Chris Phillips and Josh Gorges aren’t impressed by the league’s tactics in this week’s negotiations, plus the latest on Ladislav Smid and Jets prospect Jacob Trouba.
OTTAWA CITIZEN: Senators defenseman and player rep Chris Phillips was angered at what he considered the NHL’s attempt to change the definition of hockey-related revenue regarding penalties for teams which “hide” revenue. “Negotiations were going well, we chose not to disclaim (as a union) and they turned around and pulled a couple of dirty tricks that upset a lot of us, so now we’re back to where we were in terms of having votes,” said Phillips.
SPORTSNET.CA: Montreal Canadiens defenseman and player rep Josh Gorges echoed Phillips complaint. “It can’t be about money. Is it about power? Is about them not wanting to show that they can give in to us, that they can give us a little bit?
“Even if they agreed to give us all we’ve asked for in this last bit of negotiations, it’s still a concession by the players. It’s not a concession by the owners,” the defenceman continued, more bewildered than angry. “I don’t understand what they want from us.”
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Make no mistake, the players were very upset over what they perceive was a deliberate attempt by the league to sneak a change in the definition of HRR past them. Though the issue was quickly resolved, it contributed to the current slowdown in negotiations between the two sides.
EDMONTON SUN: Oilers defenseman Ladislav Smid has returned to Edmonton after a stint in the Czech Republic to await the outcome of the CBA negotiations. Smid has been in Edmonton for several weeks after staining his knee in mid-December.
WINNIPEG SUN: Jets prospect Jacob Trouba is earning raves for his performance with Team USA at the World Junior Hockey Championships.