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Savard deal no longer an issue

09.03.10 at 7:10 pm ET
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According to TSN, the NHL and NHLPA have finally agreed to a change in rules regarding players’ contracts. As part of the agreement, longterm deals that were under investigation by the league (including Marc Savard’s deal) will be grandfathered. The rules, which will be explained below, will apply to all contracts filed after Friday.

The report includes two stipulations. Though the gist of it is well-understood here, rewording it may only confuse some. Here’s an excerpt from Darren Dreger:

“First: For long-term contracts extending beyond the age of 40, the contract’s average annual value for the years up to and including 40, are calculated by dividing total value in those years by the number of years up to and including 40. Then for the years covering ages 41 and beyond, the cap charge in each year is equal to the value of the contract in that year.

For example, say a 35-year old player agrees to a 7-year deal that is set to expire when the player is 42 years old. The deal is set up as follows: $7.6 million for the first four years followed by $4 million in the fourth year, then two final seasons at $525,000. Under the terms of the new amendment you would add up the first five years of the contract (to the age of 40) and calculate the average: $34.4 million divided by five years equals $6.88 million. That number would now be the player’s cap hit over those first five years. His cap hit in the final two years of his deal would be the actual value of the contract in those seasons, therefore a cap hit of $525,000 for years six and seven of the deal.

Secondly, for long-term contracts that include years in which the player is 36, 37, 38, 39 and 40; the amount used for purposes of calculating his average annual value is a minimum of $1 million in each of those years (even if his actual compensation is less during those seasons).

As an example, a player signs the exact same seven-year deal discussed above, however the deal is signed at the age of 32 and is set to expire when the player reaches 39 years old. For that contract, the two seasons at $525,000 would remain, however they would be treated as years at $1 million for the purpose of calculating the appropriate cap charge.”

The second stipulation would have applied to Savard, whose deal runs until he is 39.

Read More: ilya kovalchuk, Marc Savard,

Reported NHL/NHLPA agreement could end Marc Savard saga

09.03.10 at 2:46 pm ET
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According to a tweet from TSN’s Darren Dreger, an agreement has been reached between the NHL and the NHLPA on a revision to the calculation of salary cap hits. As part of the settlement that has been agreed upon, the latest Ilya Kovalchuk contract proposal will be approved and, if previous reports prove consistent, so-called “retirement contracts” being investigated will be grandfathered.

Dreger tweets that the two sides are working to file the necessary paperwork on the revision by 5 p.m. Friday, the NHL’s deadline for the players’ association to accept their terms.

Previously, a player’s cap hit was calculated simply by dividing the contracts total money by the years of the deal. Teams found a loophole and capitalized on it by paying players big money up front and tacking on additional years for very little money. This meant a player would still get the high salaries they demanded while the team would have a managable cap hit.

Marc Savard‘s contact was viewed as such by the league, as the seven-year, $28.5 million pact paid far more up front than it did over the rest of its life (more than half the money is being paid out in the first two seasons, but his cap hit will be just $4.007 million).

The new rules will make it so that a player’s cap hit is calculated the same way as before, but with only years until the player’s 40th birthday counted. This prevents teams from dramatically lowering a highly paid player’s cap hit. For what it’s worth, Savard’s deal, which has been under investigation since December, would expire less than a month before his 40th birthday and would not be deemed illegal even by the new rules.

Read More: ilya kovalchuk, Marc Savard,

Bruins release Training camp/Preseason schedule

09.03.10 at 12:59 pm ET
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Courtesy of the wonderful folks at the Bruins, here’s the team’s schedule for training camp and the preseason, all the way through the team’s first two regular season games with the Coyotes in Prague.

Tuesday, September 7 (Wilmington, MA)
- Captains’€™ Practice Ice, Ristuccia Arena, 10:00 a.m. ET

Wednesday, September 8 (Wilmington, MA)
- Captains’€™ Practice Ice, Ristuccia Arena, 10:00 a.m. ET

Thursday, September 9 (Wilmington, MA)
- Captains’€™ Practice Ice, Ristuccia Arena, 10:00 a.m. ET

Friday, September 10 (Wilmington, MA)
- Captains’€™ Practice Ice, Ristuccia Arena, 10:00 a.m. ET

Saturday, September 11
- OFF

Sunday, September 12 (Wilmington, MA)
- Rookie Fitness Testing, Ristuccia Arena in Wilmington, 9:30 a.m. ET (closed to public/closed to media)
- Rookie Ice, Ristuccia Arena, 12:00 noon ET

Monday, September 13 (Wilmington, MA/ Bolton, MA)
- Rookie Ice, Ristuccia Arena, 10:00 a.m. ET
- Bruins Foundation Golf Tournament, The International, 11:00 a.m. ET (159 Ballville Road, Bolton, MA 01740)

Tuesday, September 14 (Wilmington, MA)
- Rookie Ice, Ristuccia Arena, 10:00 a.m. ET
- Captains’€™ Practice Ice, Ristuccia Arena, 12:00 noon ET

Wednesday, September 15 (Wilmington, MA/ Boston, MA)
- Captains’€™ Practice Ice, Ristuccia Arena, 10:00 a.m. ET
- Rookie Morning Skate, TD Garden, 11:30 a.m. ET
- Bruins Rookies vs. Islanders Rookies, TD Garden, 7:00 p.m. ET

Thursday, September 16 (Wilmington, MA/ Boston, MA)
- Captains’€™ Practice Ice, Ristuccia Arena, 10:00 a.m. ET
- Rookie Morning Skate, TD Garden, 10:30 a.m. ET
- Bruins Rookies vs. Islanders Rookies, TD Garden, 7:00 p.m. ET

Friday, September 17 (Boston, MA)
- Veteran Fitness Testing, TD Garden, 9:45 a.m. ET (closed to public/closed to media)
- Veteran media availability will take place after fitness testing
- Optional Ice, TD Garden, 1:30 p.m. ET (100 Legends Way, Boston, MA 02114)

Saturday, September 18 (Boston, MA)
- Group A Ice, TD Garden, 10:00 a.m. ET
- Group B Ice, TD Garden, 12:30 p.m. ET

Sunday, September 19 (Boston, MA)
- Group B Ice, TD Garden, 10:00 a.m. ET
- Group A Ice, TD Garden, 12:30 p.m. ET

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Read More: Training camp, Tyler Seguin,

Bruins release preseason roster

09.03.10 at 12:52 pm ET
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The Bruins have released the roster of players set to attend this season’s training camp, which starts with some captains practices next week before formally opening on September 17.

Here’s the list:

Forwards

Jamie Arniel
Patrice Bergeron
Gregory Campbell
Jordan Caron
Joe Colborne
Craig Cunningham
Zach Hamill
Nathan Horton

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Read More: Marc Savard, Tyler Seguin,

Agent: Wyatt Smith signs with Bruins

09.02.10 at 11:54 pm ET
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According to agent Ben Hankinson on twitter, the Bruins have signed free agent center Wyatt Smith. He figures to replace what Trent Whitfield, who will miss the coming season due to an injury to his Achilles tendon, brings to the table as a depth guy at the AHL level.

A former ninth round pick of the Coyotes, Smith played last season in the Penguins‘ organization, playing for the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins. He had 13 goals and 35 assists for 48 points.

Smith last played in the NHL in 2007-08, picking up three assists and eight penalty minutes for the Avalanche.

Read More: Wyatt Smith,

Neely among Lester Patrick award recipients

09.02.10 at 2:46 pm ET
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Bruins president Cam Neely is one of four recipients of the Lester Patrick trophy for outstanding service to ice hockey the United States. Joining him are Boston College coach Jerry York, Boston University’s Jack Parker, and American Hockey League president David Andrews.

The recipients of the award, which has been around since 1966 will be honored at a reception in Boston in late October.

Neely was named president of the Bruins on June 16. In 726 career games, he scored 395 goals with 299 assists for 694 points. He had 1,241 penalty minutes.

York and Parker have long been considered the elite among college coaches, winning four and three national championships, respectively. Parker was the most recent to do so when he led the Terriers past Miami of Ohio in a comeback victory in 2009.

Read More: Cam Neely, Jack Parker, Jerry York,

Agent: Lawsuit coming if Savard’s deal with Bruins is nixed

09.02.10 at 1:01 pm ET
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Larry Kelly, the agent for Marc Savard, made the most notable noise from the Savard camp Thursday since news broke this month that the center’s contract with the Bruins was being investigated.

Savard signed a seven-year, $28.5 million extension with the Bruins in December, but its front-loaded nature has led to its investigation. The NHL is willing to grandfather such deals if the NHLPA agrees to a new way of calculating salary cap hits, but if the players association declines the terms, Savard’s deal could be voided.

That’s where Kelly comes in. Appearing on Team 1200 radio in Ottawa Thursday, the agent said that legal action would be taken against the NHL if such a scenario to play out. If the deal were to be voided, Savard would become a free agent to sign with any club. The problem is that the prime free agency has passed, and many teams have already made their plans for the coming season, thus not having the cap space to sign a top player. Thirteen teams have less than $4.007 (Savard’s anticipated cap hit this season) freed, so such a signing would be made difficult at this time.

“I haven’t heard anything from the league, but I feel the contract is fine. It was not rejected on its face. It was registered. I’m not expecting any major problem. If the league were to arbitrarily do something, it would be a very, very serious issue. Marc Savard had a very serious concussion last year. He came back in the playoffs to try and help his team. He was not anywhere near the player he had been. If Marc is without a contract and is a so-called free agent after missing the free agency period, you can imagine the lawsuit that would ensue,” Kelly said.

Kelly also expressed a desire for commissioner Gary Bettman to take the side of players more often.

‘€œI’€™d really like to see a true commissioner-style , someone who has the best interest of the game in mind rather than the situation they have now. Bettman is [more like] the president of the league and he clearly is on the owners side on every issue. I really think it should be a commissioner. With a commissioner you have somebody who is totally independent and I think it would be a much less acrimonious situation,’€ Kelly said.

[Props to sportsnet.ca]

Read More: Gary Bettman, ilya kovalchuk, Marc Savard,
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