Hartnell among players who refuse to back down


Hartnell among players who refuse to back down

Even though NHL owners' initial CBA proposals expressed a desire for drastic changes around the league, players seemed calm and content.

Vancouver goaltender Cory Schneider is among players highly involved in the negotiating process, and came out in July saying there would have to be a lot of give and take between both sides, and there was no reason to panic yet. There was still plenty of time.

But now, players are just not happy.

CSNPhilly's Tim Panaccio recently sat down with Flyers representative Scott Hartnell, who has been present for all six sessions of discussions with Donald Fehr and the rest of the NHLPA. Needless to say, he's not thrilled with what the owners have asked for so far.

"To use Gary Bettman's own words, it's a systemic issue," Hartnell told Panaccio. "He doesn't want to look at the rich teams or the teams that are losing money. He wants to look at them all together which is a total 180 from what it was seven years ago.

"It's a little frustrating that way, but that's their position and you take it as it is. You have to believe they are 100 percent certain of getting everything from us.

"It's up to us to see if it's feasible or not. But you look at the rollback and percentage they want and it's more concessions than we gave up last time around."

And that last time around resulted in the lockout of the 2004-05 season, where the owners did get the majority of what they wanted. Since the initial NHLPA meetings in Chicago, Donald Fehr made it clear that the players were not going to bow down to the owners and agree to their terms like they had in the past.

As Schneider shared, it's a "give and take" process, and last time around, the players did the giving. Now they want to see some changes and respect from the owners to meet them half way.

"What it all comes down to is, they owners want a bigger piece of the pie. Seven years ago they wanted cost certainty, they wanted parity in the league and locked us out to get it and got everything they wanted," Hartnell explained.

We're now just a few short weeks away from the Sept. 15 deadline, and the NHLPA still has yet to present a countoffer the the owners. Players know there will be some back and forth with the owners throughout the process, and they sure aren't going down without a fight.

As of now, Fehr has said he has no problem beginning the season on time even if a new CBA is not yet in place as long as both sides agree to continue working on a resolution. However we do not yet know how the owners feel about the subject and whether they would want to wait until both sides have reached an agreement.

As this week's negotiations continue in New York, Blackhawks defenseman Steve Montador continues participating in the meetings alongside Rick DiPietro, Ron Hainsey, George Parros and JT Wyman.

Three Things to Watch: Bulls-76ers

NBC Sports Chicago

Three Things to Watch: Bulls-76ers

The Bulls square off against the Sixers tonight on NBC Sports Chicago, with coverage beginning at 6:30 with Bulls Pregame Live. Here are three things to watch as the Bulls begin the stretch run of their regular season.

1. The new rotation: Most of the Bulls’ rotation looks the same, but the addition of David Nwaba, Cristiano Felicio and Cameron Payne will have a different feel. The Bulls clearly want to get a look at these guys before the end of the regular season, meaning they’re not just going to get sporadic minutes. They’ll have to play through their mistakes, play out-matched at times and be put in uncomfortable situations. But the Bulls need to see what they have, especially in Payne, who has missed the entire season to this point with a broken foot.

2. Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons: They’re quite the 1-2 punch and have the Sixers looking at their first playoff appearance since Derrick Rose hadn’t yet torn an ACL. Yeah, that’s a long time. Embiid just finished his first All-Star appearance (starting in his second year) and Simmons is the front runner for Rookie of the Year. The Bulls will have their hands full with these two. Luckily…

3. Kris Dunn is back: The Bulls wanted to get Dunn some run before heading to All-Star Weekend to play in the Rising Stars Challenge, and he looked healthy in that thumping against the Raptors last week. The good news is John Paxson says Dunn won’t be on a minutes limit, which means he’s healthy. That, of course, is more important than how he’s playing. It’ll be fun to see him, LaVine and Markkanen play together down the stretch. Their numbers together aren’t great, but the Bulls are 2-2 with all three in the lineup, and tanking or not…it’s more fun to watch when those three are rolling. 

Blackhawks edge out Senators in shootout: 'It was really nice to get a win'


Blackhawks edge out Senators in shootout: 'It was really nice to get a win'

It was a rare sight to see the Blackhawks in a shootout on Wednesday night.

It was just the second time this season — and first time at the United Center — that the Blackhawks made it past 3-on-3 overtime. 

The last came on Dec. 2, 2017, a 3-2 shootout loss to the Stars in Dallas. On Wednesday night, the Blackhawks were on the other end, beating the Ottawa Senators 3-2 in a seven-round shootout. Nick Schmaltz netted the game-winner.

"We'll take it," coach Joel Quenneville said. "I thought we had a decent game tonight. Overtime not so good, I liked the shootout victory, Fors made some big saves for us particularly as the game got deeper. Our third was OK, I thought our first two were way better, and overtime we gave up some high quality, some bells were rings for a bit there. But it was nice to see the shootout win."

Patrick Kane had a goal and an assist, recording another multi-point game, his 16th of the season.

"I mean we need every point we can get at this point," Kane said. "There's still belief in this locker room. Obviously we need to go on quite a run and have a big record here down the stretch. But take it a game at a time and nice to get two points."

Anton Forsberg was a big reason the Blackhawks even recorded those two points. The 25-year-old netminder stopped 34 of 36 shots and made a handful of big saves down the stretch.

"It was really nice to get a win for sure," Forsberg said. "I would love to have a lot more wins, but right now just gotta look forward and get as many wins as possible."

Added Quenneville: "I think it was good for him to win a game the way he did. Lot of shots were on the line, as we progressed, got deeper, hitting the point first was big for him and for us and then finding a way to get the extra one was a good win."