NHLPA press conference

The “object is to get a deal done that can continue” NHL’s positive momentum, says Fehr


With a group of players standing symbolically behind him, NHLPA chief Donald Fehr fielded questions from reporters following three days of union meetings in Chicago.

Granted, Fehr didn’t say much, other than to say he wasn’t willing to say much about the upcoming CBA negotiations with the league. But he did suggest the owners will have a hard time pleading poverty this time around.

Here are the bullets from the press conference:

— Talks with the NHL will start later in the week, followed by more talks next week, after which Fehr expects the two sides to meet on a “regular basis.”

— The first few bargaining sessions could be used for each side to share their concerns in order that each side fully understands its counterpart’s concerns before negotiations start.

— Commenting on all the good news coming out of league offices (increased revenue, TV ratings, etc.), Fehr said the “object is to get a deal done that can continue that momentum.”

— Fehr wouldn’t comment on speculation that the owners will attempt to cut the players’ share of revenues from its current rate of 57 percent, and said he doesn’t know if that will be the case. Sometimes you know the other side’s position heading into negotiations, sometimes you don’t. This time it’s the latter.

— The above in mind, Fehr said it will be pretty clear “early on” where each side stands.

Related: Bettman: “there are people who believe that the game has never been better”

It looks like Havlat won’t make Panthers

Martin Havlat
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As PHT’s mentioned before, the Florida Panthers stand as a fascinating contrast between youth and experience.

Let’s not kid ourselves, though; fresh faces usually beat out gray beards, at least when it comes to teams that are still trying to build toward contender status.

While it’s by no means official, two Panthers beat writers – the Miami Herald’s George Richards and the Florida Sun-Sentinel’s Harvey Fialkov – report that the Panthers are likely to pass on Martin Havlat.

It wasn’t just about the likes of Jonathan Huberdeau and Nick Bjugstad leading the charge. Other young Panthers (maybe most notably Quinton Howden and Connor Brickley) made the team, thus making Havlat less necessary.

One would assume that it might be tough for the 34-year-old to find work, at least if he insists upon only an NHL deal.

Health issues continue to dog him, but he’s no longer one of those guys who tantalizes with talent when he is healthy enough to play.

Havlat also doesn’t really bring much to the table defensively. While other veterans can kill penalties and show a little more verstaility, Havlat’s greatest selling point is scoring.

Could this be it for a solid career that may nonetheless end with a “What if?” or two?

Silfverberg is set to practice again after Torres hit

Jakob Silfverberg
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Considering all of the controversy surrounding the 41-game suspension for Raffi Torres, some might have lost track of the guy who received that hit: Jakob Silfverberg.

The good news is that, at the moment, it seems like he’s OK.

The Anaheim Ducks announced that he skated on his own and will be involved in the team’s next practice:

That falls in line with some of the fall-out from the hit, as head coach Bruce Boudreau let out a relieved “thank goodness” at the young forward seemingly dodging a bullet.

Here’s video of the hit and the suspension decision:

Silfverberg, 24, enjoyed a nice breakout in 2014-15, especially during the playoffs.

Keep in mind that injuries can sometimes crop up later than expected, especially potential head injuries/concussions. Still, it seems like the initial reaction is that the damage was minimal.