Still more details emerging from the new NHL CBA, concern over some NHL players remaining in the KHL, plus the latest on Pavel Datsyuk, Nicklas Backstrom, Alex Kovalev, Mikael Granlund, and more.
USA TODAY: NHL owners will be voting today in New York City on the new tentative collective bargaining agreement. If passed as expected, it will move the NHL one step closer to officially ending the lockout.
OTTAWA SUN: Bruce Garrioch believes NHL commissioner Gary Bettman could have some explaining to do with some of the owners as to why the lockout lasted as long as it did, as well as defend the new deal, though it is expected to pass the owners vote today.
NBC SPORTS PRO HOCKEY TALK: Some potential season-opening games have been revealed. The Montreal Canadiens will host the Toronto Maple Leafs, the Ottawa Senators will face the Jets in Winnipeg, while the Minnesota Wild and Colorado Avalanche could stage a home-and-home series on January 19 and 20.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’s also rumored the Philadelphia Flyers and Pittsburgh Penguins will square off in a matinee on NBC on January 19, plus the Edmonton Oilers and Calgary Flames could face off next Saturday.
TORONTO SUN: NHL Deputy Commissioner confirmed in an e-mail with the Orange County Register the upcoming season will begin on January 19. Daly added the new schedule isn’t expected to be released until this weekend. All NHL training camps are expected to open on Sunday. It is expected the NHL will stage a 48-game schedule with all games played within each conference.
THE GLOBE AND MAIL: James Mirtle broke down some of the new rules in the CBA, including keeping salary in a trade, the “cap benefit recapture” formula, the new calculations for the salary cap floor and ceiling, the end of re-entry waivers and a higher minimum salary. Mirtle also explained how the salary cap could reach $90 million, some of the lesser-known gains for players in this CBA (including an increase in playoff money and the increase in the minimum salary), and how the KHL could try to encourage some NHL stars who played in their league during the lockout to remain for the rest of the season.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Interesting stuff from Mirtle, who’s done a bang-up job sorting through the more interesting points to emerge in the new CBA. As for players under NHL contracts staying in the KHL, let’s see how many actually do so before it becomes an issue. I realize there’s lots of speculation Ilya Kovalchuk might stay, but he could merely be awaiting the official end of the lockout (which hasn’t formally happened yet) before making his return.
ESPN.COM: Pierre LeBrun reports the NHL and NHLPA agreed to leave Olympic participation out of this new CBA. Both sides are expected to meet with the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) within a month or so to discuss the NHL’s continued participation.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: I anticipate the NHL will participate in the 2014 Sochi Games, but it remains to be seen if there’ll be future participation.
MLIVE.COM: Pavel Datsyuk has returned from the KHL to the Detroit Red Wings.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Alexander Ovechkin has returned to the Washington Capitals while Evgeni Malkin is reportedly on his way back to the Pittsburgh Penguins.
WASHINGTON POST: A neck injury suffered by Capitals center Nicklas Backstrom during a recent KHL game has left him questionable for the start of the new season.
SUN-SENTINEL.COM: The Florida Panthers have invited UFA forwards Alex Kovalev, Marek Svatos and Andrei Kostitsyn to training camp.
STARTRIBUNE.COM: Finnish phenom Mikael Granlund could make his NHL debut as the Minnesota Wild’s second line center.
MERCURYNEWS.COM: Katie Moore, wife of former San Jose Sharks center Dominic Moore, passed away on Monday from liver cancer.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Condolences to the Moore family on their loss.