In this morning’s collection of notable NHL headlines: updates on possible CBA talks between the two sides, team owners & GMs had two-day window to speak to players regarding NHL’s latest CBA proposal, and an update on Marc Savard.
ESPN.COM: Pierre LeBrun suggested this week could be an important one for NHL CBA negotiations if an agreement is to be reached to salvage a full 82-game season. Katie Strang reported no formal talks have been scheduled this week, though a source close to the negotiations suggested they could be held later in the week.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: So far, no word if those talks will take place this week. Each side seems to expect the other to negotiate off their proposals of last week. Like LeBrun, I don’t buy into the opinion that the entire season could be lost if there’s no agreement this week, but I do agree pressure will be ramped up on both sides once the possibility of playing a full 82-game schedule is gone. I never believed it was possible to salvage a full schedule from this lockout. If this season is to be saved, I’m guessing talks will stretch for at least another 4-6 weeks, resulting in a 55-65 game schedule.
NBC SPORTS PRO HOCKEY TALK: The NHLPA allowed NHL team owners and general managers a 48-hour window to answer players questions regarding the league’s latest CBA proposal.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Turns out I was incorrect when I wrote the PA allowed the teams and GMs to speak with the players after tabling their last CBA offer, as per this link from the Winnipeg Free Press. If anything, the PA isn’t pleased with that at all, which could potentially put a monkey wrench into any hopes of the two sides reaching an agreement this week.
PHILLY.COM: Sam Carchidi notes the NHL lockout is, in a way, being funded by Comcast, the owner of the Philadelphia Flyers.
“The NBC Sports Group, a subsidiary of Comcast, is paying the league about $180 million in rights fees this season — and a network spokesman said on Monday that the NHL will receive all of that money even if no games are played in 2012-13.
There is an asterisk, however. If no games are played this season, the league will grant NBC a “free year at the back end of the agreement,” said the NBC spokesman, who asked to remain anonymous.”
THE GLOBE AND MAIL: David Shoalts calls for the moderates among the NHL owners to step up and put pressure upon league commissioner Gary Bettman to bring this lockout to an end.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: After reading Jonathan Gatehouse’s biography on Bettman, I don’t expect any palace coups against the commish, whose power is pretty much absolute.
THE SPORTING NEWS: Boston Bruins center Marc Savard doesn’t expect any comeback from post-concussion symptoms in the near future.