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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

Read the rest of this entry »

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

Read the rest of this entry »

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,
Looks like Marc Savard’s deal should stick 09.02.10 at 12:48 pm ET
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Marc Savard was popular enough this offseason before it came to light that his seven-year, $28.5 million deal was under investigation by the NHL. The subject of trade rumors throughout the summer, there has been plenty of uncertainty surrounding the Bruins’ center, but it appears at least some of the confusion may be resolved.

According to a report from Larry Brooks of the New York Post, the NHL has notified that the NHLPA that it will “grandfather” back-loaded contracts, including the most recent Ilya Kovalchuk proposal, under the condition that the cap hit is is calculated slightly differently for future deals. Currently, a player’s cap hit is determined by dividing total money by total years. This has led to some clever maneuvering by NHL teams, who have simply inked players to front-loaded contracts that have addition years tacked on at very little cost. This means the player gets the big money they want while the teams face a more manageable cap hit.

Count Savard among the group of players to sign such deals, as he makes more than half his deal’s money in the first two seasons of his contract. The NHL is proposing that from now on, cap hits do not factor in salaries of seasons in which the player is 40 years old. This prevents such contracts from getting out of hand, though it is worth noting that Savard, 33 and born in July, will be 39 when his deal expires.

The players union has until 5 p.m. Friday to accept the terms, according to the report.

Read More: Marc Savard,
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