Archive for October, 2012

Report: Donald Fehr unimpressed with owners’ latest offer

Wednesday, October 17th, 2012

According to a report from Bob McKenzie of TSN, NHLPA executive director Donald Fehr sent a less-than-enthusiastic letter to every player and agent following the league’s latest proposal on Tuesday. The letter, sent Tuesday night, credits the owners for improving on previous offers but notes it still costs the players money..

“Simply put, the owners’ new proposal, while not quite as Draconian as their previous proposals, still represents enormous reductions in player salaries and individual contracting rights,” he wrote. “As you will see, at the 5 per cent industry growth rate the owners predict, the salary reduction over six years exceeds $1.6 billion. What do the owners offer in return?”

Added Fehr: “The proposal does represent movement from their last negotiating position, but still represents very large, immediate and continuing concessions by players to owners, in salary and benefits (the Players’ Share) and in individual player contracting rules.”

Though the league’s latest proposal was initially viewed from the outside as a start to serious negotiations, Fehr wrote that he isn’t sure that’s the case.

“We do not yet know whether this proposal is a serious attempt to negotiate an agreement, or just another step down the road,” he wrote. “The next several days will be, in large part, an effort to discover the answer to that question.”

NHL releases details of latest CBA offer

Wednesday, October 17th, 2012

In a somewhat surprising move, the NHL on Wednesday released the details of its latest proposal for a new collective bargaining agreement. The offer was submitted to the NHLPA on Tuesday, with the league emailing the proposal to the media and posting it on NHL.com Wednesday.

Here are the details, per the NHL:

1. Term:

‘€¢ Six-year Agreement with mutual option for a seventh year.

2. HRR Accounting:

‘€¢ Current HRR Accounting subject to mutual clarification of existing interpretations and settlements.

3. Applicable Players’ Share:

‘€¢ For each of the six (6) years of the CBA (and any additional one-year option) the Players’ Share shall be Fifty (50) percent of Actual HRR.

4. Payroll Range:

‘€¢ Payroll Range will be computed using existing methodology. For the 2012/13 season, the Payroll Range will be computed assuming HRR will remain flat year-over-year (2011/12 to 2012/13) at $3.303 Billion (assuming Preliminary Benefits of $95 Million).

‘€¢ 2012/13 Payroll Range
Lower Limit = $43.9 Million
Midpoint = $51.9 Million
Upper Limit = $59.9 Million

‘€¢ Appropriate “Transition Rules” to allow Clubs to exceed Upper Limit for the 2012/13 season only (but in no event will Club’s Averaged Club Salary be permitted to exceed the pre-CBA Upper Limit of $70.2 Million).

5. Cap Accounting:

‘€¢ Payroll Lower Limit must be satisfied without performance bonuses.

‘€¢ All years of existing SPCs with terms in excess of five (5) years will be accounted for and charged against a team’s Cap (at full AAV) regardless of whether or where the Player is playing. In the event any such contract is traded during its term, the related Cap charge will travel with the Player, but only for the year(s) in which the Player remains active and is being paid under his NHL SPC. If, at some subsequent point in time the Player retires or ceases to play and/or receive pay under his NHL SPC, the Cap charge will automatically revert (at full AAV) to the Club that initially entered into the contract for the balance of its term.

‘€¢ Money paid to Players on NHL SPCs (one-ways and two-ways) in another professional league will not be counted against the Players’ Share, but all dollars paid in excess of $105,000 will be counted against the NHL Club’s Averaged Club Salary for the period during which such Player is being paid under his SPC while playing in another professional league.

‘€¢ In the context of Player Trades, participating Clubs will be permitted to allocate Cap charges and related salary payment obligations between them, subject to specified parameters. Specifically, Clubs may agree to retain, for each of the remaining years of the Player’s SPC, no more than the lesser of: (i) $3 million of a particular SPC’s Cap charge or (ii) 50 percent of the SPC’s AAV (“Retained Salary Transaction”). In any Retained Salary Transaction, salary obligations as between Clubs would be allocated on the same percentage basis as Cap charges are being allocated. So, for instance, if an assigning Club agrees to retain 30% of an SPC’s Cap charge over the balance of its term, it will also retain an obligation to reimburse the acquiring Club 30% of the Player’s contractual compensation in each of the remaining years of the contract. A Club may not have more than two (2) contracts as to which Cap charges have been allocated between Clubs in a Player Trade, and no more than $5 million in allocated Cap charges in the aggregate in any one season. (more…)

NHL owners make new proposal to NHLPA

Tuesday, October 16th, 2012

The NHL owners may have made a big move towards resolving the lockout, as the league submitted a new offer for a collective bargaining agreement that would call for a 50-50 split of hockey-related revenue and no salary rollbacks for current contracts.

Commissioner Gary Betman told reporters Tuesday that the league has given Donald Fehr and the NHLPA “about 10 days” to accept the offer. Should the deal be accepted, the NHL season would begin on Nov. 2 and every team would play an extra game every five weeks in order to play a full 82-game schedule.

Other unknown details of the offer may make the offer less appealing to the NHLPA than the news of a 50-50 split without rollbacks might suggest, but the news of the offer over one month since either side has submitted one should serve as encouraging news. Thus far, games have been cancelled through Oct. 24.

A few notes on what would have been opening night in the NHL

Thursday, October 11th, 2012

As you’ve probably noticed by now, the NHL isn’t exactly happening these days. The lockout is still going strong as recent negotiating sessions between the owners and NHL players association have focused on secondary issues rather than the biggest issue: money.

The league was set to begin its regular-season schedule Thursday, and the Bruins would have been in Philadelphia to kick off the season against the Flyers. Games through Oct. 24 were cancelled last week, and it wouldn’t surprise anyone if more games are cancelled soon.

Instead of watching hockey on Thursday, you can check out these notes and links:

- The great Greg Wyshynski has a tremendous column on Puck Daddy on what hockey fans are missing out on Thursday. Wyshynski writes of what Thursday would have been, including a chance for fans to see new line combinations and new players on new teams, amongst other things.

Speaking of which, there wouldn’t have been too many new faces for the Bruins were they to take the ice Thursday night in Philly, though it likely would have been Dougie Hamilton‘s NHL debut. Hamilton is back in the OHL season, where he has recorded three goals and four assists for seven points through eight games for Niagara. Once a new collective bargaining agreement is reached, Hamilton will be free to join the Bruins.

- While several players are currently playing overseas in Zdeno Chara, Patrice Bergeron, Tyler Seguin, David Krejci, Andrew Ference, Rich Peverley, Tuukka Rask and Anton Khudobin, there are plenty who aren’t.

Some Bruins have held informal practices in local rinks since the lockout and have been joined by local NHLers such as Keith Yandle. Shawn Thornton has been looking for work overseas but has yet to secure a deal, while Nathan Horton has chosen to not play hockey at all during the lockout. Brad Marchand is sticking around these parts for now, but his agent told WEEI.com Thursday that he will look at European options once it appears the NHL season is in jeopardy.

- Bergeron made his presence felt in his Swiss League debut on Tuesday, turning in a monster performance with two goals and two assists for four points. Bergeron played for Providence during the 2004-05 lockout. For a look at how other Bruins have fared overseas thus far, check out the latest edition of Bruins away from Boston.

- The longer the lockout drags on, the greater the chance that NHL players will injure themselves playing elsewhere. Thus far, the likes of Rick Nash, Jakub Voracek, Jiri Hudler and Kris Russell have been hurt playing overseas. Before signing with other teams, NHL players price insurance policies depending on their injury histories, with their European teams often footing the bill.

Brad Marchand staying in Boston for now, might consider Europe in future

Thursday, October 11th, 2012

On the day that would have seen the NHL begin its regular-season schedule, agent Wade Arnott said Bruins forward Brad Marchand will stay in the Boston area for the time being in hopes that a new collective bargaining agreement can be reched between the NHL and the NHLPA.

Arnott told WEEI.com Thursday that though Marchand is staying in North America for now, he could consider playing in Europe in the future if it appears the league will lose the entire season as it did in 2004-05.

Said Arnott: “If the season becomes in jeopardy then Brad may look more seriously at his European playing options.”

Marchand, 24, was second on the Bruins with 28 goals last season, his second in the NHL.

Bruins away from Boston roundup: Anthony Camara continues to impress

Monday, October 8th, 2012

Here’s the latest check on the Bruins’ stats as they play elsewhere during the lockout. Not everyone is in action quite just yet, as Patrice Bergeron (Switzerland) and Andrew Ference (Czech) have signed with their teams but have yet to play. Shawn Thornton is still looking for work, so keep an eye on that situation as it unfolds.

[Certain leagues' stats take a little longer to surface on the various hockey statistics sites (HockeyDB is used for most of these), so some statistics might not be up to the day/hour/minute/etc.]

Swiss National League A

- In four games for EHC Biel, Tyler Seguin has one goal and two assists for three points and and a minus-4 rating. For any college hockey fans out there, Seguin is teammates with former UNH forward Jacob Micflickier in Biel.

KHL

- Zdeno Chara has a KHL game under his belt after choosing to play for Prague Lev last week. Chara did not record any points and has an even rating.

- 2011 second-round pick Alexander Khokhlachev has struggled mightily with Moscow Spartak, and the 19-year-old could be leaving the KHL to return back to the OHL. The Windsor Spitfires, Khokhlachev’s OHL team, claimed the playmaking center on re-entry waivers last week to secure his rights in the event that he does return. In 14 KHL games, the Moscow native has one goal and a minus-5 rating. Khokhlachev only had OHL seasons under his belt before opting to play for Moscow Spartak, the team of which his father is the general manager.

- In seven games for Moscow Oblast Atlant, Bruins backup goalie Anton Khudobin has a 2.88 goals-against average and a .918 save percentage to go with his 2-3-2 record.

Czech Elite League

- After finally securing a deal in the Czech Elite League last week, David Krejci has one goal and an even rating through two games for HC Pardubice.

- Ference is in the Czech Republic and had his first practice for Ceske Budejovice HC on Monday morning.

Deutsche Eishockey League

- In two games for the Manheim Eagles, Dennis Seidenberg has not recorded any points and has an even rating game. Seidenberg chose the Eagles as his team for the lockout so he could play with his brother, forward Yannic Seidenberg.

SM-liiga

- Through three games for JyP HT Jyvaskyla of the SM-liiga, Bruins forward Rich Peverley has one assist and four penalty minutes.

OHL

- Tough guy Anthony Camara continues to dominate in his fourth OHL season after scoring a hat trick in the season-opener. Through seven games for the Barrie Colts this season, Camara has seven goals and three assists for 10 points and a plus-1 rating. The Bruins’ third-round pick in 2011 also has 15 penalty minutes this season. It should be worth noting that Camara’s career high for goals in the OHL is 16, a number he should far surpass this season. Camara’s scoring has steadily increased over his OHL career, as he went from six to eight to 16 in his first three seasons.

- In seven games for the Niagara IceDogs, Dougie Hamilton has three goals and four assists for seven points and a plus-7 rating. Hamilton also has four penalty minutes.

- 2012 first-round pick Malcolm Subban has a 2.18 goals-against average and .929 save percentage through five games for the Belleville Bulls. His record this season is 3-2.

NHL cancels regular-season games through Oct. 24

Thursday, October 4th, 2012

The NHL announced Thursday that it has cancelled regular-season games through Oct. 24. The regular season was set to kick off next week, but the lack of a collective bargaining agreement between the players and owners has led to the owners locking the players out.

The Bruins will miss six games due to the cancellations, including a pair of games against the Canadiens.

“We were extremely disappointed to have to make today’€™s announcement,” deputy commissioner Bill Daly said in a statement released by the league. “The game deserves better, the fans deserve better and the people who derive income from their connection to the NHL deserve better.

“We remain committed to doing everything in our power to forge an agreement that is fair to the players, fair to the teams and good for our fans.

‘€œThis is not about ‘€˜winning’€™ or ‘€˜losing’€™ a negotiation. This is about finding a solution that preserves the long-term health and stability of the League and the game. We are committed to getting this done.’€