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How the new CBA impacts the Bruins 01.06.13 at 12:17 pm ET
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Three of the biggest issues in the weeks before the NHL and players agreed to a new collective bargaining agreement were the salary cap for the 2013-14 season, the issue of compliance buyouts and the maximum length of contracts. With all three being resolved in a season-saving CBA, here’s a quick look at what came about and how it affects the Bruins’ roster.

$64.3 million salary cap in 2013-14: The league was pushing hard for a $60 million cap, which would have forced the Bruins to deal away a player or three. As is, the Bruins have $57.3 million committed against the cap in the 2013-14 season, and that does not include any goalies. That would mean the B’s would have had to shed some cap space in order to sign Tuukka Rask, but the $64.3 million cap to which the league and players agreed will allow the Bruins enough space to sign Rask without having to do anything too drastic. Depending on what Rask commands, the team might have to make a tough decision or two, but it could have been much worse. $4.3 million worse, to be exact.

Rask is playing this season on a one-year, $3.5 million deal, a choice he made as a restricted free agent with the hope that putting together a strong full season as the team’s starting goalie would allow him to be better compensated. The shortened season already derailed those plans, but Rask could certainly boost his value with a big campaign for the B’s.

Two compliance buyouts: This likely will not impact the Bruins. Teams can buy out up to two players prior to the 2013-14 season without it going against their salary cap, but the Bruins honestly don’t have any bad contracts. Sure, Johnny Boychuk‘s deal raised eyebrows at the time for its $3.36 million cap hit, but it’s a sign that the B’s have spent wisely if that is their worst contract. Marc Savard (who will have four years left on his deal prior to the 2013-14 season with an annual $4.007 million cap hit) is not a candidate because teams cannot buy out injured players.

You want to talk about teams that will eat up these compliance buyouts? Start with the Canadiens. They should jump at the chance to shed Scott Gomez ($7.35 million cap hit) and Tomas Kaberle ($4.25 million).

Maximum contract length of seven years (eight for teams retaining their players): Well, it looks like the Bruins technically weren’t guilty of sneaky pre-CBA CBA circumvention (that’s an ugly sentence). The six-year, $34.5 million deal given to Tyler Seguin was the longest of three big deals they gave out before the lockout. Also inked to extensions prior to the expiration of the last CBA were Brad Marchand ($18 million over four years) and Milan Lucic ($18 million over three years).

Not that the Bruins were likely to do so, but this does mean that the Bruins won’t be able to give out a marathon of a contract like goalies such as Roberto Luongo (12 years) Jonathan Quick (10), Ilya Bryzgalov (nine) and yes, Rick DiPietro (15) have received over recent years.

Read More: Tuukka Rask,
Andrew Ference ‘deeply sorry that we had to miss so much hockey’ 01.06.13 at 9:19 am ET
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Between his humor and smarts, Andrew Ference is one of the more interesting professional athletes to follow on Twitter. Given that, it should come as no surprise that the Bruins defenseman, who was on hand for this weekend’s negotiations, celebrated the end of the lockout with both humor and a sincere apology for leaving so many without hockey.

Ference, an environmentalist who offsets his travel throughout the season’s impact by purchasing carbon credits, kicked things off with a simple thumbs up and later tweeted a picture of the assembled media in New York with a “Game on” caption before adding the following:

On a more serious note, the veteran blueliner expressed remorse over the 113-day lockout.

Read More: Andrew Ference,
NHL, players agree tentatively to new CBA 01.06.13 at 6:46 am ET
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Mediator Scot Beckenbaugh should be every hockey fan’s favorite player this year, as Saturday’s talks between the NHL and NHLPA finally yielded a new collective bargaining agreement early Sunday morning, ending the league’s lockout.

“We have reached an agreement on the framework of a new collective bargaining agreement,” commissioner Gary Bettman told reporters early Sunday morning. “I want to thank [NHLPA executive director] Don Fehr. We still have more work to do, but it’s good to be at this point.”

The deal was struck after both sides some final moves off their previous stances. The owners moved on the maximum length of contracts and the 2013-14 salary cap, while the players moved from their stance on the length of the CBA to meet the owners.

According to TSN, the details of the new CBA include a 10 year length with an opt-out clause that begins after eight years, contracts no longer than seven years (or eight for a team signing its own player) and a $64.3 million salary cap for the 2013-14 season. Also included in the new CBA is a revamped draft lottery, as all non-playoff teams have at least a chance at the first overall pick. Previously, the most teams could move up was four spots.

TSN reports that the league has both 48-game and 50-game schedules drawn up that will be played depending on when the new CBA is finalized.

Give and take continues as NHLPA doesn’t disclaim interest 01.03.13 at 11:49 am ET
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The NHL Players’ Association did not file a disclaimer of interest Wednesday night, which was its self-imposed deadline to do so. Had they disclaimed interest, the players would no longer be represented by the union and would be able to file individual lawsuits against the owners deeming the lockout illegal.

The union still has the option to do so, but the sides met late into the night — past midnight, which was the deadline — on Wednesday and early Thursday as progress continued to be made toward a new collective bargaining agreement. According to Sporstnet’s Michael Grange, the NHL has moved on their stance regarding compliance buyouts, as owners have agreed for each team to have two prior to the 2013-14 season. Last Thursday’s proposal was the first to include compliance buyouts at all on the owners’ side.

Among the remaining issues is the salary cap for the 2013-14 season, as the league wants it to be set at $60 million, while the players want it to be $65 million.

NHL Power Rankings: Remembering which teams are good 01.02.13 at 11:59 am ET
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With hockey back, we present WEEI.com’s Power Rankings …
1. Rangers — They were two wins away from the Stanley Cup finals before they added Rick Nash, and it wasn’€™t like they were offensively starved anyway (11th in the league in goals last season). Then there’€™s the defense and that Henrik Lundqvist guy.

2. PenguinsMarc-Andre Fleury had some disappointing performances as Pitttsburgh was eliminated by the Flyers in the first round, but with Evgeni Malkin coming off a Hart-winning season and Sidney Crosby hopefully healthy the whole way, the Penguins should be able to challenge the Rangers for the top spot in the Atlantic Division.

3. Bruins — They won’€™t be able to learn whether Tuukka Rask can be the No. 1 guy for a full season because of the whole ‘€œfull season’€ thing. Will he top his 39 starts from three seasons ago? Probably not.

4. Kings — Offense is the question, but it’€™s hard to nitpick when it comes to the defending Cup champions. Jonathan Quick won the Conn Smythe, but he also should have gotten more consideration for the Hart trophy after starting 69 games in the regular season.

5. Canucks — Local product Cory Schneider is the No. 1 guy after getting a new deal with an average annual value of $4 million, but there’€™s another goalie with a bigger contract for whom the Canucks need to find a taker.

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NHL makes new offer, wants to get back on ice ‘as soon as possible’ 12.28.12 at 12:54 pm ET
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According to ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun, the NHL has made a new proposal to the NHL players’ association as the sides try to find common ground on a collective bargaining agreement.

LeBrun writes that the owners have moved to six years for the term limits on contracts after previously stating that they would not go further than five years. Additionally, the league’s “make whole” provision (money to offset lost hockey-related revenue for players) remains at $300 million whilee allowing each team one compliance buyout before the 2013-14 season.

“In light of media reports this morning, I can confirm that we delivered to the Union a new, comprehensive proposal for a successor CBA late yesterday afternoon,” NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly said in a statement Friday. “We are not prepared to discuss the details of our proposal at this time. We are hopeful that once the Union’s staff and negotiating committee have had an opportunity to thoroughly review and consider our new proposal, they will share it with the players. We want to be back on the ice as soon as possible.”

NHL cancels games through Jan. 14 12.20.12 at 4:16 pm ET
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It appears the blinking contest between the NHL and NHLPA will soon end one way or another, as the league announced Thursday that it has cancelled games through Jan. 14.

Previously, games had been cancelled through Dec. 30 due to the lack of a collective bargaining agreement, and with the schedule now erased through mid-January, it is likely that the league would not be able to make further cancellations without losing the entire season. A total of 625 games have been cancelled thus far.

On paper, it would appear the sides are way too close for them to cancel yet another season. Under the owners’ latest proposal, the financial particulars have essentially been agreed upon, but differences remain regarding the length of the CBA and the length of player contracts. Players are currently in the voting process to file a disclaimer of interest, which would allow the union to disband and facilitate individual lawsuits against the players against owners.

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