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NHL rejects players' offer, plans to meet again

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NHL rejects players' offer, plans to meet again

After rejecting a proposal by the players that Don Fehr described as “about as good as we can do,” NHL commissioner Gary Bettman summed up Wednesday’s discussions on a new Collective Bargaining Agreement in these words.

“We’re still far apart,” Bettman told reporters in New York. “But hopefully there’s some momentum so we can bring this to a conclusion.”

While it’s true some progress was made Wednesday with the players’ new proposal, bringing this lockout to a conclusion will take several more days at the bargaining table and a whole lot of concessions on both sides.

In other words, another large chunk of NHL games will be wiped out before an agreement is reached.

In their one-hour proposal, detailed here in a memo by Fehr, the players agreed to split a percentage of league revenue rather than demand a guaranteed share. The players also agreed to an immediate 50-50 split in league revenue in Year 1 of the deal, but still want $391 million paid out to them on existing contracts.

After two hours of discussion in a second meeting on Wednesday, the NHL said it would not budge from its $211 million offer to “make whole” on those contracts.

That leaves the two sides about $180 million apart on the issue of honoring existing contracts. While that may not seem like a deal breaker, Bettman noted that the NHL is losing between $18 million and $20 million per day during the lockout, while players are losing $8 million to $10 million per day.

“Assuming we can dig our collective way out of the hole that we're digging ourselves into, we expect that the players would make, under the seven-year term that we proposed, between $12 and $14 billion.

“We're having a tough time understanding why what we have proposed and what we have proposed previously hasn't been accepted.”

Well, it’s pretty simple. If you break down $12 billion in salaries over seven years, that averages $1.7 billion per year. Last year, players made a total of $1.9 billion and their original proposals had that figure climbing to $2.06 billion in Year 3 of a new CBA.  

The players also rejected the owners’ demands on player contracting rights, such as changing unrestricted free agency to age 28, shortening entry-level contracts to two years, and placing five-year term limits on contracts.

“On the big things there was, as of today, no reciprocity in any meaningful sense,” Fehr told reporters.

So where do the two sides go from here?

Fehr said he would inform the players of Wednesday’s developments via conference call. And while no formal negotiations are scheduled, NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly and NHLPA general counsel Steve Fehr are expected to speak again on Friday.

“They're going to evaluate where they are,” Bettman said, “and they said they're going to get back to us on Friday.”

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Alex Ovechkin and wife Nastya Ovechkina welcome baby boy

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NBC Sports Washington/USATSI

Alex Ovechkin and wife Nastya Ovechkina welcome baby boy

After lifting the Stanley Cup just over two months ago, something else very exciting has happened in Alex Ovechkin's life.

Saturday morning, Nastya and Alex Ovechkin welcomed their first child, a baby boy named Sergei, after Ovechkin's late brother. 

Ovi spent this week practicing at the Florida Panthers' facilities with other NHL players living in the surrounding area.

After the Cup's visit to Moscow, Nastya and Alex settled down at their apartment in Miami, staying put and preparing for the birth. 

The couple were married two years ago but didn't hold an official ceremony until July of last year. The celebration was as lavish as you'd expect.

She revealed her pregnancy shortly after the Cup victory, and has kept us up to date on life this summer via Instagram. A few weeks ago, the Ovechkins graced HELLO! Russia magazine, showing off Nastya's baby bump among their glamour shots.

💛 @aleksandrovechkinofficial #hello #hellorussia @hello__ru

A post shared by Nastasiya Ovechkina (@nastyashubskaya) on

Congratulations to Ovi and Nastya, and all our best wishes for health and happiness!

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Capitals draft pick admits he is...a Flyers fan

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USA TODAY Sports

Capitals draft pick admits he is...a Flyers fan

Say it ain't so.

Mitchell Gibson is the first goalie the Capitals have drafted since Ilya Samsonov in 2015, but they may be thinking twice about their selection after a recent shocking interview.

Gibson spoke with a local Philadelphia CBS station and revealed that both he and his family...are Flyers fans.

Insert dramatic music.

"I think my family will always be Flyers fans in their hearts and I guess I will be a little bit," Gibson admitted, hopefully with guilt in his voice.

Gibson was selected by the Caps in the fourth round of the 2018 draft, but clearly the scouts did not do their homework. It's as if Gibson grew up a hockey fan in a place like Phoenixville, Pa. (about an hour outside of Philadelphia) without anticipating the future that he may one day be drafted by a rival team like Washington.

Shame, shame.

The young netminder tried to make up for his horrifying admission later in the interview.

"The Capitals are definitely treating me well right now so I would like to be their goalie," he said.

A likely story.

Gibson is only 19 and set to begin his first collegiate season at Harvard in 2018 so at least there is still time for Gibson to overcome his shameful past. And hey, it could always be worse. At least he's not a Penguins fan.

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