Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Darren Dreger of TSN,
Sources tell TSN the National Hockey League Players Association has filed a grievance over the Chicago Blackhawks mishandling of a number of its qualifying offers and intends to argue the players affected by the mishap, who remain unsigned, should be ruled unrestricted free agents.
The NHL will be notified and can agree with the NHLPA’s filing, or the league can disagree and the case will move on to an expidited hearing.
“In response to various media inquiries, the National Hockey League Players’ Association (NHLPA) confirms today that it has filed a grievance regarding the failure of the Chicago Blackhawks to submit Qualifying Offers to its 2009 Restricted Free Agents prior to the deadline stipulated in the CBA. The NHLPA will make no further comment on the matter, which is now pending before the Impartial Arbitrator,” said Jonathan Weatherdon, NHLPA Spokesperson.
At this moment, it’s the Players’ Association’s contention, these players are unrestricted free agents and free to negotiate with any team.
added 6:16pm, from Tim Sassone of Between The Circles,
The status of only Versteeg and Barker is in question since the Hawks signed five of their restricted free agents on Monday, including Troy Brouwer, Ben Eager, Colin Fraser, Corey Crawford and Aaron Johnson.
According to a source, the five restricted free agents chose to re-sign with the Hawks rather than be part of the union’s grievance. Brouwer and Crawford signed two-year deals while Eager, Johnson and Fraser re-uppped for one.
Obviously the agents for Versteeg and Barker see the Hawks’ blunder as a golden opportunity to get their clients a bigger payday.
from Darren Dreger of TSN,
According to both the NHL and the NHLPA, the investigation into how and why the Chicago Blackhawks bungled a number of their qualifying offers is ongoing.
Neither side will comment, however since this story broke Friday evening on TSN.ca, interest into how the league and players association will respond is significant.
If the NHL grants leniency and attempts to sweep this issue away, it’s expected the NHLPA will swiftly file a grievance and the matter will go to a hearing.
Sources with hands on knowledge of how qualifying offers have to be filed say as innocent as this mistake may have been, there is no excuse for it, and the league should follow through with the ultimate penalty and declare all players who didn’t received proper notification, unrestricted free agents.
from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,
Attendance at the union meetings in Las Vegas was so limited, it seemed as if one had wandered into a game in Glendale. Fact is, the PA did not have enough player reps at its own meeting to tally the vote on the critical issue of voting on the 5-percent cap escalator clause that eventually was adopted through e-mail tally.
Much worse, and perhaps scandalous, is that a number of players went to Las Vegas on the union’s dime, partied, and never bothered to actually, you know, attend the meetings. Wait until the summer meetings in Rome.
The close vote on the escalator indicates executive director Paul Kelly and director of player affairs Glenn Healy do not have the union’s attention. For both these gentlemen understood the critical importance of not allowing the cap to fall by the $2.64 million it would have if the vote had gone the other way.
Slap Shots has learned that the escrow withholding figure for last season has been calculated at a staggering 15.9 percent. That means, for example, that Alex Ovechkin will wind up losing $1.431M of the $9M he thought he was earning last year for the Caps.
more & additional hockey topics too…
from the CP via the Globe and Mail,
The NHL’s salary cap is on the rise.
Deputy commissioner Bill Daly confirmed Friday that next year’s cap will go up by $100,000 to $56.8-million in 2009-10.
Part of the reason for the growth is that the NHL Players’ Association decided to invoke a five per cent inflator, which was negotiated as part of the collective bargaining agreement.
TORONTO/NEW YORK (June 26, 2009)—The National Hockey League Players’ Association and the National Hockey League announced today that the Team Payroll Range established for the 2009-10 League Year, pursuant to the Collective Bargaining Agreement, provides for a Lower Limit of $40.8 million, an Adjusted Midpoint of $48.8 million and an Upper Limit of $56.8 million.
from the CP via TSN,
There could be as many as three NHL games played outside of traditional venues next season.
The league’s competition committee discussed several different scenarios during a wide-ranging meeting on Thursday and left open the possibility for games to be played outdoors in Boston and Calgary, with another being held under the roof at Montreal’s Olympic Stadium.
“We are looking at a couple potential additional special events beyond the NBC Winter Classic game,” said NHLPA executive director Paul Kelly. “(It’s something) that we all collectively think will be very good for the game. We think that they won’t dilute the product that we’ve created.”
continue for more topics that were discussed
added 4:56pm, Now Bob McKenzie of TSN comes out with this… T
here will not be a second NHL outdoor game in Calgary on January 1, 2010.
The NHL’s competition committee met today in Montreal and that was one of a number of issues that was dealt with.
While there won’t be a second outdoor game to follow up the currently scheduled New Year’s Day game at Boston’s Fenway Park, there is likely to be a second special event in a Canadian city.
Sources say that event is possibly a game at Montreal’s Olympic Stadium to celebrate the Canadiens’ 100th anniversary.
via Larry Brooks of the NY Post,
The NHL players union has voted to trigger the 5-percent escalator on the 2009-10 salary cap, The Post has learned.
This means that the 2009-10 cap will remain within a couple of hundred thousand dollars of last season’s figure of $56.7 million.
E.J. Hradek of ESPN The Magazine passed this to me tonight and asked if I could post…
After speaking with NHLPA executive director Paul Kelly and Lightning center/competition committee member Jeff Halpern, I expect the competition committee to green light the league’s plan for a second outdoor game – the back-end of a New Year’s Day 2010 Winter Classic doubleheader – hosted by the Flames (likely against the Leafs) at Calgary’s McMahon Stadium as ESPN The Magazine reported last Thursday.
Both Kelly and Halpern felt the league’s outdoor plan, which was discussed in both smaller and full group discussions at the NHLPA meetings last weekend in Las Vegas, was favored by an enthusiastic majority of the players. “I don’t think there’d be an issue with it from the players’ side,” said Halpern, who’ll participate in the competition committee meeting on Thursday morning in Montreal. “There was a lot of positive feedback. I think it’s a good idea.”
from Adam Kimelman of NHL.com,
Ownership updates were the theme of the day at the Board of Governors meeting on Wednesday.
Commissioner Gary Bettman updated the board on a number of franchise situations during a session of five-plus hours. Another briefing came from Montreal Canadiens owner George Gillette, who is in discussions to sell the team to three members of the Molson family. Bettman said the talks are in the preliminary stages, but said he was excited to see a well-known family involved with the sale.
continue for more topics discussed…
from Anna Mehler Paperny and David Shoalts of the Globe and Mail,
The NHL has been underfunding its players’ pension plans by millions of dollars, shortchanging widows over a number of decades, an Ontario Superior Court judge has found.
The decision means the league will have to top up its pension fund by as much as $30-million and may have to make retroactive payments to the widows of deceased players.
The suit, brought forward last year by the NHL Players’ Association, charged that errors in the calculation of pensions for players who died before 1986 meant their widows received as little as 10 per cent of the funds entitled to them.
Both Pierre LeBrun and Scott Burnside have been filing numerous stories out of Las Vegas the last few days.
I wonder if they can figure out a way to stay there while covering the NHL Entry Draft in Montreal?
from Scott Burnside of ESPN,
It is rare for a professional sports league to have the opportunity to get out in front of scandal, to be able to insulate itself against the most damaging kinds of publicity and blows to its integrity.
Yet, that is exactly the enviable position in which the NHL and its players find themselves.
Now all the players have to do is to have the courage to ante up and embrace not just a more stringent drug testing policy, but also the most comprehensive in pro sports.
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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