Another week of NHL CBA negotiations wraps up, Red Wings still await decision from Tomas Holmstrom, the Predators could need a new air charter service, and Jordan Staal travels with two former Penguins teammates to Haiti for charity work.
ESPN.COM: Despite NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman’s comments Thursday regarding no possibility of playing this season under the current CBA, NHL-NHLPA CBA talks ended on a positive note, with NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly andWinnipeg Jets defenseman and PA rep Ron Hainsey voicing optimism about getting a new deal in place by the time the current one expires on September 15. The NHLPA is expected to table its long-awaited CBA proposal on Tuesday.
SPORTSNET.CA: A source claims the NHLPA has a “Plan B” if there’s a lockout, which would see NHL stars take on KHL stars in a series of all-star games tentatively scheduled for Moscow, Halifax and Quebec City, plus an undetermined site in Southern Ontario.
CBC.CA: NHL legend turned player agent Bobby Orr defends the players in the current round of CBA negotiations, chastising the league over its hard-line initial proposal.
CHICAGO TRIBUNE: Blackhawks player rep Steve Montador is not only involved in NHLPA matter but is also still working his way back from a concussion.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Again, what Bettman stated on Thursday wasn’t news, but merely a reminder of what the league intent has been dating back to when it served its notice of intent in February to terminate the current CBA on September 15th, as well as (I suspect) his attempt to prod the PA into speeding up negotiations. At least we’ll see the PA’s counter-proposal at long last, which the league is bound to reject, though they’ll take several days before doing so for PR purposes. The PA’s supposed “Plan B” is akin to Wayne Gretzky’s “Ninety Nine All Stars Tour” during the 1994-95 lockout.
MLIVE.COM: The Detroit Red Wings are still awaiting word from Tomas Holmstrom if he’ll retire or try to return for one more NHL season.
THE TENNESSEAN: The Nashville Predators could be in need of a new air charter, as their current one (Swift Air) is burdened by financial and legal problems.
PITTSBURGH TRIBUNE-REVIEW: Former Pittsburgh Penguins center Jordan Staal is traveling to Haiti with former teammates Matt Cooke and Joe Vitale on a humanitarian trip.