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Fehr on Hamrlik: 'We don't believe in censoring'


Fehr on Hamrlik: 'We don't believe in censoring'

One day after seeing the NHL cancel games through Dec. 14, NHLPA executive director Don Fehr was in Atlantic City Saturday night, briefing 25 NHL players before a charity game for victims of Hurricane Sandy.

In a pre-game scrum with reporters at Caesar’s hotel, Fehr said he had not spoken with Capitals defenseman Roman Hamrlik, who earlier in the week said he was “disgusted” with the lack of progress with CBA talks and that Fehr should be replaced if the 2012-13 season is canceled.

“Democracy can be a bit of a messy process sometimes,” Fehr told reporters. “But if you believe in free speech and you don’t believe in censorship, and you believe everybody’s entitled to their opinion, they speak it.

“We don't believe in censoring anybody. We don’t believe in telling anybody they can’t come to meetings and see for themselves. We’re different than the owners.”

According to Capitals teammate and alternate player rep Troy Brouwer, Hamrlik has not attended any NHLPA meetings or taken part in any conference calls during the 70-day work stoppage.

Fehr said it’s not uncommon for players to voice their displeasure during a work stoppage.

“Sometimes it’s what they mean,” he said. “Sometimes people get angry and frustrated and they vent. And then you talk to them, other players will talk to him from time to time, staff will talk to him and make sure you get the questions answered.”

Fehr said he, too, has been frustrated by the lack of progress in talks for a new CBA, especially after the union proposed an immediate 50-50 split in revenue but refused to accept the NHL’s restrictive measures on contracting rights.

The owners want to push back unrestricted free agency from age 27 or seven years of NHL service to 28 or eight years of service, reduce entry-level contracts from three to two years and place a five-year maximum on all future contracts.

The two sides are also $182 million apart on the NHL’s “make whole” provision but some believe the players would meet the NHL in the middle on that figure if they can keep their contractual rights.

With no negotiations planned, Fehr was asked if the two sides are any closer to ending the lockout.

“When we made our proposal on Wednesday, I thought the answer would be, ‘yes,’ but we didn’t get a response that suggested we are,” Fehr said.
“When you make a move towards them, if you’re going to have an agreement, somebody has to say, ‘yes,’ and ‘Now I can do this.’ Instead, they said, ‘yes,’ and ‘What else can you do for me?’”

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Game 73 Capitals vs. Stars Date, Time, How to Watch, Game Thread

Game 73 Capitals vs. Stars Date, Time, How to Watch, Game Thread

What: Washington Capitals vs. Dallas Stars

Where: Capital One Arena, Washington, D.C.

When: 7:00 p.m. ET

How to Watch: Capitals-Stars will be broadcast on NBC Sports Washington (Channel Finder)

Live Stream: You can watch the Capitals-Stars game on NBC Sports Washington's live stream page.


The Capitals (41-24-7) take on the Stars (38-27-8) Tuesday, March 20 at 7:00 p.m. ET at Capital One Arena.


The Capitals-Stars game will be broadcast on NBC Sports Washington. Coverage kicks off with Capitals FaceOff at 6:00 p.m. followed by Caps GameTime at 6:30 p.m. Stay with NBC Sports Washington for Caps Extra following the game, Caps Overtime at 10:00 p.m. and Caps in 30 at 11:00 p.m. for all your postgame coverage. (NBC Sports Washington channel Finder)

6:00 p.m. — Caps FaceOff
6:30 p.m. — Caps GameTime
7:00 p.m. — Capitals vs. Stars
9:30 p.m. — Caps Extra
10:00 p.m. — Caps Overtime
11:00 p.m. — Caps in 30


Here are the projected lines for the Caps-Stars game:

Alex Ovechkin -  Nicklas Backstrom - Tom Wilson
Andre Burakovsky - Lars Eller - T.J. Oshie
Jakub Vrana - Travis Boyd - Brett Connolly
Chandler Stephenson - Jay Beagle - Devante Smith-Pelly

Christian Djoos - John Carlson
Dmitry Orlov - Matt Niskanen
Michal Kempny - Jakub Jerabek

Braden Holtby starts with Philipp Grubauer as backup

Scratches: Evgeny Kuznetsov (upper body injury), Alex Chiasson, Brooks Orpik (lower body injury)


The Capitals-Stars game, as well as Caps GameTime and Caps Extra, is available to stream live here through NBC Sports Washington's live stream page and is available to authenticated NBC Sports Washington subscribers on desktops, tablets, mobile devices and connected TVs anywhere in the United States.


Use the comment section below to discuss the game action with other Capitals fans. 

For all the latest Caps coverage, follow Capitals Insider Tarik El-Bashir, Capitals correspondent JJ Regan and the NBC Sports Capitals account on Twitter. Be sure check out our Capitals page and NBC Sports Washington's Facebook page.

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Can Pittsburgh's past be a goalie rotation blueprint?


Can Pittsburgh's past be a goalie rotation blueprint?

It’s happened. The Caps no longer seem to have a No. 1 goalie anymore, they have a No. 1 and 1a.

That’s right, we have a goalie rotation in Washington.

“There's no sense riding one,” Barry Trotz said after practice on Monday. “[Braden Holtby] is coming back and looking better every game and [Philipp Grubauer] played pretty well for a long stretch so why not have both of them going?”

Grubauer got the start Sunday in Philadelphia and Holtby is slated to get the start Tuesday against the Dallas Stars. After that we will have to wait and see.


Trotz has no layout for which goalie he wants to start and when in the remaining ten games. He is not thinking about each goalie splitting five games or which one he wants to use more.

Nope. Trotz has just one thing on his mind. It is all about who starts the next game, that’s it.

“I think you just go with a guy that's hot at the time and your team feels comfortable with and go from there,” Trotz said.

So where does this leave the goaltending situation when it comes to the playoffs? A goalie rotation is all well and good in the regular season, but he has to have one starter for the postseason, right?

Not necessarily.


When Trotz was asked if he philosophically believed in having one starter for the playoffs, Trotz initially said he would not answer, but then said, “Why don't you ask Mike Sullivan what he thinks.”

Sullivan, of course, is the head coach of the Pittsburgh Penguins who has led his team to a Stanley Cup in each of the past two seasons despite turning to both goalie Marc-Andre Fleury and Matt Murray in both seasons.

While Pittsburgh’s goalie rotation was largely based on injury, however, it still provides an example of how using both goalies can work in the playoffs and that seems to be the path the Caps are headed on at the moment.

Said Trotz, “You just have to go with your gut who you think is going to get the job done.”