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The ongoing collective bargaining agreement negotiations between the National Hockey League and the NHL Players’ Association are starting to stir up familiar feelings for Mathieu Schneider.
Schneider – who was active through both the 1994-95 and 2004-05 NHL lockouts as a player – says the players are frustrated by the prospect of the current work stoppage resulting in game cancellations. This time around, he is representing the players as Special Assistant to NHLPA Executive Director Donald Fehr.
“The fact that we’re sitting here in this position once again, of course, it’s frustrating for the players,” Schneider told TSN on Monday.
The Players’ Association has yet to table a counter-proposal to the league’s latest CBA offer, which the NHL filed on Sept. 12. The league voted unanimously to lock out the players the next day while both sides continued discussions.
“In each proposal that we’ve brought forward, we have moved,” Schneider said. “We’re the only ones that have been giving in this entire negotiation. Everything that they have put forward takes more from the players; on the contracting issues, on the straight share of the revenue and that’s the frustrating part for the players. Our next offer will be giving more back to the owners, they’re next offer will be taking more from the players.”
This morning began, minute one, with the NHL again officially in lockout. Death. Taxes. NHL gone dark. Until further notice, there will not be an NHL training camp near you this September. Again.
If you’re keeping score at home, this is lockout No. 3, which makes the NHL the worldwide leader in pro sports RLSS (repetitive labor stress syndrome). Most acute symptom: a stabbing, chronic pain in the neck.
Good news is, regular-season games are not scheduled to begin until the second week of October, which allows time for owners and players to look in the mirror and figure out just how ridiculous they look to the general public (read: ticket buyers and cable/DirecTV subscribers).
The two sides combined to amass $3.3 billion in revenue during the 2011-12 season, and great minds and leaders on both sides once more cannot figure out how to divvy up such a humongous wad of cash to their mutual satisfaction and, of course, benefit and delight.
I’d like to believe that eventually fan interest will take such a sizable dip amid one of these dunderheaded job actions that the industry, owners and players alike, will learn once and for all not to be the Richard Burton- Elizabeth Taylor of sports marriages. But the fans always come back, no matter what, ever willing to pay for ever-pricier tickets, pennants, and hot dogs.
There may be NHL hockey this fall after all…at least in Quebec.
Sources confirm several high profile French Canadian NHL players and agents are considering forming two teams to play games while NHL players and owners battle it out at the bargaining table.
Some of these players includes stars Daniel Briere, Claude Giroux, Patrice Bergeron, David Perron, and goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury.
The initial idea is to have two teams, one representing Montreal and the other representing Quebec City, to travel throughout Quebec playing at least one game per week. There’s talk of all the proceeds going to charity.
The idea of adding other Canadian markets such as Ottawa and Toronto has also been tossed around.
Over the next two or three weeks you will hear of more NHL players signing contracts to play over in Europe. Jussi Jokinen (Car) and D-man Jason Demers (San) recently inked contracts to play in the Finnish Elite League.
Others such as Valtteri Filppula and Teemu Selanne could join Jokerit in the Finnish league sometime in the near future.
The addition of defenseman Michal Rozsival to the Chicago Blackhawks blue-line on Tuesday only comes as a surprise in relation to timing. With all eyes focused on the final week before a lockout occurs the Hawks are still “minding the store” by picking up their second player this offseason, and it just also happens to be their second defenseman.
He better provide something more, because at a reported $2 million for the his one-year deal, he’s not just a minor, depth type of pick-up. League sources say the New York Rangers were interested, but the Hawks outbid them by a wide margin.
Rozsival will play, which makes the deal worth analyzing that much more. Though he’s not the most self-motivated individual and it remains to be seen if he can stay healthy, he’s got some talent left if he applies himself. Either way, he more than likely starts as a No. 5 defenseman who will see penalty-killing time as a good shot blocker and perhaps a few minutes on the power play if there are injuries.
He has a decent shot, and that’s not exactly a strength of Hawks defensemen.
But this move adds to a crowded blue-line which means a veteran or even a younger player will probably be on the move, either to the minors or out of town completely. Rozsival joins holdovers Duncan Keith, Brent Seabrook, Niklas Hjalmarsson, Nick Leddy, Johnny Oduya, Montador and Dylan Olsen on a team that also signed Brookbank in July. That’s nine players for six spots while, at most, two would be watching from the stands. So who goes?
The easy answer would be Olsen. He’s on a two-way contract and with the Hawks in an urgent situation to win, bringing along a young defenseman might not be a luxury they want to deal with. It’s known that Joel Quenneville likes Olsen but that might not matter. More on that in a moment.
Last week, Shane Doan made a solemn vow that he would sign somewhere by midnight on September 15th, although his recent history of extended deadlines made us wonder if this was an empty threat.
Turns out it was. According to a recent report by John Gambadoro, a radio host on Sports 620 KTAR in Phoenix, Doan has once again spurned his own deadline. But here’s the twist: the winger has actually moved it ahead for once. Gambadoro says that Doan will sign somewhere by 2pm on September 14th, because all contracts have to be signed by then.
What’s more, “somewhere” is one of only two places: Phoenix… or Vancouver. (Hey! that’s where we live!)
We’ve been real Debbie Downers about the Canucks’ chances thus far, but if Gambadoro’s report is to be believed, you sort of have to like them now. After all, Doan has said that he needs Greg Jamison’s deal with the city of Glendale to go through before he signs that four-year deal with the Coyotes, but what are the odds of that deal getting completed tomorrow? Heck, the last time someone successfully completed a deal to purchase the Coyotes was in 2005.
But don’t get too excited. (Like, you can get kind of excited. But don’t get excited to excess.) If Doan does join the Canucks, it could mean that the Canucks’ other ongoing saga likely won’t wrap up as neatly.
The addition of Doan is likely to hurt Mike Gillis’s attempts to get market value for Roberto Luongo.
The Detroit Red Wings could be close to signing defenseman Carlo Colaiacovo to a two-year, $5 million contract.
General manager Ken Holland told M-Live.com Wednesday that they’re still talking, but that he is not signed.
M-Live reported on Aug. 24 that the Red Wings had made a two-year, $5 million offer to the 29-year-old who played the past four seasons with the St. Louis Blues.
Colaiacovo isn’t the top-pair defenseman the Red Wings were seeking after losing Nicklas Lidstrom (retirement) and Brad Stuart (signed with San Jose), but he is one of the few viable options remaining in what was a weak free-agent market.
Colaiacovo (6-foot-1, 200) is a good skater and puck-mover with some offensive ability. He averaged 27 points a season with the Blues. He shoots left and can play the point on the power play.
His biggest issue has been his health. He hasn’t played more than 67 games in any season.
The Red Wings have been pursuing Colaiacovo since the start of free agency. They initially offered a one-year deal, but he was seeking three years. The sides apparently will compromise at two years.
The Philadelphia Flyers have reportedly asked the Montreal Canadiens about the availability of restricted free agent defenceman P.K. Subban.
The Flyers are interested in adding Subban, who has been unable to come to terms on a new contract with the Canadiens. Philly will probably start the season with three blueliners — Chris Pronger, Andrej Meszaros and Andreas Lilja — out with injuries.
Sportsnet reported earlier this week that he was close to signing a three-year, $12 million deal but so far that hasn’t happened. Last month, TSN said Subban had rejected a two-year, $5.5 million offer.
With his large Vancouver Canucks hockey bag slung over one shoulder, goalie Roberto Luongo walked out of the Panthers facility Monday morning.
“See you next week,” Luongo told a member of the Coral Springs Iceplex’s staff before heading out the door.
Luongo flew to Vancouver on Tuesday to participate in the Canucks’ charity golf tournament and continue his informal offseason workouts with his teammates.
If the NHL owners lockout their players as expected come Saturday night, Luongo plans to continue his workouts in South Florida.
So, once Luongo leaves Vancouver, will he return?
“I have no idea what is going to happen,” he said.
Luongo, who played with Florida from 2000-05, wants to return to the Panthers.
It appears there is mutual interest, too. Panthers general manager Dale Tallon spoke to the Canucks about a potential trade in June, but talks have cooled.
The Canucks are said to want a number of Florida’s top young players in return for Luongo. However, the Panthers aren’t interested in parting with any of their future building blocks. Nothing will happen on the trade front until labor issues are settled.
For Luongo, it appears his time in Vancouver is over.
If the entirety of the NHLPA is looking for work in a few days, the KHL can afford to be picky—and that’s just what the Russian league will do.
Only “top-rated talent” is welcome, according to Sport-Express’ Slava Malamud, and that’s according to the league’s stated guidelines.
That means that if clubs are looking to sign non-Russian NHL players, they must have played in either 150 NHL games, on national teams, in the KHL previously or won a Stanley Cup or individual trophy.
The rules will go into effect the day the NHL announces the lockout and be enforced until the situation is resolved. Owners maintain that they’ll lock out the NHLPA on Sept. 15.
“Our clubs are getting an opportunity to enter into contracts and to put on their rosters no more than three NHL players, and these players can be included above the established limit of 25 players,” vice president Vladimir Shalaev said, according to a translation by Yahoo! Sports.
On Monday, the Boston Bruins held their 9th annual golf tournament in Bolton, Mass. — the perfect place for reporters to ask players about the looming lockout.
One of the players queried was Tyler Seguin, who led the Bruins in scoring last season and will become a restricted free agent at the end of 2012-13.
Unsurprisingly, Seguin wants a new deal before the CBA expires on Sept. 15.
Seguin didn’t seem worried about the contract at all. Don’t be surprised if that happens soon
Seguin, 20, is set to make $3.55 million in the final year of his entry-level contract and, in terms of an extension, is likely eying the seven-year, $42 million extension fellow 2010 draftee Taylor Hall recently signed in Edmonton.
Looking beyond Seguin, the Bruins could face a similar circumstance with Milan Lucic, another young forward that’s set to become a RFA after next season.
Lucic is in the final year of a deal that pays $4.08 million annually, and his situation is compounded by the fact Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli just gave Brad Marchand a four-year, $18 million extension (like Lucic and Seguin, Marchand was set to become a RFA in 2013).
Per #MTL Canadiens player,they expect ruling by Quebec Labor Board this week on teams ability to lockout.If court rules in their favor,and
— Aaron Ward (@aaronward_nhl) September 10, 2012
If the NHL go ahead with a lock-out Saturday, a group of Montreal Canadiens players will ask the Quebec Labour Board to stop it
If the NHL go ahead with a lock-out Saturday, a group of Montreal Canadiens players will ask the Quebec Labour Board to stop it.
— Renaud Lavoie (@RenLavoieRDS) September 9, 2012
The Canucks were hoping a gold-medal winning veteran with a cap hit of about $5 million would be reporting to training camp this month.
And it’s true, one is planning to. But he’s the wrong one.
Roberto Luongo may be in Vancouver next week and prepared to report to camp, if camp ever happens. So he’s in. For now. But Shane Doan appears to be out, according to reports which have him agreeing to a four-year, $21.5 million extension with the Phoenix Coyotes, pending the completed sale of the club to Greg Jamison.
The Canucks had tabled a similar offer, though the money wasn’t quite as much, and still believe they have the best chance to be Doan’s Plan B. But that Plan B is disappearing faster than those polar bears on Lost.
Doan represented an opportunity to significantly and instantly improve the Canucks, which explains why they were pursuing him with a courtship which included a dinner at the city’s Italian Kitchen.
Doan kept saying it wasn’t about the money, and it hasn’t been as the Phoenix deal is significantly less than the $30-million contract he was offered.
Angered by his name continuously swirling in trade rumors, Bobby Ryan unleashed his frustration with Ducks management earlier this summer and then tuned out. For the first time since he said he’d be fine with being dealt, Ryan addressed those comments and asserted that his first desire is to be with the team that drafted him second overall in 2005 and watched become a goal-scoring sniper.
“I wanted to come back to (my home in) Newport Beach and come back to this team and this group of guys,” Ryan said Wednesday after a voluntary workout at Anaheim Ice. “Always. That was the No. 1 thing.”
Skating with teammates and other NHL players as they await the prospect of a lockout, Ryan was making his first appearance back in Southern California after a summer of tumult largely of his own doing.
The winger lashed out in June while Ducks officials were at the NHL Draft, telling a New Jersey-based newspaper that the team has “shown me nothing to prove that they want me here, unfortunately.”
“Obviously, it’s not the ideal situation,” he told the Camden Courier-Post. “When you get drafted, you want to win championships with that team and every time they look to add a piece to the puzzle, I’m the piece going the other way.
“I gotta be honest with you. At this point, I don’t care. Move me … because it’s just tough going to the rink every day knowing that if something goes wrong, you’re going to be the guy moved.”
Ryan said he now regrets doing the interview with a reporter that his father knew while he was participating in an all-day charity golf tournament, calling it “a mistake and a slip up on my part.”
In an interview with a Phoenix radio station, Coyotes captain Shane Doan revealed some good news for Coyotes fans.
One, that prospective owner Greg Jamison has secured the money to purchase the Coyotes and two, that he’s agreed to a new deal with the team; he’s just waiting on Jamison to acquire the team to make it official.
“My goal has been to stay here the whole time,” Doan told radio station XTRA 910 in Phoenix. “Don and Tip and the organization have been great. We have a deal worked out that we just want to make sure that the team gets signed and that everything gets done and it gets done before the 15th.”
Doan went on to say that Jamison has the funds to complete the deal to purchase the Coyotes and is optimistic it will go through soon.
“Mr. Jamison has the money. Mr. Bettman has said its all good, according to the NHL, and it’s going to go through. It’s just a matter of getting the lease agreement done now. Obviously that was done earlier. Now there are some things they decided they wanted to change, which obviously can delay things. With that being said, I think that Mr. Jamison and the league have stated it’s really up to Glendale and Glendale, they had it done for a while.”
The Blue Jackets, looking for top six forward help even before they traded franchise winger Rick Nash in July, attempted to make a splash in free agency by signing an NHL legend.
Lubomir Visnovsky, acquired by the Islanders on draft night a little more than a month ago, has filed a grievance through the NHL Players’ Association to void the trade from the Ducks, contending that his no-trade clause is still valid and Anaheim never got his permission to make the deal.
Should he win his grievance, the trade that sent him to the Islanders for a 2013 second-round pick would be rescinded, though Visnovsky’s agent told Newsday that the 35-year-old defenseman has no issues with the Isles.
“[General manager Garth Snow] has been great to him, they’ve had good conversations and Lubo likes what he’s heard about how they want to use him,” Neil Sheehy, Visnovsky’s agent, said. “But this has really nothing to do with the Islanders. For Lubo, this is about establishing what’s right and whether a team has the right to move him in the manner that they did.”
Visnovsky signed a five-year, $28-million contract with the Oilers in 2008 and waived his no-trade clause to allow a deal to the Ducks at the 2009-10 trade deadline. Visnovsky contends the Ducks needed his approval, in the form of a 10-team list to which he would allow a trade, this summer. That was never asked for before the June 22 deal.
As many of you know the site has been alittle off for the past while. This is partially because the server that htr is on has been completely hijacked. I have had to filter comments because of the mass amounts of robot spam that is landing on the pages of htr. I am in the process of switching servers and trying to restore the problems. I hope that you can all understand that there are some major problems that i am trying to work though here. I do not filter the comments directly. I have had to put in a maga filter that does this.
Next summer’s crop looks even weaker, with few candidates available who can reasonably step in and play top-four minutes. The best of the bunch from a long-term Oilers perspective is likely this group of four:
Alexander Edler. The offensive defenceman hit career highs last year in goals (11) assists (38) points (49) and shots (228). The Canucks leaned on Edler heavily in an offensive role to make up for the departure of Christian Ehrhoff – he got power play time, tons of offensive starts and typically managed to duck the toughest assignments (which went to the Hamhuis/Bieksa pairing). Despitep laying those sorts of minutes for the powerhouse Canucks, Edler finished with a disappointing plus/minus (even) and struggled mightily in the post-season. Still, as a 6’3”, 27-year old offensive defenceman playing top-four minutes on a contender, he’s going to get paid.
Rob Scuderi. The no-nonsense defensive defender was overshadowed by regular partner Drew Doughty’s transcendent play en route to Los Angeles’ Stanley cup victory, but even so he logged heavy minutes on the Kings’ blue line and offers major value to any team as a shutdown defender. At 34, he’s in the tail end of his career yet is still young compared to much of 2013’s free agent class.
Ian White. Last summer, the Detroit Red Wings paid him less than $3 million/season on a two-year deal. He’s likely to get both more money and term this time around. The 29-year old White found success in a top-pairing role in Detroit (he actually led the Red Wings blue line in time on ice at even-strength last year). Now, he’ll need to prove he can be successful without Lidstrom – a partner who seemed to help him significantly last year.
Jordan Leopold. A regular member of the Buffalo Sabres’ top four last season, Leopold’s the sort of cheaper option some team will be forced to settle for next summer. The 32-year old isn’t a high-end offensive option but is capable in both zones and with or without the puck.