Among today’s notable NHL lockout headlines: NHL cancels games up to November 1, speculation a CBA deal can be had, an interview with NHLPA director Donald Fehr, Blackhawks Cup championship team to reunite for charity game, and Jamie Benn’s new contract could be concern for Dallas Stars under new CBA.
TSN.CA: The NHL has cancelled games up to November 1, though the fact it didn’t go beyond that leaves a thin hope for a resolution to meet the league’s projected deadline for a full 82-game schedule commencing November 2. Darren Dreger reports, however, both sides still believe there is a deal to be made. ”
“There’s strong belief that if common ground can be found on the systemic issues such as revenue sharing, free agency, salary arbitration, entry-level restrictions and contract length, the ‘make whole’ concept the NHL put together earlier this week can be mutually molded to close the deal.
This would require The Big Four – Bettman, NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly and the Fehr brothers – to focus on a common goal. And it may be too early for that.”
NEW YORK POST: Larry Brooks reports there are no meetings scheduled next week between the two sides, but it would be a surprise if they don’t reconvene early in the week, or in some form this weekend, in either New York or Toronto.
OTTAWA SUN: Bruce Garrioch interviewed NHLPA director Donald Fehr, who explained the NHLPA’s position in this lockout to date.
PHILLY.COM: NHL players have begun receiving their escrow payments for last season, which could decrease the PA’s urgency to cut a deal.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The escrow reimbursement is less than 8 percent of the players salaries last season, so it’ll only be a short-term boost to their respective lockout savings. I doubt it’ll be much of a factor in the NHL CBA talks.
As I previously observed, the fact both sides are talking about a 50-50 split in HRR is a positive sign toward resolving the biggest sticking point in these talks: the division of HRR. It’s now a question of how to reach it with minimal financial pain for the players. The league would prefer implementation of a 50-50 split at once, the players would prefer to be eased into it. I, too, would be surprised if the two sides don’t meet again over the coming week
ESPN.COM: The lockout is stalling the NHL dreams of marginal players like forward Ryan Garbutt, who hopes to earns a full-time spot on the Dallas Stars.
CHICAGO SUN-TIMES: The 2010 Chicago Blackhawks championship roster will reunite for a charity game on October 26.
DALLAS MORNING NEWS: Whenever the NHL gets back to action, the first order of business for the Stars will be re-signing star forward Jamie Benn, which could prove tricky, depending upon what’s in the next CBA.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Regardless of what’s in the next CBA, Benn has earned a significant raise over the entry level contract he was playing under the past three years. Rest assured, the Stars won’t let this drag on for long, and certainly won’t let him be signed away by an offer sheet.