Boston Bruins

NHL and NHLPA to meet Thursday; counter-offer expected


NHL and NHLPA to meet Thursday; counter-offer expected

There was genuine curiosity waiting on a reaction from NHLPA to the NHLs Tuesday offer that broke a month's worth of ice in negotiations.
Would NHLPA Executive Director Donald Fehr reject the 5050 offer out of hand and enrage hockey fans that have been lulled into a false sense of security that the NHL regular season is now going to start on Nov. 2?
Would the players put their collective minds together and counter the NHLs proposal with a thoughtful rebuttal built off the leagues offer while staying true to their own idea of fairness?
It appears it will be more of the latter than the former as sources inside the negotiations confirmed to that the NHLPA and NHL will meet in Toronto at 1 p.m. on Thursday. The NHLPA is expected to have a counter-proposal for the league at that time, and it should set off a week of intense negotiations provided the NHL is receptive to Fehrs modest proposal.
While the public release of the NHLs entire CBA offer on Wednesday morning was rather unorthodox by professional sports league standards, it appears Bettman and Co. were attempting to accomplish a pair of goals.
First, they wanted to put a little pressure on Fehr and the NHLPA after the league has been more bug than windshield during the CBA negotiations. The notion of a 5050 split of revenues is the kind of proposal that seems inherently fair to the public at large, and is the current CBA arrangements in both the NBA and NFL.
Secondly, theres a suspicion on the players side that the offers very public release was an effort on the NHLs part to get the verbatim offer directly in the hands of the 700 plus members of the NHLPA. There may be some concern on the NHLs part that Fehr is filtering their message to the players above and beyond the reasoning given that there have been widespread reports attempting to describe and characterize the terms of the offer that understandably are incomplete.
Either way, its simply a positive development that both sides are actively negotiating, and there will certainly be ups, downs and all-arounds over the next week as the two sides gamely attempt to preserve an 82-game regular season.

Brad Marchand, Patrice Bergeron, David Pastrnak earn spots on TSN's Top 50 list


Brad Marchand, Patrice Bergeron, David Pastrnak earn spots on TSN's Top 50 list

Three Bruins were on TSN’s annual Top 50 ranking of NHL players, a list that was led by reigning Hart Trophy winner Connor McDavid. 

Brad Marchand (No. 18), Patrice Bergeron (25) and David Pastrnak (36) all made the list for Boston, with Edmonton, Montreal, Chicago and Winnipeg also having three players on the list. The Capitals, Penguins and Predators had four players apiece. 

Marchand jumped up 12 spots from last season’s ranking, while Bergeron fell 11 spots after being ranked 14th heading into last season. Pastrnak had not previously been on the list. 

McDavid earning the top spot marks the first time in the eight-year history of TSN’s list that Sidney Crosby, who is No. 2 this year, has not been ranked first. 

Malcolm Subban getting back on Bruins' prospect radar


Malcolm Subban getting back on Bruins' prospect radar

BOSTON – Malcolm Subban needed a strong training camp performance in order to get himself back on the radar as an NHL prospect for the Bruins and the former first-round pick has accomplished that this month. In what may be his final appearance of the preseason, the 23-year-old Subban stopped 24 of the 26 shots and made 14 saves in the third period to lead the Bruins to a 4-2 win over a not-ready-for-prime-time Chicago Blackhawks lineup Monday night at TD Garden.

Subban was at his best in the third period protecting a slim Bruins lead and showing off some of the athletic skills that have always made him an intriguing prospect if the technique can ever catch to the natural talent. Afterward, it was pretty clear that Subban was laser-focused headed into the B’s final home game of the preseason and perhaps sending a message that nobody should forget about him after a couple of disastrous Boston appearances already on his NHL resume.

It certainly was a feel-good moment when he stuffed a series of chances for the Blackhawks, including a full extension kick-save stop on Erik Gustafsson and a couple of good reaction stops on Brandon Saad while scrambling around the front of his crease. Then Subban heard some love from the Bruins fans that saw him get pulled from his only Boston appearance last season and have watched him veer dangerously close to the “bust” category entering his fifth pro season.

 “Obviously it felt really good to hear the fans and stuff. But I just try to stay focused and dialed in," Subban said. "Obviously, it’s kind of hard sometimes. But I just try to stay focused like I said, stay dialed in and get the win and finish strong. I’m just trying to play my game and work hard. Hopefully, everybody sees that.”

The decision with Subban isn’t exactly an easy one for the Bruins but they likely don’t have a choice in the matter. He’ll need to pass through waivers if/when the Bruins cut him from camp and it’s hard to imagine they’ll carry three goalies on the NHL roster (Tuukka Rask, Anton Khudobin and Subban). The Bruins organization had already seemingly made peace with potentially losing him for nothing after leaving him unprotected in the Vegas expansion draft over the summer, but this preseason gives everybody a little hope that Subban could turn into a late-blooming goaltender prospect.

Certainly, the Bruins coaching staff came away impressed with Subban’s play after a bit of a sloppy first goal allowed to Saad. His presence as one of the final three goalies in camp speaks to how he’s played in the preseason as well.

”You get limited viewing in training camp, you only get a game, a game and a half, so you have to make the best of it, [Subban] did tonight. He was very good. The first goal was a hell of a tip,” said Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy. “He got caught pulling off the post a bit, but he was rock solid after that. The other goal that beat him was a great shot. We had some breakdowns at different times in the game. Specifically, late there where it could have been scary, but he did his job. He was good. [We’re] very pleased with him.”  

It would appear at this point in camp at the NHL jobs are locked up with Rask and Khudobin as the goaltending tandem to start the season, but give credit to Subban for coming to an important training camp ready and focused to get himself back on the B’s prospect radar.