Reaction as the NHLPA balks on NHL realignment plan…Is Sidney Crosby finished for the season?…Time for a new coach for the Blue Jackets…Devils Patrik Elias comes through on 1000th NHL game…The Avalanche win their fourth in a row…Bruins prepare for rematch with Canucks…Simon Gagne still bothered by concussion symptoms…How hockey can give up fighting without giving up the fight…Is the NHL tough enough on racism?
TORONTO SUN: The NHL’s realignment plan, slated for next season, is on hold after the NHLPA rejected it last night, with league deputy commissioner Bill Daly saying this delay mean it won’t be implemented for 2012-13.
DALLAS MORNING NEWS: NHLPA director Donald Fehr issued a statement regarding the reasons for the PA’s rejection, citing concerns over playoff structure and travel, and the league’s unwillingness to consult with the PA before putting the realignment plan to a vote before the league board of governors.
WINNIPEG SUN: Ken Wiebe on how this will impact the Jets, whose recent relocation from Atlanta was the incentive behind the realignment.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Plenty more reaction to this in the MSM as well as the NHL blogosphere today, with the consensus being this is the first shot in what could be another labor war between the NHL and the NHLPA. I’ll have my opinion on this in my Sunday Soapbox, but in the meantime, my advice is everyone take a breath and relax. Nobody believed CBA talks would be pleasant, and there’s going to be lots of posturing and politicking on both sides until a new deal is agreed upon, hopefully without jeopardizing the start of next season. Long way to go yet, folks. Start worrying if there’s no deal in place by September 15th, when the current CBA expires.
SPORTSNET.CA: Nick Kypreos believes Sidney Crosby’s season is over, based on his long-term health and upcoming contract negotiations. Penguins GM Ray Shero and Crosby’s agent Pat Brisson say otherwise.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Crosby is reportedly working out again and hoping to return later this season. Kypreos does however raise an interesting point about how Crosby’s injury status could have an impact upon his contract talks with the Penguins.
COLUMBUS DISPATCH: Michael Arace believes it’s time for the Blue Jackets to find a replacement for Scott Arniel as head coach.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Probably should’ve happened weeks ago. Too late now to make a difference for this season.
NEW YORK POST: Patrik Elias made his 1,000th NHL game more memorable, leading the Devils to a 5-2 win over Florida with a goal and two assists.
DENVER POST: The Colorado Avalanche won their fourth in a row, shutting out the Chicago Blackhawks 4-0.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Is this recent surge up the standings by the Avalanche for real, or just another twist in their rollercoaster season?Enjoy the ride, Avs fans.
BOSTON GLOBE: The Bruins prepare for their game today against the Vancouver Canucks, their first since defeating the Canucks in Game 7 of the 2011 Stanley Cup Final.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: I doubt this tilt will be a dull one. The Canucks will be starting Cory Schneider instead of Roberto Luongo, adding more fuel to the “goaltender controversy” talk in Vancouver.
LA KINGS INSIDER: It’s not looking good for Kings winger Simon Gagne, who remains plagued by post-concussion symptoms.