Jacobs: 'I don't see, necessarily,' a 2020 NHL lockout


Jacobs: 'I don't see, necessarily,' a 2020 NHL lockout

BRIGHTON -- Here's a blog post for your NHL time capsule, to be opened in 2020.

Bruins owner Jeremy Jacobs said during Tuesday's media day at Warrior Ice Arena that he doesn't see a lockout coming between the NHL and the NHLPA in the near future, and those words certainly count for something since he's also the powerful Chairman of the NHL's Board of Governors.

The NHLPA can opt out of the current collective-bargaining agreement ahead of the 2020-21 season, and many of the signing bonuses being paid out in current contracts indicate the players, given the current climate, may go that route.

There is constant speculation that the NHL player participation in the Olympics, the high escrow payments shouldered by players, and the skyrocketing costs of second contracts for young star players might be big factors that will lead to another work stoppage. But Jacobs stated when asked that it doesn't make sense for anybody to have another work stoppage just seven years removed from missing a half-season in 2013, and that's encouraging at the very least.

"I think the 2020 lockout, I don't know if that is going to happen," said Jacobs, 77, who is entering the Hockey Hall of Fame in the "Builder" category a couple of months from now. "I think it's way too much in the future right now. I don't see, necessarily, a lockout. It will not be constructive to the game, and it won't be constructive to the players, and definitely not constructive to us here at the Bruins."

All that being said, it's the NHLPA that holds the cards ahead of a possible 2020 work stoppage, and the players are as unified as they've ever been under NHLPA executive director Donald Fehr. They have clear goals in mind during the next CBA go-around. Owners shouldn't underestimate the hard feelings the players have over the decision to skip the 2018 Winter Olympics in South Korea, and the unflinching way both sides now approach these work stoppages since they believe the NHL will eventually recover from them. 

'I definitely wasn't mad at our team,' Rask says of Vegas postgame comments


'I definitely wasn't mad at our team,' Rask says of Vegas postgame comments

BRIGHTON, Mass – Bruins goaltender Tuukka Rask was acting a bit out of character after the Sunday night loss to the Vegas Golden Knights when he said he wouldn’t be commenting on team performance outside of his own goaltending. 

Clearly, it was a tense atmosphere in the Bruins dressing room following an extremely bad road performance and it would seem very likely there’s probably been some friction in the past between Rask and positional players over his postgame candor.


That was the backdrop for Rask keeping it laconic, and saying on Sunday night: “I just try to go out there and give us a chance to win every night. That’s what I’m focused on. I’m not going to comment anymore on team play that much. We can just talk about goaltending. That’s just the way it is. Sorry.”

It would seem that some fans and Bruins observers took that to mean Rask was pissed off at his Bruins teammates after a few breakdowns defensively, and a total non-performance at the offensive end of the ice.

Taking all that into account, Rask clarified his comments a bit after practice Tuesday at Warrior Ice Arena and said it’s all about focusing on his own performance rather than taking issues with any of his teammates.

“You lose games and you’re not happy with your performance. Somebody just told me that I guess it got spun the wrong way that it was me mad at my teammates or something. That’s definitely not the case,” said Rask, whom at 1-3-0 with a 3.30 goals-against average and .880 save percentage this season, is clearly in need of some improvement as well.

“You lose games and you definitely hold yourself accountable and you want to talk about your performance and what you need to do to get better," Rask said. "So, that’s where I was coming from. I definitely wasn’t mad at our team. I was more mad at myself, so that’s that.

“You always try to give a fair assessment about the game, but I think the biggest thing that I need to worry about, and what everybody else needs to worry about, is how they get better themselves. You start from that, so that’s where I was coming from.”

The prospect of getting Patrice Bergeron and David Backes back healthy would go a long way toward improving the Bruins play on the ice and stabilizing things defensively for Rask and the rest of the Black and Gold. That’s really what’s needed at this point to improve a situation where the B’s are 23rd in the NHL, averaging 3.6 goals allowed per game, and real, rather than figurative, fingers might start getting pointed all around if it doesn’t start looking better in short order.  

Morning Skate: Shawn Thornton brightening hospitalized kids' days


Morning Skate: Shawn Thornton brightening hospitalized kids' days

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading while back in the good, ol' Eastern Time Zone.
*Really nice piece from Shawn Thornton in the Players' Tribune about the inspiration provided by his “Nanny” and how he’s come to truly love the community service and hospital visits while involved with professional hockey. He’s always been one of those athletes that just stops by children’s hospitals for a visit without needing the attention for it, and that is a credit to his great generosity and empathy for those brave kids.

 *You want a Stanley Cup made out of bottle caps? Well, the world will certainly provide a Stanley Cup made out of bottle caps.

*Defenseman Connor Murphy hasn’t been the player that the Chicago Blackhawks expected him to be since arriving in the Windy City.
*The Colorado Avalanche are adding a fancy stats and video man to their management group as they seek to keep improving the NHL product.
*FOH (Friend of Haggs) Eddie Olczyk is returning to the NBC broadcast booth as his health will allow as he continues to battle cancer. Good to see you back, Edzo!

 *Erik Karlsson is finally set to debut for the Ottawa Senators after offseason foot surgery, and it will be a case of the strong getting stronger for a Sens team off to a pretty decent start.

 *For something completely different: Just in time for Halloween, Jennifer Tilly releases all of the behind-the-scenes secrets of working with Chucky.