More CBA analysis, the KHL’s president slams the NHL, and the latest on Martin St. Louis, Marian Hossa, David Perron, Daniel Briere and more.
THE SPORTING NEWS: Liz Mullen reports player agents aren’t expecting many major changes under the new NHL CBA.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Other than a 7-year cap on contract term limits and variance limits on salaries, there really hasn’t been many significant changes to the rules governing player salaries. Free agent and arbitration right remain unchanged, while the rules regarding “no-trade” and “no-movement” clauses remain intact.
THE GLOBE AND MAIL: Allan Maki reports the NHL will find out soon enough how much damage the lockout did to its brand, while Roy MacGregor warns the KHL is becoming a viable alternative to the NHL, especially for Russian players, suggesting the day could soon come when a major Russian star opts to play there.
ESPN.COM: Pierre LeBrun scolds KHL president Alexander Medvedev for his recent critical comments toward the NHL, pointing out the league and the NHLPA has yet to commit to the Sochi Winter Olympics.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Medvedev’s bluster aside, everyone knows the NHL & NHLPA will sign off on participating in the Sochi Games. MacGregor makes a solid point regarding the possibility a Russian NHL superstar of the caliber of Evgeni Malkin, Alexander Ovechkin or Pavel Datsyuk could one day decide to jump permanently to the KHL, or opt to play their early professional years there. Xenophobic NHL fans won’t care, forgetting the fact the NHL brand would suffer with fewer Russian superstars.
SPORTSNET.CA: Michael Grange wonders if free agent defenseman Chris Campoli’s hard work on behalf of the NHLPA during the recent contentious CBA negotiations with the NHL might cost him a job in the NHL.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: I believe Campoli’s play has more to do with his future employment.
TAMPABAY.COM: Ageless Lightning star Martin St. Louis, 37, is looking forward to the upcoming shortened season.
CHICAGO TRIBUNE: Marian Hossa is pleased with his recovery from the concussion which knocked him out of last spring’s playoffs in his preparation for this season.
COLUMBUS DISPATCH: The Blues Jackets are adjusting to the absence of former captain Rick Nash, who was dealt last summer to the NY Rangers.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: At least the Blue Jackets won’t be distracted by the Nash trade rumors anymore.
STLTODAY.COM: Blues forward David Perron is fully recovered from his previous post-concussion symptoms and looks forward to continuing his NHL career.
PHILLY.COM: Defenseman Andrej Meszaros may be ready to go for the Flyers season opener on Saturday, while Daniel Briere (wrist injury) could return by January 22.
NEWSDAY: Islanders forward Kyle Okposo hopes his improved scoring over the second half of last season carries over into this one.
LOS ANGELES TIMES: The Kings could be without defenseman Willie Mitchell for a while longer, as he suffered a recent setback in his recovery from off-season knee surgery. Forward Anze Kopitar, who suffered a sprained knee playing overseas, skated briefly yesterday wearing a knee brace.
NEW YORK DAILY NEWS: Chris Kreider had a strong post-season last spring, but isn’t guaranteed a roster spot with the Rangers this season.
RDS.CA’ s Renaud Lavoid reports via Twitter the Anaheim Ducks have signed Pierre-Luc Letourneau-Leblond to a one-year, $ 550 000$ (2 way) contract.