Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Kevin Paul Dupont of the Boston Globe,
Other than what would best be described as idle chat and exchange of pleasantries (probably forced), there has been no substantive talk between the NHL and its Players Association toward forging a new collective bargaining agreement. Absent a new deal prior to September’s training camps, the league will implement its third lockout in less than 20 years.
Attention both sides, you do realize fans are watching this, probably more than you think they are. If another lockout comes about, some will be pointing to this idle time and wondering why talks didn’t start earlier.
from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,
The NHLPA filed a grievance over the Edmonton Oilers docking $13,000 from Ben Eager’s pay, multiple sources have confirmed to ESPN.com.
Say what, you say?
It all started during a game in Vancouver on Dec. 26 when the Oilers’ tough guy shattered an HD camera in the penalty box…
The Canucks informed the Oilers they were on the hook for the $13,000 cost of replacing that camera. The Oilers then turned around and docked Eager’s pay (from his $1-million salary).
read on and watch the camera breaking incident below or at the linked ESPN site…
“I want to be able, with the players, to negotiate an agreement that they are proud of, that they are satisfied with and were a part of forming. “I want them to have that agreement, and begin a relationship with us to set the stage for other things in the years to come. I know that’s sort of amorphous, but it’s really the goal here.”
-Donald Fehr, executive director of the NHLPA. Much more from Fehr from Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.
from Damien Cox of the Toronto Star,
The NHL’s general managers appear to be on the verge of approving at least two new tweaks to the rule book this week, but the reality is that in a collective bargaining agreement year it’s likely the NHL Players’ Association won’t be in a listening mood.
That’s what happened to the league’s realignment proposal, remember, even though the union really didn’t have any truly serious objections to the proposal.
Don Fehr and Co. were simply offended that they weren’t consulted beforehand, and even then, the union is more interested in scrapping with the league these days than cutting co-operative deals, with the current CBA set to expire Sept. 15.
Either Tuesday or Wednesday this week, the GMs are expected to approve changes to icing — moving to the so-called “hybrid” model — and to hand passes in the defensive zone, which are expected to be outlawed.
Both are common sense moves. But both would need the approval of the competition committee, which includes members of the players’ association, and likely won’t be passed until a new CBA is agreed upon.
from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,
Flyers Faithful was kind enough to ask me and a few other bloggers to participate in Five Questions regarding the CBA.
You can read all about it here and there are two more questions left, which I imagine will be posted tomorrow and Friday.
via Knowlton Thomas of tech vibes,
Waterloo’s Research In Motion has teamed up with the National Hockey League Players’ Association to launch the Player’s PlayBook. It’s a video series that has five NHL players use a BlackBerry PlayBook off the ice and take daily videos of their adventures. Each player will record one 90-second, high-def video per day to the Players’ PlayBook website.
The five players are Martin Biron of the New York Rangers, Scott Hartnell of the Philadelphia Flyers, Bobby Ryan of the Anaheim Ducks, Michael Grabner of the New York Islanders, and Joffrey Lupul of some team I forget. (Oh, right… the Toronto Maple Leafs.) So far, you can see such epic adventures as Bobby snowmobiling with his girlfriend….
The NHLPA/HNIC Poll of players is finalized.
Check it out and it appears the answers are dominated by the Bruins, Wings and Rangers.
added 10:26pm, The folks at HNIC breakdown the results.
via the NHLPA,
Every year we ask for the players opinions on a number of topics. Now we want to hear yours! It’s your turn to answer Player Poll questions just like NHLPA members.
Should fighting be banned in the NHL?
Which Canadian City should get the next NHL team?
Tell us what you think. Submit your answers and we’ll post the results!
from David Shoalts of the Globe and Mail,
Neither Fehr nor Bettman would discuss what each felt were the major issues. Bettman said he only hopes they can reach an agreement quickly once the talks begin.
“My hope is that we can reason together and that collective bargaining will be painless and quiet and quick,” Bettman said following an NHL board of governors meetinf. “That would serve everyone’s best interest.”
Union sources say a quick resolution is possible but only if the players present a united front to the owners. That might be enough to convince the owners to avoid a lockout, which could severely damage a league that is still recovering in some markets from the season-long lockout in 2004-05.
The two biggest issues involve revenue sharing. The owners want to reduce the players’ take of hockey-related revenue from the current 57 per cent to less than 50 to mirror the agreements recently reached in the NFL and NBA. The players want the owners to radically change their system for sharing revenues between richer and poorer teams and increase the amount of shared revenue.
Fehr said just because the NBA and NFL players agreed to reduce their overall share of league revenue it does not mean the NHL players will follow suit.
from Adam Proteau of The Hockey News,
The Hockey News: In regard to realignment, many have focused on your rejection of the league’s plans, but fewer have focused on the league’s insistence of a hard deadline, which is ultimately what caused your rejection. This isn’t the first instance the league has been aggressive with the PA during the current CBA, is it?
Donald Fehr: The league went into their owners meeting, they came out with a realignment plan, and obviously it required the players’ consent. We got into the details on it, we found out the background and information and there were two significant issues from the players’ standpoint: one was assurances as to what the travel would be, and unfortunately, we weren’t able to get those assurances. The league was not in the position even to give us a drafted schedule, which makes any analysis very difficult.
The second issue was access to the playoffs, where in the proposed seven-team divisions you’d have a permanent advantage in terms of access, because you’d only have to beat three teams to qualify, whereas in the eight team divisions you’d have to beat four. The players looked at it, but we weren’t in a position to consent. Whether the deadline was aggressive or not, I don’t really know. All I can say is that we offered – and if the league wants to, we’d be willing now – to meet with them to discuss these issues and see if a resolution could be found. So far, that’s not something they’ve indicated they’re prepared to do.
THN: Has the PA looked at making a counter-proposal for realignment, something that would address the concerns you have regarding travel and competitive advantage? Or do you sit back and wait for the league to drive the bus on that issue?
continued with more hot topics discussed…
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.
Email Paul anytime at email@example.com