The latest on Chris Phillips, Max Pacioretty and Canucks coach Alain Vigneault, plus the next CBA could be crucial to the Jets success.
OTTAWA SUN: Senators defenseman Chris Phillips took exception to comments by former NHL player Mark Recchi calling on the players to sign a new CBA with the league as soon as possible, suggesting Recchi was out of the loop on the latest talks and issues.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Recchi isn’t the only former player suggesting the PA membership should settle as they won’t get better offers from the league if this lockout drags on. Still, it’s interesting to note those former players were less outspoken during previous labor disputes with the league. They obviously have a different perspective once their careers are done.
MONTREAL GAZETTE: It’s been a busy off-season for Canadiens forward Max Pacioretty, playing for Team USA at the IIHF World Championships, several games in the Swiss Elite League during the lockout, and experiencing the damage to his home state of Connecticut caused by Hurricane Sandy.
VANCOUVER SUN: Canucks head coach Alain Vigneault has been forced by the lockout to move home with his parents. It’s not loss of wages making him homeless, but rather renovations to his home have forced him to live temporarily with his folks.
WINNIPEG FREE PRESS: Gary Lawless hopes the next CBA will work to the advantage of the Winnipeg Jets.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: If the NHL continues on its current path in CBA negotiations, it won’t. So far, everything I’ve seen from the league’s proposals add up to a cash grab for big market team owners, while offering little to help small market clubs.
Yes, I know, the Jets are wildly popular in Winnipeg, but they play in the NHL’s smallest market, and the CBA the league wants won’t significantly improve their chances of being a contender. The Jets were among the league leaders in fan cost index last season and had one of the lowest payrolls, yet reportedly barely turned a profit. Don’t expect that to change very much under the next CBA.
Ultimately, the Jets will have to be well managed under a payroll likely to be well below the rising salary cap if they’re to have a chance of success.