NHL, NHLPA wrap up three days of talks on non-economic CBA issues, KHL hopes to exploit NHL lockout, updates on James Neal, Cody Hodgson, Brayden Schenn and Chris Kreider, and Pat Lafontaine approached about buying the NY Islanders.
TSN.CA: The NHL and NHLPA wrapped up three days of talks Sunday on non-economic CBA issues. NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly said no talks were planned for Monday as both sides needed time to review what was discussed over the weekend. There’s no timetable for talks to resume though it’s possible they could meet again Tuesday. As for when the two sides will start talking league economics (specifically, hockey-related revenue), Daly said a separate meeting will have to be scheduled for that, which he claims the NHLPA is unwilling to do at this time.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: At least the two sides are holding talks on the lesser issues, and actually reaching some common ground on some (drug testing, player safety). During the last lockout, the two sides went months following the imposition of the lockout before they met again. Yes, it may seem like grasping at straws, but talks about anything CBA-related between the two sides at this point is better than nothing at all. Still, the fact both sides appear to be avoiding the contentious HRR problems remains troubling, and no real progress can be made until they work that out.
ESPN.COM: The Kontinental Hockey League (KHL) is hoping to exploit the NHL lockout to prove itself a viable alternative to the latter.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Can’t say I blame them. During the last lockout, the KHL didn’t exist, and since its troubled start-up has been dogged by bad publicity on this side of the Atlantic over teams failing to meet payroll, lousy arena conditions and training facilities, and poor transportation, particularly in the wake of the Lokomotiv Yaroslavl air disaster last year. A lengthy NHL lockout, however, gives the KHL an opportunity to overcome its growing pains, as well as sell itself to European players and fans as a legitimate competitor against the NHL.
PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE: Penguins forward James Neal doesn’t believe the lockout will affect his development as a scorer.
TORONTO SUN: Young Buffalo Sabres Cody Hodgson, Marcus Foligno and Luke Adam could benefit from playing in the AHL during the NHL lockout.
PHILLY.COM: Flyers center Brayden Schenn hopes to build on his game with the Flyers farm club.
NEW YORK DAILY NEWS: Promising Rangers forward Chris Kreider is looking forward to continue his development as a pro with the Blueshirts AHL affiliate. Last season, Kreider made the jump from Boston College directly to the Rangers, bypassing their farm team.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: One advantage for those players is they’ll still be playing pro hockey (albeit in the minors) during the lockout, within the respective systems of their NHL clubs.
NEW YORK POST: Former NY Islanders star Pat Lafontaine has been approached by European investors about buying the Isles and keeping them on Long Island. There’s concern Islanders owner Charles Wang will move the club when its arena lease at the Nassau Coliseum expires in 2015. The asking price for the Isles is said to be $300 million.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: I don’t see this plan coming to fruition, especially given that ridiculously steep asking price.