Archive for September, 2012

Krys Barch hits twitter … Fehr talks a little about meetings … Jamison’s revised lease agreement

  • Krys Barch via twitter: Krys Barch of the New Jersey Devils on twitter last night

    I sit here from Gand Bend, Ontario putting a pen to my heart and writing on paper what bleeds out. My name is Krys Barch. I have played….. approx 5 1/2 years in the NHL and have worked for every second of it. I Haven’t been a 1st round pick, bonus baby…….. or a son of a hall of famer. I have made it through sweating, bleeding, cut Achilles, broken hands, concussions…… broken orbital bones, 8 teeth knocked out, etc, etc, etc. I sit in front of a fire, 8 OV deep and starting a bottle of Porte……. that will assist in the translations of my emotions to words! No different than a truck driver, farmer or line worker………. I have a shot and a beer. Not to deal with the days ahead but to ease the nerves from what my body has endured the days before…. I sit here with both my boys sleeping and my wife due with our 3rd. My thoughts racing on what I can conquer tomorrow to get our family….. ahead. Some times wondering if I should have existed when a word and a gun solidified and solved all problems. I feel the Wild West.. would more simplified than the world we live in now whet an employer who makes billions of dollars and a league with record revenues… can tell me that I can’t do the things that my heart tells my me to do! All what my heart tells me to do far surpasses what my …. body has endured. As I write this I dive deeper and deeper into my bottle of Porte giving wider views to the depths of my heart….. As my pen warms from the fire, Neil Young and a fall Canadian night, I wonder how this work stoppage effects the owners? I wonder if the owners of Boston, New York, Washington, etc, etc, have endured any of the injuries that I or any other player in the ….. NHL have endured. Still they probably sit their smoking the same brand of cigar, sipping the same cognac, and going on vacation ….. To one of five houses they own…. While we sit here knowing they want to take 20% of our paychecks. One half to 3/4 of my peers …. Will have to work for the next 50 years of their lives. Congratulations to the lucky select few that I have played with who have made.. Salaries that they can choose to do whatever they want when they are done. But I have played most who do not! If the NHL wants to teams in the south or struggling markets than the players along with the financially well to do teams need to start…. Working together. Or they need to start to move teams to the North where they will make money. The system allows the owners to…… Of revenue. The only way to stop the work stoppages long into the future is fix the root cause of the problems. The lockout……. Is a procedure to take from the players to pay for the NHL mistakes. Let not allow the NHL to make any mor mistakes…. Let the league and the players to come together to fix the mistakes that have been made and make sure non are made in the future…. Lets get a deal where the owners, players, and fans benefit from. We’re we can be sitting around in beautiful Canadian fall’s…… around a fire playing and watching the game we love. Here’s to the truth and our next conversation. As always speaking from my….. Heart! Goodnight! Like me or hate me I speak what comes from my heart!

  • Ira Podell (AP) in the Toronto Star: Gary Bettman and Donald Fehr held another round of private talks yesterday. They talked about the things that are keeping them apart.

    “I spent a few minutes with Gary talking about the overall situation, and we agreed to keep in touch,” Fehr said Saturday outside of the NHL’s New York office. “I am sure we will talk again (Sunday). I don’t know whether will meet again (Sunday). That remains to be seen.

    “I am not going to talk about the specifics, but in general we’re trying to discuss how (to) find a way to make an agreement. How do we bridge the gap on the major issues that are between us.”

    “Their position on the big stuff has been that a major move consists of changing the players’ share from a reduction of 24 per cent to 17 1 / 2 per cent,” Fehr said. “Our initial proposal made a move in their direction. We have amplified that by giving them several different ideas to consider about how to lengthen the agreement . . . more in line with what they wanted.”

    “We can discuss the core issues whenever they want to do it,” he said. “Bargaining is not Ping-Pong. There are no rules on who has to serve.”

    “The calendar continues to tick along,” Daly said. “My guess is as time goes on, regular-season games are at risk. I don’t think it can be any more urgent than where we are now.”

  • Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun: An agent on NHL players heading overseas, “Most of them don’t want to play. They just want to get away from their wives and families at this time of year.”
  • David Shoalts of the Globe and Mail: A revised arena lease agreement between Greg Jamison and the city of Glendale will be presented to councillors on Tuesday. Jamison was originally to get $97 million in the first 5 years of the 20 year deal, but will now be about $72 million. The overall lease to Glendale is $324 million for Jamison to manage the arena. The sale of the Coyotes to Jamison is still not a sure thing.

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More CBA talks today … Yakupov able to play in KHL again

  • Dan Rosen via twitter: CBA talks will begin between 10 and 11 today. Bill Daly said yesterday they don’t expect to talk about HRR distribution.
  • Dan Rosen via twitter: Schneider said after yesterday’s morning meetings that it was too early to say if they’ll get to the core economic issues this weekend. He added that he hopes they get to them, but now they are just seeking common ground on as many issues as they can.
  • Renaud Lavoie via twitter: Gary Bettman and Don Fehr had a private conversation yesterday on CBA issues. Today they will talk about the league economic framework.
  • Darren Dreger via twitter: Hockey Canada announced that Nail Yakupov is able to resume playing in the KHL. “OHL has determined that Yakupov had no independent legal advice when, at the age of 17 years old, he signed his contract with Sarnia.”
  • Dmitry Chesnokov via twitter: Yakupov’s dad partially blames his agent, Igor Larionov, “Larionov’s our agent now; don’t know about the future.”

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Saturday morning player notes: Crosby, Nash, Giroux, Gomez, Skinner, O’Reilly, Kane, Hagelin and Koivu

  • Dave Isaac via twitter: Claude Giroux’s agent said he’s talking with “many teams.” Isaac is hearing it’s down to Avangard Omsk and HC Kladno.
  • Montreal Gazette: Scott Gomez sent a text saying there was no truth to the rumor that he was going to play for the Alaska Aces of the ECHL like he did during the 2004-05 lockout.
  • Matias Strozyk via twitter: TPS is done negotiating with Mikko Koivu and Lauri Korpikoski, just waiting for them to decide when to join the team.
  • Adrian Dater via Sulia: There are reports that Ryan O’Reilly is close to signing with a KHL team, but they are not true. He is not in negotiations with any KHL or European teams.
  • Shelly Anderson via twitter: Sidney Crosby is not in New York for the CBA talks. Heading to Colorado for another camp with a trainer for most of next week.

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Morning notes on Yakupov, Davidson, Tavares, Boedker, Laich, Bergeron, Nichol, Bishop and Byfuglien

  • Darren Dreger via twitter: Nail Yakupov’s agent, Igor Larionov: “We expect to make some comments by this weekend…” “Hopefully all sides will find the common sense to let the kid play hockey in his hometown.” Louis Jean via twitter: The big issues regarding Yakupov, is that if Sarnia releases him and he makes the Oilers this year or next. Sarnia would get money when an under age player makes the NHL. Teams get $75,000 if an 18 year old makes it, $50,000 if a 19 year old makes it.
  • Andy Strickland of True Hockey: John Davidson negotiated a “buyout” and will step down as the St. Louis Blues. It is expected to be finalized in the next few days. Davidson had 3 years left on a 4 year deal, and was owed $6.1 million. The hockey department has been financially handcuffed over the last couple years. The Blues may have lost $20 million last season according to a source.

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Hockey Canada on Yakupov … Boogard family lawsuit … The 3rd-4th liners … Marchand, St. Louis and Stamkos on playing overseas

  • Hockey Canada via twitter: Bob Nicholson on Nail Yakukpov’s request for a transfer card: “Hockey Canada cannot sign the international transfer card for Yakupov until the Sarnia Sting releases this player from his contract. If Sarnia advises Hockey Canada that it has released the player, Hockey Canada will sign his transfer card.”
  • Dan Tencer via twitter: This may be looking like a “spiteful, petty move by a Sarnia Sting franchise with an already poor reputation. Beaulieu and Yakupov don’t get along. There is no way that Yakupov is heading back to Sarnia to play for Beaulieu. Sarnia needs to do the right thing and move on.
  • Jeff Klein of the NY Times: Part the Boogaard family lawsuit alleges that the Wild and Rangers contributed to Derek’s death because doctors repeatedly prescribed painkillers and other drugs, even after his addiction was known. The union has 30 days to formally respond to the suit that is after $4.8 million in salary and $5 million in punitive damages.

    “At numerous times during his professional hockey career, to cope with injuries and pain and simply to be able to play or sleep after games, Derek Boogaard was prescribed or given a multitude of narcotics and sleeping pills by both the team doctors, physicians, trainers and dentists of the New York Rangers and Minnesota Wild,” the lawsuit says.

    The family’s lawyer may also attempt to show that Boogaard suffered brain damage from his role of a fighter.

  • Chuck Gormley of CSN Washington: With the elite players signing contracts to play overseas, what about the 3rd and 4th liners who can’t find jobs? For the Capitals, Matt Hendricks ($800,000), Joey Crabb ($950,000), Jack Hillen ($650,000) and Wojtek Wolski ($600,000) will be UFAs after the season, and missing an entire season could threaten their chances of getting NHL jobs in 2013-14.

    “That’s who we’re trying to help with the lockout,” said veteran winger Jason Chimera, who has two years and $3.5 million remaining on his deal with the Caps. “If the [salary] cap goes down, a lot of third- and fourth-line guys might be casualties.”

    “The longer we’re locked out the more of a chance that guys will go play [in Europe],” Hendricks said. “For us to sit out and not play an entire season is crazy. We can’t afford to do that.”

    “Obviously, if it goes a long time I’ll have to think about doing something else,” Beagle said. “When that time comes I’ll start thinking about that.”

  • Steve Conroy of the Boston Herald: Bruins Brad Marchand on playing overseas,

    “We’re entertaining the option, but I’m not sure,” Marchand said yesterday. “I don’t really want to go over to Europe, but at the same time, spots are limited and you want to be able to secure a spot before they’re all taken up.

    “I’m definitely looking into it, but at the same time I’m locked in for a while now. I’m training hard and it’s nice to be here with the guys. And there are some opportunities to do things you can’t normally do. I love hunting, too, and it’s also an opportunity to do things like that.”

  • Erik Erlendsson of the Tampa Tribune: Tampa’s informal workouts dropped from 20 to 17 players this week. Martin St. Louis and Steven Stamkos will probably wait until mid-October before deciding to go overseas or not.

    “I probably won’t be thinking about anything until mid-October, depending on things,” he said. “I might go home in a couple of weeks, we’ll see. Everyone wants to play and that’s the frustrating part because (the NHLPA) feels like we have an offer on the table that is fair for both sides. And at the end of the day we just want to play hockey, so it’s tough right now.”

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Yakupov played 2 games without transfer card … Russian Federation has 7 days to appeal

  • Dan Tencer via twitter: Tencer doesn’t believe the Oilers are involved. They knew Yakupov would be going to the KHL.

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CBA meeting on Friday … Agents say 2 expansion teams in future, for $1 billion total? Blues layoff 20

  • Darren Dreger via twitter: The CBA meeting will be in New York on Friday and will they will be talking about non-core economic issues: pensions & benefits, grievance procedures, medical, travel etc.
  • Adam Proteau via twitter: An NHL agent predicts that when the new CBA is signed, Gary Bettman will try to save his reputation by announcing 2 expansion team for Canada.
  • Allan Walsh via twitter: Walsh says what hasn’t been brought up in the CBA debate so far is the NHLs’ expansion plans (Seattle and Quebec) for when the new CBA is done. Walsh says the NHLs little secret of $500 expansion fee per team. $1 billion to the owners and nothing to the players. Pat Hickey via twitter: Hickey notes that it would be a job by the league if they could get that, but expect for the Maple Leafs market, the market price is about $175 million, and they’ve had trouble getting that.
  • Darren Dreger via twitter: Gary Bettman regarding the Oilers arena issues: “We continue to believe that an arena deal is achievable and with a new arena there should be no reason to have any doubts about the future of the Oilers in Edmonton.”
  • Jeremy Rutherford via twitter: Sources confirm the Blues laid off 20 people last week, half were in sales. Remaining employees will have salary and/or hours cut.

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More players heading overseas … Lucic and Sykora staying for now

  • Matias Strozyk via twitter: Jokerit could be outbidding Frolunda for Erik Karlsson. 90% sure that Karlsson still signs with Frolunda if they agree to pay his insurance. Ken Warren via twitter: Karlsson’s agent said that Jokerit is “one of several teams to express interest.”
  • Ryan Rishaug via twitter: In about 3 weeks Taylor Hall will be cleared to play and will need to find somewhere to do so. The AHL is not looking like an option, maybe Europe?
  • Juha Hiitela via twitter: Patrick O’Sullivan signed a 1 year deal with HIFK, and will play the whole year there even if the lockout ends.
  • Matias Strozyk via twitter: Frans Nielsen said he’ll sign in Finland or Herning. Insurance costs estimated to be $35,000 a month. Should sign with Lukko today.
  • Joe Haggerty via twitter: Milan Lucic on players going overseas,

    “I’m actually kind of surprised that guys are so urgent and anxious to leave so quickly given where the labor dispute is where it’s at. As more and more guys start to go over and more and more guys from our team start thinking about it, you start thinking about it more. Right now I don’t have any plans to go, but it’s in the back of my mind.”

    Lucic and his wife are expecting their first child during the season, and he doesn’t want to be on the other side of the world.

    “That all makes it more complicated especially when it’s your first [child],” said Lucic. “You want to be around for all of the experiences of it. That’s basically where I’m at right now. I want to be there for her more than anything.”

  • Tom Gulitti via twitter: Petr Sykora said he’ll wait to see how long the lockout lasts before deciding on what to do, has European opportunities.

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Katz group visits Seattle … Edmonton Mayor sets “drop-dead date”

Edmonton Oilers on Statement from Bob Black, who is the Executive VP, Edmonton Arena Corporation, Katz group:

“I can confirm that Daryl Katz, Patrick LaForge, Kevin Lowe and others from the Oilers leadership group are in Seattle for meetings and to attend the Seahawks game.

We remain committed to working with City Administration to achieve a deal commensurate with what Winnipeg and Pittsburgh have done to sustain the NHL in those small markets. If we can achieve such a deal, the Oilers will remain in Edmonton and we can get on with the important work of developing the new arena and investing in the continued revitalization of Edmonton’s downtown core.

Nonetheless, and as the City of Edmonton is aware, the Katz Group has been listening to proposals from a number of potential NHL markets for some time. After more than four years of trying to secure an arena deal and with less than 24 months remaining on the Oilers’ lease at Rexall Place, this is only prudent and should come as no surprise.

We are extremely grateful to Oilers’ fans for their patience and loyalty as we work through this process towards what we sincerely hope will be a long and successful future for the Oilers in Edmonton. We have no further comment on the status of our discussions with other markets at this time.”

Darren Dreger via twitter: “Oilers lease at Rexall expires in 2 yrs. City council doesn’t think team would leave. By visiting Seattle, Katz is saying never say never.  Source says Katz would pay half of new building, expenses and wouldn’t own it. “Bad deal”. “Desperate” is how situation is described.”

Gordon Kent and John Mackinnon of the Edmonton Journal: Edmonton Mayor Stephen Mandel set an October 17th “drop-dead date” for the Katz Group to lay out what it is looking for in an agreement deal.

“Timing is vitally important. We need to move ahead. I think everybody in the City of Edmonton, including the Katz Group as well as all councillors, is frustrated,” Mandel said.

“What is it? What do you want? We have been dealing with this for four years. You should know by now … It’s not a complicated issue of what you want. We just don’t know what it is.”

“Nonetheless, and as the City of Edmonton is aware, the Katz Group has been listening to proposals from a number of potential NHL markets for some time,” Black said in his statement. “After more than four years of trying to secure an arena deal and with less than 24 months remaining on the Oilers’ lease at Rexall Place, this is only prudent and should come as no surprise.”

Last October they had the framework on an agreement on how to build, finance and operate a $450 million arena. The cost has now risen to $475 million.


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Daly talks about lockout, no meetings scheduled … Mirtle drafts a CBA compromise

  • Pierre LeBrun via twitter: Both sides touched base last night, but not known if they will agree to resume official CBA talks.
  • Dan Rosen via twitter: (late afternoon yesterday) Bill Daly said there are no formal bargaining sessions scheduled. Said he hoped negotiations could resume this week.
  • Pierre LeBrun of ESPN: The NHL and NHLPA met yesterday to go over last years HRR.

    “No bargaining scheduled, but we have kept in close contact,” NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly told a handful of media outside the league’s Toronto offices. “It’s fair to say both sides are working, but they’re working internally right now.”

    “Obviously, we’ve got to talk before you can get a deal, so I think it’s important to get the talks going again,” Daly said. “But you also have to have something to say. I think it’s fair to say we feel like we need to hear from the players’ association in a meaningful way because I don’t think that they’ve really moved off their initial proposal, which was made more than a month ago now.”

    They’ve canceled all the pre-season games, and may have to cancel more.

    “Obviously, we’re going to have to look as the week goes along as to where we are on the calendar and where we are in bargaining and what that means logistically in terms of concluding a deal and getting back on the ice,” Daly said. “We’ll make announcements when we need to make announcements.”

    “We’re 100 percent focused on not missing any regular-season games, and hopefully we can achieve that objective,” Daly said.

  • James Mirtle of the Globe and Mail: Mirtle puts together a compromise that could end the lockout.

    Step 1: Let the players keep the $1.87-billion they earned last season – and not a penny more.

    Step 2: Allow the players small raises of 3 per cent annually between Years 2 and 5. That’s salary growth that should easily be outstripped by revenue growth.

    Step 3: Leave the current three-year entry level contract system as is, but put a cap of $5-million average annual value on contracts during players’ fourth and fifth years in the league. And only players who gets to the 600 games played mark or age 29 become unrestricted free agents.

    Step 4: No more lifetime contracts. Put a reasonable cap on the length of a deal at somewhere between six and eight years.

    Step 5: Make it a 10-year collective bargaining agreement. Play at a 50-50 revenue split for the final five years and never have a lockout again.

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