Milan Lucic is still skating in the Boston area and waiting things out like so many rabid NHL fans. The Bruins power forward has front row seats given his status as one of the best young players in the NHL, of course, and has been involved with the conference calls and emails being sent back and forth by the NHLPA.
Lucic is still hopeful there will be a substantial NHL regular season to prepare for, but was rightfully disappointed along with the rest of NHL brothers when NHL commissioner Gary Bettman dismissed three NHLPA counter-proposals out of hand on Thursday. Bettman then went on to say he was thoroughly disappointed with the NHLPAs counter-offers and sounded off a perturbed tone.
According to those in the negotiating room the NHL basically shot down the trio of offers in 10 minutes, and didnt want to do much beyond tweaks and minor adjustments to their
5050 offer from earlier this week.
To Lucic that meant there wasnt much of a good faith negotiating session taking place between the NHL and NHLPA at the unions Toronto offices.
We proposed three different offers in relation to theirs, but when all get shut down in 10 minutes its discouraging and shows that they dont really want to negotiate, said Lucic to CSNNE.com. I never thought it would get to this point; especially because of the way this game has been going.
Its pretty clear where the battle lines have been drawn: the NHL wants a 5050 split that the NHLPA has agreed to meet at some point in the deal, and now it only remains a matter of when during the CBA it becomes an even split. Theres also the matter of what the players want: if the NHLPA agrees to drop down to an even 5050 split of Hockey Related Revenue then the players also want the 30 NHL owners to guarantee all previously signed contracts without an escrow component.
There are no future bargaining sessions scheduled as the NHL announced on Friday it was canceling all NHL games up to Nov. 1, but there are two very clearly defined positions for both the players and the league.
Its the hope of Lucic, along with all those that love the NHL, that a middle ground can be reached in the near future to save a substantial NHL regular season along with all of the hallmark NHL events including the Winter Classic and the NHL All-Star Game.
Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading while marveling that US democracy still works even there are extreme factors that our founding fathers couldn’t possibly have imagined.
*Edmonton Oilers reclamation project Zack Kassian continues his journey from villain to hero in the eyes of the Oil Faithful.
*Old warrior Chris Neil is weighing NHL offers right now along with a number of other older veterans still waiting for the right situation to present itself for next season. Many of these veterans are probably going to have to report to training camps on tryout agreements and beat out younger players for jobs, and that may be exactly what happens with a grizzled, tough old bird like Neil. I wouldn’t be surprised if the Bruins bring in a veteran or two on PTO agreements in camp, and that could be the ultimate fate for guys like Neil, Jarome Iginla, Shane Doan and even Thomas Vanek.
*The Vegas Golden Knights are still looking to inspire with a developing locker room message as their maiden voyage still awaits this season.
*PHT writer James O’Brien has longtime Habs defenseman Andrei Markov leaving for the KHL after he couldn’t come to an agreement to stay in Montreal with the Canadiens.
*FOH (Friend of Haggs) Ryan Kennedy has a prospects mailbag at this quiet point in the summer, and he’s very, very high on Chicago Blackhawks prospect Alex Debrincat.
*The Hockey News details why somebody needs to step up and sign the legendary Jaromir Jagr as one of the aforementioned veteran forwards still looking for a job.
*For something completely different: Solid Steve Lattimer reference in this Pro Football Talk story about performance enhancing drugs.
Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading while marveling that we’re just now learning about the massive rap skills of the brotherly duo of Andrew and Pete Frates.
*Ken Campbell from the Hockey News says that if influential players, like Connor McDavid, want to go to the Olympics then they need to get more involved in the CBA negotiations.
*Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Kris Letang shows what a class act he is by taking the Stanley Cup to a children’s hospital in Montreal.
*PHT writer James O’Brien has the Minnesota Wild looking to find long term deals for both restricted free agents Mikael Granlund and Nino Niederreiter. That was pretty clear when they chose to deal off Marco Scandella in order to clear up some cap space to afford both of them.
*The Edmonton Oilers are going to face higher expectations for next season, and are willing to embrace that kind of pressure.
*FOH (Friend of Haggs) Craig Custance wonders aloud whether there will be any offer sheets coming for restricted free agents. I appreciate Craig wanting to add a little more intrigue to the NHL’s offseason, but it isn’t going to happen as long as GMs are treated like they have small pox once they go that route with an offer sheet. Take a look at the future job prospects for general managers that went with offer sheets in the past, and you’ll see why GMs simply don’t do them. This is why the Bruins are uncomfortable with David Pastrnak sitting unsigned as a restricted free agent, but not overly concerned that he’s going to sign a mega-offer sheet elsewhere.
*The CCM hockey brand is apparently changing hands from its former home at Adidas.
*For something completely different: Speaking of Pete Frates, MLB has announced a fundraising drive for ALS research in his name.