Monthly Archives: October 2012

Roberto Luongo trade to Leafs isn’t a done deal, at least not yet: Cox

No NHL player can be traded during the lockout. But that doesn’t mean nobody is talking trade, or that trade rumours can’t gain life while the players are locked out.

That seems to be the case with the Leafs and their pursuit of Vancouver goalie Roberto Luongo, with multiple reports this week indicating that a deal was either close or completed in principle.

Well, not true. At least not yet.

Yes, the Leafs remain very much interested in securing the services of Luongo, and the talks are very much alive. It’s believed Leaf GM Brian Burke and his Vancouver counterpart Mike Gillis spoke as recently as two weeks ago, at which time the Canucks demands were reduced from the bounty they requested at the draft, but not enough for the Leafs to agree to anything.

At the draft, reports indicated Vancouver asked for centre Tyler Bozak, defenceman Jake Gardiner, a first-round pick and winger Matt Frattin in exchange for the 33-year-old Luongo. The Leafs had no interest in paying that kind of price, largely because there is no significant market for the services of the veteran goaltender.

The Leafs, however, have only James Reimer on their NHL roster, and he’s a goalie in search of bounce-back season himself. So they have a definite need for quality veteran goaltending and the Canucks need to get Luongo out-of-town.

So talks have continued on and off, with Bozak as the centrepiece. Vancouver believes Bozak would be a good fit as their No. 3 centre behind Henrik Sedin and Ryan Kesler. The Leafs might be willing to pay more than Bozak, but how much more is unclear.

The most recent owner’s CBA proposal, meanwhile, may have altered the temperature of talks between the two clubs.

Luongo has 10 years remaining on a contract that comes with a cap hit of $5.33 million per season and expires in 2022. His actual salary is $6.714 million for the next six seasons, including the 2012-13 campaign, but then drops by 50 per cent in the seventh year and to $1 million in each of the final two.

The belief has long been with this contract that he’ll play for six years, then retire, taking the Canucks off the hook for the cap hit in the final four years.

http://www.thestar.com/sports/leafs/article/1274114–roberto-luongo-trade-to-leafs-isn-t-a-done-deal-at-least-not-yet-cox

NHLPA is more likely to reject #NHL’s 50-50 offer than counter it

shocked if a week from now whatever the “final” offer is that it doesn’t go to NHLPA membership for a vote

NHL OFFERS 50/50 SPLIT ON HRR IN PROPOSAL FOR NHLPA

The NHL put a new offer on the bargaining table for the NHL Players’ Association on Tuesday morning, which includes a 50/50 split of hockey-related revenue across the board and contingent on an 82-game season beginning Nov. 2.

“We hope we’ve given our best shot,” NHL commissioner Gary Bettman told reporters on Tuesday afternoon.

Bettman added that the offer calls for no salary rollback and the revised schedule – if implemented – would see one week of training camp and every team playing an extra regular season game every five weeks.

NHLPA executive director Donald Fehr said the offer – which is at least six years in length –  would be discussed with his membership in a 5pm et conference call.

“I would like to believe that after we’re done with this, as I said, that it’ll be an excellent starting point and we can go forward and see if there’s a deal to be made,” Fehr told reporters on Tuesday.

“Our hope after we review this is that there will be a feeling on the players’ side that this will be a proposal from which we can negotiate and try and reach a conclusion.”

When asked if the new proposal was an improvement over previous offers tabled by the NHL, Fehr added: “In some respects I think it is in other respects I’m not sure. We have to look at it.”

http://www.tsn.ca/nhl/story/?id=407490

 

NHL, NHLPA set to discuss core labor issues

Talks between the NHL and its locked out players will resume Tuesday in Toronto, and the economic issues dividing the parties will be discussed after weeks of setting them to the side.

Chief among the issues is a division of revenue on a new collective bargaining agreement.

Deputy commissioner Bill Daly said the latest talks will focus on “moving forward” with that point of contention.

Under the old CBA, which expired Sept. 15 (when the lockout began), players received a 57 percent share of revenue. Owners want their share increased, and players are agreeable. But the union prefers a moving scale of percentages.

There are other issues — ranging from escrow percentages, set terms on contracts and expansion — but Penguins union representative Craig Adams said “a lot has been getting done” in meetings between the NHL and NHLPA regarding non-core economic matters.

NHL players, who are paid twice each month, missed their first checks Monday. They also received the first of two escrow payments. Only players that appeared in NHL games last season received escrow payments.

Not all Penguins who began a fifth week of organized workouts at Southpointe are convinced the lockout will last the entire season, as was the case during the 2004-05 campaign. Several players privately predicted NHL games will resume by Thanksgiving.

Dreger: Next block of canceled games could be significant

TSN’s gang of experts gathered for a grim bit of lockout talk, but the most substantial bit came when Darren Dreger said that the next wave of canceled games could come as soon as next week.

Canceling the first two weeks of the season might pale in comparison to the chunk of contests that could go by the wayside if Dreger’s report is correct.

He claims that the NHL wants to give owners the chance to rent out their buildings to other events in order to recoup some revenue. With that in mind, the next cancellations could be “much bigger” than 82 games.

Aside from that grim bit, the latest edition of TSN’s Insider Trading focused on the disjointed game of telephone between both sides.

http://prohockeytalk.nbcsports.com/2012/10/11/dreger-next-block-of-canceled-games-could-be-significant/

 

NHLPA putting together a new proposal

After five hours of talks in two sessions Wednesday, NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly said the league has received indication that the NHL Players’ Association is putting together a proposal, and the NHL is urging the union to make it.

Daly said a “variety of sources” both privately and publicly tipped off the league that the union was working toward putting forth a new offer. The two sides have not swapped proposals in more than three weeks.

“We understand you’re working on a proposal. Make it to us,” Daly said of the league’s message to the union during Wednesday’s negotiations. “Let’s not stand on formalities. If you a have a proposal, make it.”

The league has been imploring the union to submit something new for weeks and hopes the possibility might jumpstart a negotiation process that has become stagnant.

The union also is encouraging the league to make moves of its own, multiple sources told ESPNNewYork.com. Even if the league’s next proposal doesn’t include significant movement on economic issues, it is believed the union would like to see some concessions made in other areas, such as the contracting issues.

Despite a small, private session between Daly, commissioner Gary Bettman and the union’s top two — Donald and Steve Fehr — prior to Wednesday afternoon’s larger group session, Daly said little progress was made.

“Overall, today, we didn’t really move the ball forward that much,” he said.

http://espn.go.com/nhl/story/_/id/8486507/nhl-says-union-composing-proposal-talks-resume-25th-day-nhl-lockout

Zetterberg – Some players will most likely stay in Russia

Zetterberg will be back when the lockout ends, but he’s not sure if some others playing in Europe will return this season.

“I know for a fact Russians will probably stay,” Zetterberg said. “I can’t blame them either. The Russian league treats players a different way. For them to play in their home country and not have these (labor) disputes every other year … and they honor the contracts over there. If you sign a deal, that’s the deal you get.”

Red Wings center Pavel Datsyuk is playing for CSKA Moscow in the Kontinental Hockey League. His agent, Gary Greenstin, said Datsyuk will return to Detroit once the lockout ends.

With no apparent progress being made in sporadic talks between the NHL and NHL Players Association, no settlement appears in sight.

“There’s always a chance for that (cancellation of the season),” Zetterberg said. “It’s not our decision whether to play games. We were willing to play under the old CBA while they figured out the new one, but the league didn’t want to do that.

“If they don’t want to have us here playing, we just got to look for some other places to play.”

http://www.mlive.com/redwings/index.ssf/2012/10/red_wings_henrik_zetterberg_st_1.html

 

Bad news for Winter Classic? NHL brass not visiting Ann Arbor

In what seems to be a dire sign for the Winter Classic, the NHL Operations Department does not have plans to visit Ann Arbor this month.

Officials from league headquarters went to Michigan Stadium in September to do logistics scouting, part of the massive preparation to hold the scheduled outdoor game between the Detroit Red Wings and Toronto Maple Leafs on Jan. 1. But with the NHL already having canceled two weeks of the regular season — and with no progress made on tangible issues between the NHL and the NHL Players Association on a new collective bargaining agreement — no follow-up trips are on the horizon, a person with knowledge of the situation told the Free Press today.

Were the 2012-13 schedule under way as normal — were the Winter Classic not at risk — operations people would have had a great opportunity to see Ann Arbor at its busiest this month. This Saturday is homecoming, and Michigan State visits the Big House on Oct. 20.

The possible demise of the 2013 Winter Classic also is bad news for Detroit, which was to host the Winter Festival at Comerica Park for two weeks, starting in mid-December. Part of the agreement by Wings owner Mike Ilitch to have the Winter Classic in Ann Arbor was that the NHL (which puts on the event) was to build a hockey rink at Comerica. The festival was to have included games at every level of hockey, from high school to Ontario Hockey League to the Great Lakes Invitational, culminating with a doubleheader of NHL alumni games Dec. 31.

http://www.freep.com/article/20121009/SPORTS05/121009012/nhl-winter-classic-detroit-red-wings

 

NHL lockout: Donald Fehr says a longer work stoppage could lead to unrest over salary cap

Donald Fehr expressed some hope that collective bargaining talks this week will help lead to some resolution.

But he also made it clear in an hour-long meeting with the Toronto Star’s editorial board that the longer the NHL lockoutlasts, the less happy the players will be playing under a salary cap.

“If this goes on for an extended period of time, I don’t know what they (the players) are going to do. But I think it’s safe to say, they would be exploring all options,” said Fehr.

He added the players can live with a salary cap if an agreement can be reached quickly.

“Where the players are, they want to make a deal,” Fehr said. “Even though the owners’ proposal went as far away from the players as they could, the players did not respond in kind. They made a proposal which moved in the owners’ direction. If there can be an agreement in a relatively short term which puts the pieces back together and gets the season going, I think the players can live with that.”

Fehr fell short of calling for the salary cap to be scrapped outright — something that would put the NHL and the players further apart. But it was a reminder to commissioner Gary Bettman and the owners — on the eve of new talks with the league on non-core economic issues — that things can get ugly in a hurry.

“I hope we can continue to make some progress on what we call the non-core economic issues and I hope we can have discussions that can spark a new round of significant talks on the core economic issues,” said Fehr. “Whether that will happen, I can’t predict. But I hope it does.”

http://www.thestar.com/sports/hockey/nhl/article/1268562–nhl-lockout-donald-fehr-player-growing-unhappy-with-salary-cap

Davidson interested in Blue Jackets

After an awkward, five-month exit from the St. Louis Blues as president of hockey operations, John Davidson finally became a free agent yesterday when his contract buyout was completed.

Don’t expect him to stay on the market long, even though the NHL is mired in a frigid lockout.

“If the phone rings, I’ll listen,” Davidson said. “That (Blues) chapter is closed. Now we open another one.”

Davidson, an NHL goaltender, broadcaster and executive during a 40-year career in the league, said he wanted to secure his departure from St. Louis before he began looking for his “next challenge.”

He did not rule out joining the Blue Jackets’ hockey operations department. Actually, he sounded quite intrigued by it, recalling a meeting on May 29 that he had with Blue Jackets majority owner John P. McConnell and president Mike Priest.

“The only team I’ve met with during this process is the Blue Jackets,” Davidson said. “And that was good. That was real good. I’d meet with them again, absolutely. We had a very productive discussion, just sharing thoughts and getting an understanding for what they feel about their franchise.

http://bluejacketsxtra.dispatch.com/content/stories/2012/10/06/davidson-interested-in-blue-jackets.html

Crosby nearing decision on playing in Europe

Sidney Crosby received quite a workout in Colorado’s high altitude last week.

His mind was working overtime, too.

Crosby spoke at length with a number of NHL stars while working out in Vail and sounds closer to playing in Europe.

“Right now for me, it’s more of a week-to-week thing,” Crosby said. “Each week you want to figure out if discussions are heating up. If things get close, that’s great. If things are far apart again, that’s probably not a good sign, so we’ll see what happens.”

Crosby has acknowledged he almost certainly will play in Europe but only if he senses the entire NHL season will be lost.

“Guys around the league are trying to figure out what they’re going to do,” Crosby said. “That’s something I realized in Colorado. A lot of guys are on the fence about going over to Europe or staying here. Everyone has their structure, their routine. And the season is supposed to be starting now. Now everyone has to decide what to do.”

Crosby worked out in Colorado with NHL stars such as Tampa Bay’s Steven Stamkos and Phoenix’s Keith Yandle.

NHL, union to meet Wednesday

The NHL and its union will resume labor talks Wednesday in New York, but core economics will not be part of the agenda, deputy commissioner Bill Daly said Monday.

Top officials from the league and its Players Association have met several times over the past few weeks, but the sides have not made habit of talking about revenue definitions or split among owners and players since the league enacted a lockout Sept. 15.

The regular season was set to open Thursday, with the Penguins to play their first game Friday at Consol Energy Center. However, the first two weeks of the season have been cancelled, and the league has not ruled out additional schedule modification in the near future.

Talks between the sides broke down last week after discussions were held in Toronto.

http://triblive.com/mobile/msports/2742108-81/league-crosby-week-malkin-nhl-penguins-europe-players-revenue-season?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+tribunereviewpenguins+%28Penguins+Stories%29

NHL lockout: No progress on money issues in talks

The NHLand the players’ association met for a third straight day Sunday, and again avoided the troublesome money issues that are behind the ongoing lockout.

“We did not discuss core economic issues, as was the plan,” NHLPA special counsel Steve Fehr said after meeting for five hours with the NHL. “We discussed health and safety, drug testing, including more discussion of drug testing, medical care, etc. Also a number of things in the CBA legal area of player movements.”

The drug policy was a key component of talks Friday when the sides got together for the first time since the NHL imposed the lockout on Sept. 16.

On Saturday, the sides focused on clarifications of definitions of what makes up hockey-related revenue — a pot that exceeded $3 billion.

“It was a productive day. We made some progress in some areas,” Fehr said Sunday. “I would say it’s good that we were talking. It’s true that we could’ve done this last week or a week before or a week before that, but it’s a lot better than doing it three weeks from now.”

Because of difficulty in finding common ground on how to split up that money, the league and union instead concentrated all weekend on secondary issues that will also be included in any new agreement.

“I hate to sound like a broken record, but we need some movement on the economic issues. We need some movement on the system issues,” NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly said. “We need them to be scheduled as the subject of a meeting, and right now the union is not prepared to do that.”

http://www.thestar.com/sports/leafs/article/1264483–nhl-lockout-players-meet-sunday


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