In this strange one step forward, two steps back dance of the CBA negotiations, there's a step forward expected to be made today.
The NHL and NHLPA, including as many as 25 players, will meet today in Toronto, and the PA is supposed to present its version of the next CBA. The current version is due to expire Sept. 15, and commissioner Gary Bettman has said the league will lock the players out if an agreement is not reached by then.
For better or for worse, the move is not designed to be a counter-offer to the NHL's opening salvo, which came out a few weeks ago.
... the union thoroughly examined it over the last month before deciding there was no true counter-proposal to be made. Fehr will instead offer up a "different kind of an approach" -- one that no doubt includes expanded revenue sharing and more flexibility than is currently allowed under the league's rigid salary cap system.
"It's how the players see the world," said (NHLPA head Donald) Fehr.
If you're looking for some of the rhetoric that has been going around from NHLPA members on Twitter recently, this article by Larry Brooks will give you a good idea. It's not exactly promising, but hey, at least they haven't walked away from the table yet, right? Right?
After the jump, another potential comparable for the next Jamie Benn contract, Ray Sawada's time with the team is officially at an end and how to use the full-page ad to your best advantage.
- For those of you with spreadsheets of the comparables for the Jamie Benn contract extension, another one came down the pipe Monday evening. The Montreal Canadiens announced they have signed forward Max Pacioretty to a six-year, $27 million extension, which works out to a $4.5 million average annual value. [TSN.ca]
- Like others around the hockey media, Mike Heika wasn't surprised when Bettman promised there would be another lockout should the two sides not come to an agreement by the middle of next month. [DallasNews.com]
- Cody Eakin hasn't even officially taken the ice for the Stars yet, but he's already worming his way into my heart through wonderful use of Twitter. On tap yesterday was the proof that even NHL players like a little beer league action. [@CodyEakin50]
- On the flip side of his Stars career is Ray Sawada, who saw his time with the team officially come to an end last week as he signed a minor-league contract with the St. John's IceCaps, the AHL affiliate of the Winnipeg Jets. [The Telegram]
- Michael Ryder had one heck of a year last season, being arguably the best value from the UFA signings pool. But can he repeat his career-high in goals? [Eye on Hockey]
- I'm sure the NHL lawyers knew what was coming when they drew up the contract for the Winter Classic, but it's still interesting to see exactly how far ahead they were thinking when it came to out clauses. [Puck Daddy]
- During the long off-season, it's always fun to learn something new about the history of hockey, and my favorite hockey essayist out there right now has a whole bunch of new-to-me facts in this article about pre-NHL professional hockey. [Backhand Shelf]
- Rick Nash wrote a very nice goodbye letter to the fans of the Columbus Blue Jackets and purchased a full-page ad to run it in the Columbus Dispatch. But as Down Goes Brown chronicles, this isn't the first time a player has left a message for the fans of his former team. [Down Goes Brown]
- Holy forearms, Batman. I know some of that is about how Jack Campbell is sitting for this interview with the official site, but those are some baseball-sized forearms right there.