Players: NHL owners' offer is more of the same


Players: NHL owners' offer is more of the same

The National Hockey League Players Association met with NHL owners and commissioner Gary Bettman on Wednesday in New York City, and the result was more of the same.

There's still no deal.

Both sides made proposals, with the players making theirs first. It was followed up with a counterproposal by the league. Needless to say, the players still aren't happy with what they league is coming back to them with.

According to a player who attended the early-afternoon meeting, the league's counterproposal isn't much different than its last one.

"Owners are going to say they changed a lot, but they did not, when you actually do the math," said the player.

"They like to shape it that they're giving us money. But all they're doing is slightly lessening how much they want to take."

Economic issues seem to be the only -- or at least the biggest -- barrier in the way of there being hockey this season. And the players, at least, feel like they're making the necessary concessions to make a deal.

"They came to us with problems, which we are trying to address," said a player involved in Wednesday's meeting. "And they just want a money grab in the form of escrow."

According to that player inside the meeting, the NHLPA made its proposal first. And once again, the players made more concessions that, according to the player, "significantly limit" their share growth over the next few years.

"We're willing to take less over the next few years to help the owners," said the player. "But they need to be willing to help each other as well."

With a Sept. 15 deadline looming, the player also re-iterated that that date doesn't mean much, other than the fact that Bettman has threatened a lockout.

"There's no reason that September 15 is important, other than the owners said they would lock us out," he said. "But not much changed from their side, so it gives us one less day to work."

The NHLPA will now have their own internal meetings in New York City the next two days, which will be "the most attended meeting so far," according to one player. The owners will also have their own internal meetings, on Thursday.

A player involved in Wednesday's meetings said he "doubts" the two sides will go back to the drawing board on Thursday, but also said that "talks are still open" and that both parties will "continually be in touch."

"We have to reassess after that, and see if the owners decide to start negotiating for real, to deal with their own issues," he said.

"We're still determined. We want to make sure that the league is healthier after this process. And we're just looking to get a fair deal."

Morning Skate: Habs' Pacioretty blames himself


Morning Skate: Habs' Pacioretty blames himself

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading, while watching the Montreal Canadiens crash and burn in the Atlantic Division.  

*Max Pacioretty is certainly falling on his sword up in Montreal calling himself “the worst one on the ice” as the Habs really struggle to get going this season.

*Brad Marchand was on the Twitter machine after Thursday night’s win and having some fun with what his video game controller probably looks like when he plays hockey.

*Pro Hockey Talk has the details of the Erik Gudbranson boarding hit on Frank Vatrano from last night that looks like it’s going to get the Vancouver D-man suspended.

*Oliver Ekman-Larsson is still adjusting to the changes that are taking place with the Arizona Coyotes as they struggle in the desert.

*The Maple Leafs are looking and acting like contenders early on up in Toronto, and that would be a very good thing for the NHL.

*For something completely different: The Backstreet Boys are going country? Now I’ve definitely seen it all.


Bruins defenseman Adam McQuaid’s leg is broken, will have surgery Monday

Bruins defenseman Adam McQuaid’s leg is broken, will have surgery Monday

BRIGHTON, Mass – Another serious injury has hit the Bruins in the first few weeks of the season.

Adam McQuaid’s right leg is broken, he'll have surgery Monday and he’ll miss some significant time after he blocked a shot that knocked him out of the Thursday night victory over the Vancouver Canucks. The rugged, stay-at-home defenseman took multiple pucks of in successive games off his leg in the past two games against the Golden Knights and the Canucks.


Bruins GM Don Sweeney, in a Bruins statement released after practice Friday, said McQuaid sustained a broken right fibula and is scheduled to have surgery on Monday at Mass. General Hospital. He is expected to miss approximately eight weeks.

It’s a tough blow for McQuaid, 31, after he was able to play 77 games last season before missing the playoffs with an injury and has consistently battled injuries in his career while playing a hard-nosed, fearless brand of hockey.

“Adam [McQuaid] is seeing the doctors as we speak, so there will be an announcement about him,” Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy said earlier Friday at practice. “With Bergie [Patrice Bergeron] it’s a maintenance day where we felt it would be better after 20 minutes of ice to let it rest, and the same with [David] Krejci. Miller is a maintenance day as well. He got whacked, but he should be fine as well. We’ll have a better idea in the morning, but we expect all of the [maintenance players] to play.”

Bergeron, David Krejci and Kevan Miller were all missing from practice on Friday morning at Warrior Ice Arena, but it was maintenance days for all as they’re expected to be back in the lineup on Saturday against the Buffalo Sabres. 

Tuukka Rask is out indefinitely while in the concussion protocol after his practice collision earlier this week, but the good news is that Bruins goaltender was up and around at the practice facility on Friday rather than at home convalescing in a dark room.

Here are the line combos and D-pairings for the Black and Gold with a few bodies missing from practice: