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NHL, players speaking different languages

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NHL, players speaking different languages

The NHL and its players are speeding toward their secondwork stoppage in eight years, primarily because they refuse to speak the samelanguage.Today in New York,commissioner Gary Bettman and union chief Donald Fehr will take each other's proposals and present them to their respective members -- Bettman to the NHL Board of Governors and Fehr to close to 300 players.What the players will find is that the owners are demanding another rollbackof salaries this time in the 10 percent range dropping the players percentageof hockey-related revenue from their current 57 percent to 49 percent nextseason and slowly decreasing to 47 percent by the end of the six-yearagreement. The owners will learn the players will not accept a system thatrequires them to give up a percentage of the salary to which they agreed. Endof discussion.This is our careers. This is stuff we need to look at asvery important, Capitals forward Matt Hendricks said. You never know howthings go. The last lockout was an entire season. I really hope that wonthappen, but if it did Id have to find a place to play somewhere because totake a year off would be unacceptable to me.The NHLs biggest concession came when Bettman agreed tokeep the definition of hockey-related revenues the same as it was in theprevious agreement. Now, at least, the two sides are comparing apples toapples.But their proposals are still miles apart.Bettman wants an immediate 10 percent rollback on salariesin the form of a lower salary cap, which would fall from 70.2 million to 63million in Wednesdays proposal.The players want no part of a rollback, instead proposing theywould see fixed increases in player salaries of 2 percent in the first year, 4percent in the second year and 6 percent in the third year. Those raises wouldbe unrelated to hockey-related revenue. Essentially, the players have devised a proposal in whichthe NHLs richest teams would need to help support the leagues poorest teamsin the form of luxury taxes and the ability to trade salary cap space.The NHL has rejected that concept. They have their feelings and we have our feelings,Hendricks said, and the job is to come to an agreement on things so we can getback to doing what we love to do and thats play hockey.On 11:59 p.m. Saturday night it seems all but certain that opportunitywill be stalled by a lockout, cancelling NHL rookie camps and threatening theSept. 21 start of training camp.After Saturday the next real deadline for the NHL and itsplayers will come on Oct. 11, the scheduled start of the regular season. By then, perhaps, the two sides will have found a way tospeak the same language.

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Capitals Faceoff Podcast: Suddenly the Caps are in need of a head coach

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USA TODAY Sports

Capitals Faceoff Podcast: Suddenly the Caps are in need of a head coach

Less than two weeks after winning the Stanley Cup, the Caps are in need of a new head coach.

Barry Trotz resigned as the Caps coach on Monday after he and the team failed to reach an agreement on a new contract. How did we get here and where do both parties go from here? JJ Regan and Tarik El-Bashir break it all down.

Check out their latest episode in the player below or listen on the Capitals Faceoff Podcast page.

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7 things to know about Capitals head coaching candidate Todd Reirden

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USA TODAY Sports

7 things to know about Capitals head coaching candidate Todd Reirden

For now, Todd Reirden appears to be the frontrunner to be the new head coach of the Washington Capitals.

But who is he? 

Here are some things to know about the Capitals head coaching candidate:

1. Reirden spent the last four seasons with Washington on Barry Trotz's staff

Should Reirden be hired, he would bring a measure of familiarity with him few teams get after a coaching change. Reirden was hired by Trotz in 2014 when Trotz was putting together his staff. He was brought in to coach the team's defense and immediately improved the blue line.

In the year prior to Reirden's hiring, the Caps allowed 2.74 goals per game, good for only 21st in the NHL.

Here is what the defense has done in Reirden's four years in charge of the defense:

2014-15: 2.43 goals against per game, 7th in the NHL
2015-16: 2.33 goals against per game, 2nd in the NHL
2016-17: 2.16 goals against per game, 1st in the NHL
2017-18: 2.90 goals against per game, 16th in the NHL

In those four seasons combined, Washington allowed 2.45 goals per game, lower than every team in the NHL but one. He was also in charge of the team's lethal power play.

2. Reirden has been a head coach before

While he may never have been a head coach in the NHL, Reirden does have some head coaching experience.

Reirden was promoted to head coach of the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins in 2009 when Dan Bylsma was promoted to head coach of the Pittsburgh Penguins. While head coach, Reirden led the team to a 55-43-8 record.

3. Reirden came to Washington from the Penguins

Reirden joined the Penguins organization in 2008 as an assistant coach with their AHL affiliate and took over as head coach later that season. He joined the Penguins' playoff staff during the 2009 Cup run. He was promoted to a full-time assistant coach under with the NHL team under Bylsma in 2010 and was there for four years until Byslma was fired. Reirden was not initially fired, but was allowed to seek other opportunities. When he was officially fired, the Capitals hired him the same day.

4. Reirden had a lot to do with Matt Niskanen signing with the Caps

Reirden was hired by the Caps on June 25, 2014. On July 1, Matt Niskanen signed with Washington.

Reirden and Niskanen developed a strong relationship while in Pittsburgh. Niskanen dealt with confidence issues after getting traded from Dallas to Pittsburgh in 2011. Under Reirden's tutelage, Niskanen developed into a top-pair defenseman. Niskanen's agent said at the time it was "no secret" that Reirden and Niskanen had bonded while both were in Pittsburgh.

Brooks Orpik also signed with the Caps as a free agent that year, the second defenseman from Pittsburgh to sign in Washington showing the level of respect they felt for Reirden.

5. Reirden nearly became the head coach of Calgary

Reirden interviewed for the head coaching job in Calgary in 2016 and was considered a finalist for the position before eventually losing out Glen Gulutzan.

Gulutzan was fired by Calgary after the 2017-18 season and is now an assistant coach in Edmonton while Reirden is the frontrunner to become the head coach for the defending Stanley Cup champions. Sounds like things worked out for Reirden.

6. The Caps have been grooming Reirden to be a head coach

Reirden was promoted to associate coach in August 2016 after Calgary had passed on him. Since then, the Caps have not allowed him to interview with other teams for head coaching positions. The implication was clear, this was someone the team wanted to keep.

"You know I think we’ve been grooming him to be a head coach whether for us or someone else," Capitals general manager Brian MacLellan Monday.

7. Reiden played in 183 career NHL games

Reirden was a defenseman drafted in the 12th round by the New Jersey Devils in 1990. After playing four years at Bowling Green, Reirden went pro with several seasons in the ECHL, IHL and AHL. He made his NHL debut with the Edmonton Oilers in the 1998-99 season. Reirden would also play with the St. Louis Blues, Atlanta Thrashers and Phoenix Coyotes. 

For his NHL career, Reirden scored 11 goals and 46 points in 183 games.

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