TORONTO (AP) -- The National Hockey League Players' Association had made its first proposal in the latest round of collective bargaining talks with the NHL. The union says its proposal to the league includes a smaller percentage of revenues for players and an expanded revenue sharing program to help struggling teams Donald Fehr, the executive director of the NHL Players' Association, said the proposal could "stabilize the industry." Fehr said players are set to surrender as much as 465 million in revenue under the proposal if the league continues to grow at an average rate. He says that number could balloon to 800 million if the league grows at the same rate it has over the last two seasons. "We do believe that the proposal the players made today, once implemented, can produce a stable industry ... that can give us a chance to move beyond the recurring labor strife that has plagued the NHL the last two decades," Fehr said. Sidney Crosby, Alex Ovechkin, Steven Stamkos and Jason Spezza were among 23 players that participated in the meeting Tuesday in Toronto. An NHL proposal last month called for a significant decrease for players in revenue share by introducing new contract restrictions, including a five-year cap on deals. The NHLPA has proposed a three-year deal for a CBA with an option for a fourth, Fehr said. The proposal would have the players accepting a lower percentage of the revenues over the first three years. The fourth year would see the CBA revert to its current terms. NHL commissioner Gary Bettman said Tuesday he has received the union's proposal and hopes to continue talks Wednesday. "Our hope is we can take care of business in the next month," Bettman said. "That's our goal." Bettman said the owners would carefully consider the latest proposal. "It's clear to me that they didn't put it together in an hour or two, and as a result we're going to need to take a little bit of time to evaluate it, understand it" Bettman said. "If we're going to respond, we want to respond appropriately." The current deal expires Sept. 15. Fehr has said the players are willing to work past Sept. 15 if an agreement hasn't been signed, as long as one is on the horizon. Bettman has already said the NHL is prepared to lock out its players if no deal is reached by then. Negotiations have been under way for seven weeks. The regular season is slated to begin on Oct. 11. Fehr said the proposal, "should lead to a new CBA." "Players did not believe the owner's initial proposal was appropriate," he said. Both sides acknowledged negotiations are firm and constructive. The NHL has had two seasons disrupted by labor disputes over the past two decades. In addition to the cancellation of the 2004-05 season, almost half of the 1994-95 season was wiped out by a labor dispute. Training camps are scheduled to start on Sept. 16, one day after the current CBA ends.
The Stanley Cup champion Caps will open their seven-game exhibition schedule on Sept. 16 season against the Bruins at TD Garden, the team announced.
Washington will face Boston, Carolina and St. Louis twice apiece—once on the road, once at home—and the
Canadiens one time. The game against the Habs will be played at Videotron Arena in Quebec City.
NBC Sports Washington’s preseason broadcast schedule will be announced at a later date.
Here’s the preseason entire slate:
Date Opponent Location Time
Sun., Sept. 16 at Boston TD Garden 1 p.m.
Tues., Sept. 18 vs. Boston Capital One Arena 7 p.m.
Thurs., Sept. 20 at Montreal Quebec City, Que. 7 p.m.
Fri., Sept. 21 at Carolina PNC Arena 7:30 p.m.
Tues., Sept. 25 at St. Louis Enterprise Center 7 p.m.
Fri., Sept. 28 vs. Carolina Capital One Arena 7 p.m.
Sun., Sept. 30 vs. St. Louis Capital One Arena 3 p.m.
Monday's announcement kicked off a busy week for the Caps.
On Wednesday, Alex Ovechkin will pick up his seventh Maurice “Rocket” Richard Trophy at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas. Nicklas Backstrom will also be on hand for media interviews; key members of the Cup-winning team are typically in attendance.
On Friday and Saturday in Dallas, Washington will make selections in the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 6th and 7th rounds of the 2018 Entry Draft at American Airlines Center. (Their fifth-round pick was dealt to Minnesota in the Tyler Graovac deal.)
Hangover subsided? Good. Busy week ahead for the #ALLCAPS:— Tarik El-Bashir⌨️🎙🏒 (@TarikNBCS) June 18, 2018
Wed—NHL Awards in Vegas. Ovechkin collects his 7th Rocket Richard. Backstrom will be on hand, too.
Fri and Sat—NHL Draft in Dallas. Wash picks in rds 1, 2, 3, 4, 6 + 7.
Mon (June 25)—Prospects report for Dev Camp at KCI.
Next Monday, many of the organization’s prospects, including this year’s picks, will report to Kettler Capitals Iceplex for the start of development camp. The schedule and roster will be announced this week.
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Very few teams have the luxury of having a backup goalie they can rely on for an extended period of time while the starter goes through a massive slump. The Capitals had that luxury in 2017-2018 thanks to Philipp Grubauer.
Not every team in the NHL has a dependable starter, let alone backup, so when a backup goalie goes 15-10-3 in a season with a 2.35 GAA and .923 save percentage, that is likely to catch the attention of general managers around the league.
The 2018-19 season will likely be a season of transition for the Capitals behind Braden Holtby. General manager Brian MacLellan expressed his willingness Wednesday to possibly trade backup goalie Philipp Grubauer this offseason. With the season he just had, he could potentially yield the Caps a solid return.
But, if Grubauer is indeed moved, that leaves the question of who will play backup for the Capitals this season?
The initial plan appears to be to promote Pheonix Copley from the AHL.
“Yeah, I think he's capable of it,” MacLellan said when asked if he saw Copley as an NHL backup. “Obviously, he's unproven. I think he's done what he could do at the American League level. Got through probably a little bit of a tough patch this year recovering from an injury, but I think he has potential to be that guy, yes.”
Copley, 26, played last season with the Caps’ AHL affiliate Hershey Bears. He had a tough season with a 2.91 GAA and .896 save percentage in 41 games.
As MacLellan alluded, Copley suffered a serious injury at the end of the previous season and it clearly affected his season. The year prior, Copley managed a 2.15 GAA and .931 with Hershey in 16 games. He was considered Washington’s No. 3 goalie this season and was recalled for the playoffs as an emergency backup behind Grubauer.
Copley’s career includes only two NHL games.
There is another internal candidate who some fans may be hoping to see next season. That of course, is 2015 first-round draft pick Ilya Samsonov.
Samsonov, 21, signed an entry-level contract with Washington in May and will make the jump from the KHL to North America next season.
But don’t expect to see Samsonov backing up Holtby to start the NHL season.
Samsonov will be adjusting to the North American game and the smaller North American rink. Because of that, MacLellan believes he will benefit from time in the AHL before making the jump to the NHL.
"I think he needs time in Hershey,” MacLellan said. “We'll start him in Hershey I would anticipate and see how he grows, see how he gets accustomed to the small rink and hopefully get some good coaching, get our guys in that work with him. It'll be up to him. I think he'll adapt fairly quickly given his skill set.”
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