Big Bad Blog AT&T
WEEI.com Blog Network
What the NHL CBA situation means for junior-eligible players 08.20.12 at 2:22 pm ET
By   |  Comments Off on What the NHL CBA situation means for junior-eligible players

Here’s a minor detail that should get some more attention if the league and NHLPA don’t agree on a new CBA by Sept. 15: What happens to the younger players with junior eligibility?

The current agreement between the NHL and CHL states that players under the age of 20 that don’t make the NHL after the first nine games of the season have to be returned to their junior clubs (in the OHL, QMJHL and WHL) for the rest of the season. Those players are not eligible to play in the AHL.

Once a player goes to their junior league for the season, they can’t go the NHL in that season. This raises questions over what would happen if the NHL season started late.

Because the 2004-05 season was cancelled entirely and the following season started on time, there was no precedent set during the last lockout for NHL-ready players starting the season with their junior clubs and then going to the NHL when the season started. There isn’t a rule in place to cover such a scenario, so an amendment to the NHL and CHL’s transfer agreement — which recently expired, making this all the more confusing — would be required.

Per a league source, teams are still waiting to be advised on which players will be allowed to play in the AHL should there be a lockout. The source assumed that the potential amendment of CHL/NHL eligibility would also be discussed at that time.

In the 2004-05 season, all NHL players (meaning players who had played in the NHL, not NHL-ready prospects) under the age of 22 were allowed to play in the AHL. Patrice Bergeron — who had played the previous season in Boston — was among them, and in this case a player like Tyler Seguin would be allowed to play in the AHL since he is 20 years old.

The question for the Bruins, as touched upon in Sunday’s column, is what would happen with 19-year-old Dougie Hamilton. He’s expected to make the Bruins out of training camp this season, but if he starts the season in the OHL with the Niagara IceDogs, the NHL and CHL would need to amend the transfer agreement to allow players in his situation to go to the NHL. It would be hard to imagine the CHL drawing a hard line and not allowing players to leave, as their relationship with the NHL has prevented them from losing young stars (such as a Hamilton last year) to the AHL during normal seasons.

Read More: Dougie Hamilton, Patrice Bergeron, Tyler Seguin,
Tyler Seguin escapes injury scare during Lowell Spinners speed-dating promotion 08.16.12 at 12:19 pm ET
By   |  1 Comment

Tyler Seguin barely survived his speed dating promotion at Wednesday night’s Lowell Spinner’s game, as a foul ball nearly hit the Bruins star in the back of the head during one of his “dates.”

Fortunately for Seguin, he was saved by Spinners vice president Dan Beaulieu, who used his cell-phone to protect the young winger. The phone was completely destroyed. Check out the video below, which shows the ball coming for Seguin and Beaulieu raising his phone to block the ball.

Read More: Tyler Seguin,
NHLPA makes counteroffer to league 08.14.12 at 4:15 pm ET
By   |  1 Comment

Exactly a month after the league made it’s first proposal in negotiations for a new collective bargaining agreement, the NHL Players’ Association finally submitted its counteroffer.

While commissioner Gary Bettman did not disclose the details of the NHLPA’s proposal, he did say that it was apparent that the players and NHLPA executive director Donald Fehr had used the last month well.

“It’s clear to me (the NHLPA) didn’t put (the proposal) together in an hour or two,” Bettman told reporters.

According to reports, the counterproposal does include a willingness on the players’ part to get a smaller piece of the pie when it comes to hockey-related revenues. The league’s first proposal called for the players to give back 11 percent, which was perceived nationally as being unrealistic.

Thus far that’s the biggest detail to emerge regarding the counterproposal, and it seems that Fehr and the players are trying to come off as the more reasonable ones early on. The league’s first proposal also asked for a five-year limit on contracts and the end of salary arbitration, among other things.

The league’s current CBA will expire on Sept. 15. If a new CBA isn’t reached by then, there will almost surely be another lockout.

Read More: Donald Fehr, Gary Bettman,
Ugly CBA negotiations? The NHL? Get out of town 08.10.12 at 4:40 pm ET
By   |  2 Comments

Negotiations for new collective bargaining agreements tend to get messy, and NHL CBA negotiations (at least recently), tend to result in lockouts. Unfortunately, the news is that there haven’t been any surprises thus far.

Earlier this week, NHL Players’ Association head Donald Fehr said that a counterproposal to the league’s first offer was forthcoming, with it later being determined that folks can expect it to be delivered next Tuesday. The counterproposal is highly anticipated, as the league’s first offer was shocking — it called for an 11-percent giveback of hockey-related revenue on the players’ part, the end of arbitration, and a five-year limit on contracts, among other stipulations. When the NHLPA asked for more financial particulars before countering, the league buried them with some 76,000 pages of documents from the various teams.

Games technically could have been played if a new agreement wasn’t reached by Sept. 15, the expiration of the current CBA, but on Thursday commissioner Gary Bettman crushed the dreams of any fans hoping for that.

“We reiterated to the union that the owners will not play another year under the current agreement,” Bettman told reporters Thursday. “I re-confirmed something that the union has been told multiple times over the last nine to 12 months. Namely, that the time is getting short and the owners are not prepared to operate under this collective bargaining agreement for another season so we need to get to making a deal and doing it soon. And we believe there’s ample time for the parties to get together and make a deal and that’s what we’re going to be working towards.”

The players didn’t exactly dig any of that chatter. Here’s Henrik Lundqvist‘s reaction, via twitter:

“The @NHL says they won’€™t play past Sept 15th under current deal. Apparently they don’€™t like the deal they designed. #CBA #nhlpa2012″

And Brandon Prust‘s:

“Disappointed the League is talking about a lockout before we even give our @NHLPA counterproposal”

The bottom line is that nothing — neither Bettman’s comments or players’ reactions — should be surprising. No CBA by Sept. 15 equals a lockout . The only thing learned thus far is that this will get messy. Unfortunately with the NHL, everyone should have already known that.

Read More: Brandon Prust, Donald Fehr, Gary Bettman, Henrik Lundqvist
Malcolm Subban, Dougie Hamilton lead Canadian Junior team past Russia 08.09.12 at 4:57 pm ET
By   |  Comments Off on Malcolm Subban, Dougie Hamilton lead Canadian Junior team past Russia

A pair of Bruins prospects stole the show in the first game of the four-game Canada-Russian challenge Thursday as Canada beat Russia, 3-2, in Yaroslavl.

Malcolm Subban, Boston’s first-round pick (24th overall) in June’s draft, was named Canada’s player of the game as he stopped 19 of 21 shots, 11 of which came in the third period. One of the two goals he yielded was to Nail Yakupov, the first overall pick by the Oilers.

Subban wasn’t the only Boston prospect to come up big for Canada, as defenseman Dougie Hamilton scored an unassisted power play goal in the second period that proved to be the game-winner. The two countries will play again Friday before the series concludes with a pair of games Monday and Tuesday in Halifax.

There was a moment of silence prior to the game to remember the members of KHL team Lokomotiv Yaroslavl who lost their lives in last year’s plane crash. Among the victims were former NHLers Ruslan Salei, Kārlis SkrastiņÅ¡, Pavol Demitra and Igor Korolev.

Read More: Dougie Hamilton, Malcolm Subban,
NHLPA reportedly close to making counterproposal 08.07.12 at 2:41 pm ET
By   |  Comments Off on NHLPA reportedly close to making counterproposal

According to Chris Johnson of the Canadian Press, NHL Players Association executive director Donald Fehr is close to making a counteroffer to the league nearly one month after the league made its initial proposal.

Eyebrows were raised last month when the league’s first offer asked for an 11-percent giveback on hockey-related revenue and a five-year limit on contracts, among other things, though the fact that it was the first proposal suggests the league was hardly adamant regarding its stipulations.

Since then, Fehr has requested further information from the league and was given around 76,000 pages of audited financial statements. The two sides will continue to meet this week in New York, and the NHLPA’s counteroffer will go a long way in telling just how far apart the two sides are and whether a lockout could be likely.

“I think that there’s certainly a possibility ‘€” a reasonable one ‘€” that we’ll be in a position to make some further response,” Fehr told the Canadian Press. “Whether we’ll be in a position to make an alternative proposal yet I don’t know.”

The current CBA is expected to expire on Sept. 15, and though the league could technically continue to play games without a new CBA, fans shouldn’t bank on such a scenario coming to fruition. The league’s last CBA negotiation will live in infamy, as it led to a lockout that resulted in the cancellation of the 2004-05 season.

Read More: Donald Fehr,
Daniel Paille reiterates confidence in CBA negotiations 08.06.12 at 4:10 pm ET
By   |  Comments Off on Daniel Paille reiterates confidence in CBA negotiations

MIDDLETON — Bruins forward Daniel Paille, who is the team’s player representative for the NHL Players’ Association, said Monday that while the league and NHLPA haven’t come to terms on a new collective bargaining agreement, he’s confident the season will start on time.

The league made its initial proposal last month, but the NHLPA has yet to make a counteroffer. The current CBA is set to expire on Sept. 15, and Paille said he won’t worry about losing games until it expires.

“After Sept. 15, we’ll see what happens,” Paille said. “Until then, I don’t think there’s any reason to panic. I think for us, it’s definitely a line of communication. I think it’s a positive for us to keep that going.”

Read More: Daniel Paille,

Latest from Bleacher Report

Bruins Headlines
NHL Headlines