Lucic: Refusal of offers "shows the NHL doesn't want to negotiate"


Lucic: Refusal of offers "shows the NHL doesn't want to negotiate"

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 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.

Acciari notches first NHL goal in Bruins win over Predators

Acciari notches first NHL goal in Bruins win over Predators

BOSTON – It took until his 43rd game in the NHL to finally score his first goal with the Bruins, but Rhode Island native Noel Acciari said it made him appreciate it all the more when that moment finally did arrived on Tuesday night. The 25-year-old Acciari finished off a Riley Nash feed on a 3-on-1 odd-man rush that gave the Bruins an insurance goal they badly needed in a 4-1 win over the Nashville Predators at TD Garden.

Then David Pastrnak hit Acciari with a shaving cream pie to the face during the NESN broadcast as a way to commemorate his teammate’s big scoring moment, and Torey Krug immediately fished the puck out of the net to make certain that Acciari would get it.

So it was the best of both worlds with the team-oriented Acciari, who watched his Bruins win to go right along with his hallmark scoring moment that he’ll remember forever.

“Your first NHL goal is a special feeling and to finally have it, you know, like I said before I couldn’t have done it without the other guys, the other four, five guys on the ice. But it feels good,” said Acciari, who has a goal and four points in 24 games this season in Boston. “It just shows you how special it is. It’s not going to come the first game you play; it could come 10, 20, for me probably over 40, but it still feels the same.”

Clearly it’s more about providing a physical, heavy and aggressive opponent when Acciari suits up for the Black and Gold, and it’s less about providing offensive production that’s really a bonus from the fourth line. The focus on throwing hits, aggravating opponents and playing with extra energy have been a big part of Acciari’s game since his return from Providence, and that is absolutely been by design.

“I think I kind of strayed [from my strengths] when I got back from my injury – I kind of strayed away from the hitting game,” said Acciari. “Just getting in on the fore-check and, you know, just kind of getting back to that down in Providence was huge and kind of get my confidence up down there helped out a lot. So when I got the call up I was ready for anything.”

He’s certainly played like he was ready for anything while posting a goal and two points along with a plus-4 in his first four games back for the Bruins organization. Acciari did all of that while leading everybody in Tuesday night’s game with eight registered hits in the win over Nashville. So the 5-foot-10, 208-pound Acciari gave a pretty good example against the Predators of just what he can do with steady ice time and the trust of his teammates as all of the hockey clubs in the East gear up to finish strong for the playoffs.

Now all Acciari has to do is continue to play consistently, punish opposing players and chip in a little offense from time and time as he carves out a permanent role on Boston’s fourth line, and helps his team win a few along the way.