.

*Interesting look at the Matt Duchene and Gabriel Landeskog situation in Colorado, where both players have watched their performance fall off a bit. This is why I’d be very nervous about giving up the farm to trade for either of these players if I’m the Bruins. The jury is out on whether they’re in decline as players, or if it’s simply the mess in Colorado getting them down.  

*For something completely different: What a sweet interaction between "Wonder Woman" Gal Gadot and a young, emotional fan all decked out in WW gear.