NHL, NHLPA resume talks; no indication progress was made


NHL, NHLPA resume talks; no indication progress was made

With the pain of the National Hockey League lockout finally arriving on Thursday via the cancellation of 82 regular-season games through Oct. 24, the NHL and NHLPA held secret discussions at a clandestine meeting in Toronto on Friday.
NHL commissioner Gary Bettman, deputy commissioner Bill Daly, NHLPA executive director Donald Fehr and NHLPA counsel Steve Fehr discussed how to get negotiations moving forward, and agreed to speak again over the weekend.
Theres also the possibility of further meetings in Toronto next week between the CBA heavy hitters in both offices.
Its good news that the power players for the two opposing groups are in communication, but there's no indication any progress was made.
The general discussion was about where we were and how to try to move the process forward from here, wrote Daly in an email to CSNPhilly.com. We talked about possibly scheduling some meetings for next week, but mostly to deal with the other non-core economic issues. We will touch base over the weekend.
Its a perplexing state. It appears neither side trusts the other, and theres little chance of an honest exchange of ideas when thats the working landscape. Both sides know the Hockey Related Revenue is eventually going to be a 5050 split between ownership and the players, but one side needs to be bold enough to make the first step toward that number.
Until that happens, egos will rule the day . . . as they have since the lockout began three weeks ago. Only five meetings have been held in that time span.
Bruins defenseman Andrew Ference, for one, is optimistic that the 30 owners, with different budgets and revenue-stream projections, will begin to argue a bit more behind closed doors and push Bettman into more progressive talks. While some players have taken to scorching Bettman with their heated comments as things have gone south in negotiations, Ference seems to clearly understand that hes simply representing a faction of NHL owners currently in control.
Im an optimist. I think the voices that want whats best for the sport will eventually be louder than the ones who want to beat the union, Ference said to CSNNE.com.
Thats likely to happen when the NHL owners who are actually making money start to lose out on revenue streams that have grown to record heights over the last few years. If it doesn't, there may be no hockey this season.

Cassidy: Bruins 'will be fine' if they simply take care of business

Cassidy: Bruins 'will be fine' if they simply take care of business

BRIGHTON -- The Bruins took Wednesday off and returned Thursday with assurances they weren’t thinking about history repeating itself for a third straight season. 

The easy parallels are there, of course. 

The Bruins lost 9 of their final 14 games and missed the playoffs by a point two years ago. Last season they went a pathetic 3-8-1 in the final 12 games and once again missed the postseason by a single point.

So their recent three-game losing streak has set off some warning bells and whistles, as has the fact that the Toronto Maple Leafs have passed them and pushed the B’s into the second wild-card position. Boston holds a slim two-point lead over the New York Islanders for that final playoff position, and is facing huge games against the Tampa Bay Lightning (tonight) and the Isles (Saturday).

So with all that in mind, has interim coach Bruce Cassidy’s message changed at all to his players? 

“These are teams [close to the Bruins to the standings, so the games] get more magnified and rightfully so,” said Cassidy. “We accept that and we know what’s at stake. The last two didn’t go the way we wanted them to, but the things we do well, we need to keep doing well. We’ve created some looks at the net. We’re generating some offense. We need to finish a little better, and those pockets of the game that get away from us . . . we need to minimize those. We had a few too many of those [moments] against Ottawa. 

“We’re aware of it. We know who won and who lost last night. But we need to take care of our business. If we do, we’ll be fine. We really will. If we take of our business, it doesn’t matter what this team does or what that team does.

"That’s a fact. That’s the message. It’s quite simple. If we take care of business, we’ll be fine. If we don’t, then we’re hoping.”

Clearly taking care of their business includes dispatching both the Lightning and the Islanders. Hoping is what the Bruins ended up doing in each of the previous two seasons, and it left them fully out of luck once the music stopped.


Thursday, March 23: Sidney Crosby, junk dealer

Thursday, March 23: Sidney Crosby, junk dealer

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading, while having never said “break a leg” for good luck to fellow Stoneham, Mass., native Nancy Kerrigan on social media, or otherwise.

 *A brief video history of Sidney Crosby spearing, or otherwise targeting, opponents in the crotches prepared with care and thought by the Puck Daddy himself, Greg Wyshynski.

*Elliotte Friedman has his 30 thoughts for the week and a few of them centered around new Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy.

*Could the NBA’s star-resting phenomenon reach into the NHL when it comes to getting in-season time off for the superstars?

*Give the Leafs credit because they picked up coach Mike Babcock when he made a rare screw-up against the Blue Jackets.

*Check out the sick USA/Russia skating kicks on Alex Ovechkin, who had them custom made for a charity event.

*Speaking of Ovechkin, could T.J. Oshie and not Ovechkin actually lead the Capitals in scoring this season?

*For something completely different: Hide the women and children, the Scorpions and Megadeath are going on a North American tour together.