NHLPA votes to extend CBA; salary cap to go up next season

After the NHLPA decided not to come to a decision yesterday on
whether to exervise it’s option on whether to extend the CBA, there was
some concern that they would vote against the increase in the salary cap
and further splinter the players. Instead, word has come down today
that the CBA has been extended through the 2011-2012 season and that the
NHLPA has voted to approve the 5% growth factor on the salary cap.

So what does this all mean?

For one, the salary cap is now expected to jump up to around $58.8
million, up from $56.6 million last season. Next year’s cap — and that
growth factor — is based on last season’s revenues; until the formal
announcement comes we won’t know exactly where the cap will sit next
season, but it will be in that ballpark.

Teams now have more flexibility for free agency and the players will
see an increase in average salaries for next season. This affords to
higher spending teams more room to sign big free agents, while other
teams that need to stay conservative are left playing catchup.

This is also a good sign for the NHLPA and it’s pursuit of Doald Fehr
to become the director of the association. It had been thought that if
the players showed good judgment and solidarity he’d be willing to take
to position, and it certainly seems as if that’s the case here.

Full press release after the jump.


TORONTO/CHICAGO (June 22, 2010) – The Executive Board of the National
Hockey League Players’ Association (NHLPA) announced today from its
meetings in Chicago, Illinois that the NHLPA has exercised its option to
extend the current Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) for the
2011-12 season.

The current CBA between the NHLPA and the
National Hockey League (NHL) was scheduled to expire on September 15,
2011, will now remain in effect through the 2011-12 season.

Statement
from NHLPA Executive Board:

“The NHLPA is pleased to announce
to hockey fans that the CBA will remain in effect through the 2011-12
season. It is apparent through the operation of the CBA that there are a
number of issues that require serious examination. The NHLPA is
currently reviewing these issues and will be forming a negotiating
committee in the coming months in order to address these matters.”

The
Executive Board’s decision will also ensure that NHL Clubs have the
ability to use the Performance Bonus Cushion provision in the CBA for
contracts in the 2010-11 season.

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    Calm, then storm: Penguins, Senators trade Game 7’s goals in 20 seconds

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    Here’s hoping that you didn’t take a poorly-timed break in the second period.

    For much of Game 7, the Ottawa Senators have been able to slow down the Pittsburgh Penguins, resulting in a contest that went scoreless for what sometimes felt like ages.

    Chris Kunitz changed that, long after missing on a golden opportunity shortly after Mike Sullivan decided to put him on Sidney Crosby‘s line. Kunitz finished a nice rush play to make it 1-0 9:55 into the second. Check out that goal below.

    Guy Boucher didn’t have to deploy “attack mode” very long, as Mark Stone stunningly tied it up 1-1 just 20 seconds later. That surprising tally can be seen in the clip above this post’s headline.

    Who’s playing for Penguins, Senators in Game 7

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    We finally know the lineups for the Pittsburgh Penguins and Ottawa Senators in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Final.

    Pittsburgh’s tweaks are most interesting, which isn’t a huge surprising considering the consistent inconsistency bred by their injury issues.

    The Penguins will get Conor Sheary and Justin Schultz back in the mix. Despite showing a lot of energy warming up, Patric Hornqvist isn’t good to go. Here are the full Penguins personnel notes; also realize that this is Matt Murray‘s birthday.

    Ottawa places Chris Kelly back in, getting the nod over Tommy Wingels and Colin White. Kelly’s had some experience in these scenarios.

    You can watch Game 7 live on NBCSN. The game can also be viewed online and via the NBC Sports App. Here is the livestream link.

    Sabres confirm signing defenseman Antipin; Is his KHL teammate Lee next?

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    The Buffalo Sabres announced the signing of defenseman Victor Antipin* on Thursday, confirming rumors that surfaced more than once this month.

    Antipin, 24, enjoyed a solid season in the KHL with Magnitogorsk Metallurg. Even so, the signing might be interesting if it serves as an appetizer for the Sabres bringing in Antipin’s teammate from Metallurg, Chris Lee.

    On one hand, Lee is 36 and couldn’t make the jump fromt he AHL to the NHL in previous opportunities (most reently with the Penguins’ farm system in 2009-10). On the other, he had an eye-popping 2016-17 season in the KHL: 65 points in 60 games as a defenseman.

    Lee’s previous numbers aren’t as outrageous, but still quite good, at least form a scoring standpoint.

    While Lee’s possible addition is a situation to watch, there’s some excitement about Antipin.

    “Victor is a well-rounded defenseman who has played in all situations at the pro level,” Sabres GM Jason Botterill said. “His mobility and puck-moving skills make him a perfect match for what we’re hoping to build with our defense corps next season.”

    Granted, there’s some debate about his ceiling.

    Still, for a Sabres team that badly needs help on the blueline, this addition – or eventually these additions – could provide a nice boost.

    * – The Sabres’ releases feature his name spelled “Victor.” Other outlets, including hockeydb, have it as “Viktor.”

    WATCH LIVE: Ottawa Senators vs. Pittsburgh Penguins – Game 7

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    Will it be the Ottawa Senators or Pittsburgh Penguins against the Nashville Predators in the Stanley Cup Final? We’ll find out after tonight.

    Yes, it’s that time: a Game 7 to see who advances to the final round. The winner will also hold home-ice advantage in the Stanley Cup Final.

    Could Erik Karlsson, Craig Anderson, and the rest of the Senators pull off an upset on the road, winning the franchise’s first Game 7? Can Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin and the Penguins give Matt Murray a birthday present with another Game 7 win?

    Find out on NBCSN. You can also watch online and via the NBC Sports App.

    Here’s what you need to know:

    Ottawa Senators vs. Pittsburgh Penguins (series tied 3-3)

    Time: 8:00 p.m. ET

    Network: NBCSN (Stream live here)

    Check out the highlights from Ottawa’s 2-1 win in Game 6

    Related:

    Pretty or not, Sens aim to play their game vs. Pens in Game 7

    Penguins prepare for another Game 7, this time as favorites

    Modern-day Senators have never won a Game 7

    It’s “reasonable” to expect Schultz and Hornqvist will play Game 7