Gary Bettman

NHL-NHLPA labor talks will start soon


We won’t have to wait much longer to see the beginning of NHL commissioner Gary Bettman’s CBA talks with NHLPA executive director Donald Fehr. According to Bettman, the players’ union is ready to begin negotiations, which should start soon.

Of course, when they will finish is anyone’s guess. The current CBA will expire on September 15, 2012 and if no agreement is in place before then, the 2012-13 season might not start on time. However, Bettman sounds optimistic as the process enters it’s next stage.

“I don’t understand all the speculation and the degree of negativity,” Bettman said.

It’s not clear where the battle lines will be drawn, but one likely point of contention is the revenue split between the players and owners. Currently the players take a 57% share of the revenue and the owners might seek to change that.

Unless a new CBA is agreed to before July 1, this situation might lead to a level of uncertainty for general managers going into the unrestricted free agent market. The new deal between the owners and players might change the salary cap, which means that the GMs might end up having less money to work with than they initially thought.

Either way, we’re moving forward and there are plenty of reason to be optimistic about the NHL and players’ union chances of avoiding another lockout.

Jason Demers tweets #FreeTorres, gets mocked

Los Angeles Kings v San Jose Sharks - Game One
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Following his stunning 41-game suspension, it looks like Raffi Torres has at least one former teammate in his corner.

We haven’t yet seen how the San Jose Sharks or the NHLPA are reacting to the league’s hammer-dropping decision to punish Torres for his Torres-like hit on Jakob Silfverberg, but Jason Demers decided to put in a good word for Torres tonight.

It was a simple message: “#FreeTorres.”

Demers, now of the Dallas Stars, was once with Torres and the Sharks. (In case this post’s main image didn’t make that clear enough already.)

Perhaps this will become “a thing” at some point.

So far, it seems like it’s instead “a thing (that people are making fun of).”

… You get the idea.

The bottom line is that there are some who either a) blindly support Torres because they’re Sharks fans or b) simply think that the punishment was excessive.

The most important statement came from the Department of Player Safety, though.

Bruins list Chara on IR, for now

Zdeno Chara

Those who feel as though the Boston Bruins may rebound – John Tortorella, maybe? – likely rest some of their optimism on the back of a healthy Zdeno Chara.

It’s possible that he’s merely limping into what may otherwise be a healthy 2015-16 season, but it’s definitely looking like a slow start thanks to a lower-body injury.

The latest sign of a bumpy beginning came on Monday, as several onlookers (including’s Joe Haggerty) pointed out that Chara was listed on injured reserve.

As Haggerty notes, that move is retroactive to Sept. 24, so his status really just opens up options for the Bruins.

Still … it’s a little unsettling, isn’t it?

The Bruins likely realize that they need to transition away from their generational behemoth, but last season provided a stark suggestion that may not be ready yet. Trading Dougie Hamilton and losing Dennis Seidenberg to injury only make them more dependent on the towering 38-year-old.

This isn’t really something to panic about, yet it might leave a few extra seats open on the Bruins’ bandwagon.