NHLPA reacts to 'secret' talk with general managers, owners


NHLPA reacts to 'secret' talk with general managers, owners

The NHL and NHLPA would appear to have the beginning framework for a deal in place that would save the full NHL regular season.

But appearances can sometimes be deceiving, and the actions from both parties are keeping them distant and silently unbending. The latest development was unearthed this week when NHLPA lead counsel Steve Fehr revealed that the NHL reached out to its players, and gave them a 48-hour amnesty window over the weekend to discuss the leagues latest offer with owners and GMs. Normally NHL owners and GMs have been barred from speaking with players during the lockout, and the owners have essentially been bound by a gag order not to discuss the lockout with the media.

The league reached out to the players without informing NHLPA execs that they were performing an end-around on the entire collective bargaining process. There was no rule in place stating they couldnt attempt to communicate with the locked out players, but it still begs the question of whether each side is practicing good faith in the bargaining sessions.

In other words: Thats pretty sneak, sis.

"Most owners are not allowed to attend bargaining meetings," NHLPA Special Counsel Steve Fehr said in a statement. "No owners are allowed to speak to the media about the bargaining. It is interesting that they are secretly unleashed to talk to the players about the meetings the players can attend, but the owners cannot."

Meanwhile no formal negotiation meetings have been set up for this week with Thursday as the NHL-mandated deadline for an agreement that would allow an 82-game regular season to begin on Nov. 2. So both sides engage in a PR battle to break the other side rather than actually hammering out an agreement when theyre now just a few hundred million dollars apart a small amount in the grand scheme of things for a league that raked in 3.3 billion in revenue last season.

The 48-hour discussion window with NHL GMs and owners was first brought to the attention of in a report by RDS's Renaud Lavoie.

Pastrnak on B's loss: "We kind of stopped playing"


Pastrnak on B's loss: "We kind of stopped playing"

BOSTON – At the end of the day, it was simply a game where the Bruins allowed themselves to get outworked in the third period and overtime. 

The B’s held a three-goal lead in the second period and still enjoyed a two-goal lead in the third period, but eventually dropped a frustrating, futile 5-4 overtime loss to the Buffalo Sabres at TD Garden on Saturday night. It was clear to most speaking after the game that the Bruins eased up on the gas pedal once they’d scored their fourth goal of the game in the second period, and simply watched as the Sabres stomped all over them in the game’s second half. 

“I think we might have been a little bit too scared to play [in the third period], you know? We tried to just flip the pucks away, and didn’t make any plays trying to get it in the zone. Instead we should have just kept going like we did in the first two periods,” said David Pastrnak, who scored a pair of goals early in the loss to allow the Bruins to build up the three-goal lead. “Obviously we’re disappointed. We got one point. I think we didn’t play our game in the third period. We kind of stopped playing and they were all over us, and you know, it’s on us. We were the ones that gave them their point, but the first two periods were good. It’s just another learning session.”

To Pastrnak’s point, the Bruins were outshot by a 15-6 margin in the final 20 minutes of regulation and 21-6 overall in the third period and overtime prior to Ryan O’Reilly’s game-winner during 3-on-3 play. It was at this point the Bruins certainly missed stalwart stay-at-home defensemen Adam McQuaid and Kevan Miller in the D-zone, and fell short of qualified penalty killers while trying to burn off a Brandon Carlo interference call at the end of the third period. 

All of that caught up to them once the Bruins loosened their grip on the Sabres, but certainly the feeling is that the loss should’ve been avoidable even if some of the circumstances made it difficult for the Black and Gold. It also should have been avoidable against a Sabres hockey club that was dreadful last season, and is again one of the doormats in the Atlantic Division in the early going thus far. 

“Those are the games you can’t lose. We obviously didn’t do the job there in the third and close it out, but we’re going to have to regroup and work on our game and be better for the next one,” said Brad Marchand. “We didn’t play the game we needed to play. We relaxed a bit and we started losing a few battles in the wrong areas, and you know, they just played better than we did.”

It’s mystifying that any team would need a crash-and-born loss like Saturday night in order to learn any lessons moving forward, and it certainly might have been a different story for the Bruins if they weren’t missing a few big defensive pieces. But that’s not how it went down for the Black and Gold as they sagged under rising pressure from the Sabres, and simply stopped working when the chips were on the table late in Saturday night’s game.