Offers exchanged as owners, players continue CBA discussion


Offers exchanged as owners, players continue CBA discussion

The NHL and NHLPA might not get a CBA done on Wednesday, but theres no denying that cautious optimism abounds.
Phrases like cautiously optimistic and wait and see attitude best described NHL players contacted by as they wait on the sidelines with close to 20 NHL players and a group of six owners hammering out a possible deal at the Westin Hotel in New York City.
All of this has taken place with NHL commissioner Gary Bettman and NHLPA Executive Director Donald Fehr removed from the negotiating process, but Bettman did issue a few quick words of enthusiasm about the current process.
Bettman said he was pleased with the process that is ongoing, and that out of respect for the process he had no further comment on negotiations between owners and players.
In other words, silence is golden while the owners and players hash out the concepts, and let the lawyers draw up the fine details.
According to multiple reports out of NYC, the players submitted a written offer of sorts to the group of owners that has continued discussion between the two parties in meetings that lasted into the evening on Wednesday. Its expected that the league is seeking a long term CBA somewhere in the range of a 10-year deal, but certainly wants more than the five that the NHLPA had most recently proposed.
Its expected the two sides are working to find common ground on the make whole provision and player contract rights, but a source indicated to that both sides are still haggling over term limits on player contracts. The NHL wants to cap all contracts at five years, and the NHLPA has stood firmly against limitations for long term deals currently enjoyed by franchise players like Sidney Crosby and Alex Ovechkin.
So as the two sides haggle over the small details and fine print, lets think about the potential finished product.
Its widely believed the NHL wants to produce a finished CBA on Friday with training camps set to start a few days later. That would allow the NHL to produce a 56-60 game schedule starting onaround Dec. 20 with a full round of Stanley Cup playoffs sure to soothe the savage, bitter hockey fan. Some NHL coaches and GMs were even overzealously contacting players in Europe and telling them to come home, according to Nick Kypreos, but that would seem to be a little premature at this point in time.
The two sides continue to exchange ideas, speak in separate groups and then return for more discussions as it appears, finally, that everybody involved isnt going to stop until they have a completed CBA.

Morning Skate: Predators kicking it into gear


Morning Skate: Predators kicking it into gear

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading while anticpating the turkey leftovers, ready for the taking.
-- NHL referee Wes McCauley is at it again, this time going with a fun no-goal call after having some trouble with his microphone.
-- After getting humbled on Opening Night by the Bruins, the Nashville Predators are starting to get on a roll.

-- NBC Pro Hockey Talk has Kyle Turris excelling for the Predators, and Matt Duchene very much still stuck in neutral for the Ottawa Senators.

-- NHL stars go through their favorite traditions, and what they enjoy is a game that’s full of routine, superstition and tradition.
-- FOH (Friend of Haggs) Ray Ferraro says “it looks rotten” with the Edmonton Oilers as they continue to struggle out of the starting gate.
-- Larry Brooks goes through an all-time ranking of the general managers for the New York Rangers, and it’s an illustrious list.

-- The Vegas Golden Knights could make the playoffs in their very first season, and are absolutely far ahead of expectations for a new expansion team.
-- For something completely different: Wild turkeys are making a major comeback in Massachusetts after being all but extinct here.

Belichick says there are more former Patriots throughout rest of NFL than other teams


Belichick says there are more former Patriots throughout rest of NFL than other teams

FOXBORO -- The Patriots will see some familiar faces Sunday when they play the Dolphins and former New England interior lineman Ted Larsen. 

Then again, a suddenly interesting Bill Belichick noted Friday, the Patriots are used to seeing their players of seasons past end up elsewhere. In his estimation, the Patriots see their former players stay in the league moreso than most other organizations. 

“There’s 70-something guys in the league like that that have been here and are playing for somebody else, or whatever the number is,” Belichick said when asked about facing Larsen. “It’s a lot. Seventy to 90, somewhere in there, depending on how you want to count the practice-squad players and today’s waiver wire vs. yesterday’s waiver wire. There’s a lot of guys out there. It’s one of the highest numbers in the league.”

Asked to clarify, Belichick responded, “I think we have more [former] players that are playing on other teams than other teams [do], or one of them. I don’t know if we’re the highest. We’re one of the highest; I can tell you that. We’re up there pretty high, but it depends on how you want to count them: starters, roster players, IR, practice squad. You can run the list that you run and count them up how you want to count them up, but we’d be up there pretty high.”

Belichick loosely estimated that there might be an average of three former Pats per team in the NFL. Of course, the actual number varies from team to team, with the Colts’ roster essentially looking like a Patriots museum. 
Interestingly enough, the question of the total number was explored this offseason by Pats Pulpit, who determined in May that there were 91 former Patriots on other rosters.