Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Larry Brooks of the New York Post,
Maybe this will be the trigger that engages, educates and mobilizes the NHLPA membership.
Maybe Sixth Avenue’s latest reach into the players’ pockets with its attempt to coerce the union into extending the CBA by three years in exchange for authorization to compete in the 2018 Olympic Games will unify a Players Association that has been demoralized since enemies within undermined Bob Goodenow’s righteous fight against imposition of a hard cap through Owners’ Lockout II that claimed the 2004-05 season.
Out of nowhere — or perhaps, more accurately, out of Gary Bettman and the Board of Governors’ playbook — came the demand last week of linkage between the CBA and the Olympics. It was a classic hardball maneuver from the league that previously cast its reluctance (if not downright opposition) to commit to South Korea, over the IOC’s refusal to cover the cost of the players’ insurance and travel to the Games as it had done previously.
But when International Ice Hockey Federation chairman Rene Fassel on Wednesday informed Bettman that his organization would find the necessary $10 million to cover the cost, the league pulled its bait-and-switch. Suddenly, that wasn’t good enough.
Saturday Headlines discussed the recent talk concerning the Vancouver Canucks had interest in Evander Kane, player development in North America, the Coyotes may be willing to trade Anthony Duclair plus more topics.
Watch at Sportsnet.
Ron and Don break down the latest in the NHL, showcasing Connor McDavid’s vision on the ice and Mitch Marner’s smarts against the boards.
Plus additional topics including the play of Devan Dubnyk.
“I started laughing, that’s not negotiating. It’s not.”
“As an athlete, it’s your right to go to the Olympics. I don’t know if [the report] is true. I hope it’s not. That’s not the way you negotiate things. But, if that is true, all of a sudden they don’t mind having a two-week break in the NHL for a three-year collective bargaining agreement.”
-Marc-Edouard Vlasic of the San Jose Sharks on the talked about offer of a CBA extension for the right to play in the Olympics. Kevin Kurz of CSN BayArea has more.
via Cam Cole of the Vancouver Sun at the National Post,
The white flag To use hockey terminology, it’s impossible to say where the back-pressure is coming from, but it sure seems the National Hockey League has taken its foot off the Player Safety gas pedal, and it’s once more open season on the best players in the game.
Put your personal isolation camera on your favourite superstar and watch how many times he is hooked (Connor McDavid), slashed (Johnny Gaudreau), boarded (under the all-inclusive ‘finishing the check’ canard), tripped or elbowed in a single game, and if you still don’t think someone on high has whispered in the ear of the Department of Player Safety, you’re watching different games than the ones on my TV.
The DoPS crew must sit around the table inventing new names for obvious head blows (See: Nazem Kadri/Daniel Sedin). Somehow, “blindside hit” wasn’t adequate to protect the hitter from punishment, so the phrase was removed.
Maybe it’s just the league’s way of ensuring that the lousy teams can still compete. Or maybe the Neanderthals among the GMs have the loudest voices, and have convinced the others that the blow-up hit, in which the sole aim is to injure the opponent, is integral to the game. Perhaps, having already irretrievably lost goal-scoring to coaching strategies, they fear that without violent contact there will be nothing left to sell.
from Mike Zeisberger of the Toronto Sun,
Gary Bettman will be surrounded by the bright lights and velvet tables of the gambling capital of the world next Tuesday for the ballyhooed unveiling of the team name of the NHL’s Las Vegas expansion franchise.
The perfect place for The Man With The Poker Face.
When Bettman sits down at the table — negotiating table, not card table — he is lethal in the realm of not showing one's hand. At least in public anyway.
But you know something is there. You know something is coming. You know something is up the NHL commissioner's sleeve.
And so, realistically, was anyone really surprised at the news that Bettman seems to have finally put his cards on the table when it comes to the participation of NHLers in the 2018 Olympics?
If so, shame on you.
from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,
I traded texts with a player on Thursday about the NHL's offer to extend the 2013 collective bargaining agreement by three years in exchange for Olympic participation, and he said what I think many players are thinking: Sure, he’d be interested in the offer if the league was also interested in capping escrow in some form.
The NHL, however, has zero interest in tweaking escrow -- a provision in the CBA meant to ensure that hockey-related revenue is split between the players and the franchise owners -- at this point, and perhaps never. It sees escrow as essential to making the 50-50 split work. But there’s no question that the NHL players' association is looking at its cousins in the NBA, where escrow is capped at 10 percent, and saying, "Why can’t we get that in the next CBA?'
What's the difference between the NHL and NBA? There's hard cap in the NHL, a soft cap in the NBA.
from Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet,
As an alphabet soup of stakeholders meet in New York City to discuss the future of Olympic hockey, sources indicate the NHL has made an offer to its players that could confirm their participation.
No one is willing to comment at this time, so it is difficult to pin down particulars. But, in exchange for the league’s blessing, the NHLPA would agree to extend the collective bargaining agreement. One source indicated, it could be for three more years, but I can’t pin that down to be 100 per cent accurate.
This move is not unprecedented. Prior to the NHL’s first foray into the Olympics (Nagano, 1998) both sides agreed to waive the right to re-open their CBA to ensure there would be no labour disruption at that time.
from Pierre LeBrun of TSN,
The Las Vegas expansion team and some of the 30 existing teams are worried about less-than-honest agreements circumventing the expansion-draft rules.
What, GMs looking for loopholes? Come on.
Specifically, GMs worry that Vegas could take advantage of the 48-hour window before the expansion draft in June to quietly agree to terms on a deal with a pending unrestricted free agent, then wait until July 1 to sign him, so as to pluck another player off a team's roster in the expansion draft.
This would circumvent the rule that if a team loses a free agent to Vegas in that 48-hour free-agent-signing window, it cannot lose another player in the expansion draft. Some GMs worry that veteran GM George McPhee, who wasn't born yesterday, would take advantage of the situation.
"George has the same concerns about existing teams doing those types of deals with players they don't have to protect," deputy commissioner Bill Daly said Tuesday after the GMs meeting.
The TSN Hockey Insiders discuss the NHL considering adopting the IIHF shootout rule, where the GMs stand in regards to blindside hits, the Canucks' renewed interest in trading for Evander Kane, the players' strong desire to attend the 2018 Olympics, and the league possibly raising the draft-eligible age to 19.
Watch here, no geo-blocking...
About Kukla's Korner Hockey
Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.
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