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League, union set to meet again Wednesday


Wednesday in New York, the NHL and NHLPA will sit down to resume CBA negotiations.

In the wake of Friday’s first reported offer by the league, it should be interesting to see if the union provides a counter-offer.  (Or, if its message to the owners is, “Wait, you were serious about that?”)

From the Associated Press:

There were multiple reports coming out of the last round of talks that the owners’ offer included players’ hockey-related revenues get slashed from 57 percent to 46 percent. It also was reported that players would be forced to wait 10 years before becoming unrestricted free agents and that contracts would be limited to five years.

If the NHLPA makes its own proposal, expect revenue-sharing to be part of it.

Which is to say the union will ask highly profitable teams like the Toronto Maple Leafs to share a higher percentage of their revenues with the NHL’s less financially successful franchises. With more revenue sharing, everyone will be making money and the players won’t have to take a haircut, the PA will argue.

If the union’s ever going to divide and conquer the owners, it will be on the topic of revenue sharing.

Just don’t expect teams like the Leafs to get on board with subsidizing their poorer brethren.

Why would they?

With all due respect to the NHL’s small-market teams, there’s a reason the Leafs are worth more than half a billion dollars and the Nashville Predators would be lucky to fetch a third of that on the open market. You get what you pay for, and what you get when you buy the Leafs is a money-making machine.

In response, the union will likely claim more revenue-sharing will have a “rising tide lifts all boats” effect, but the league would prefer any increase in small-market revenue come out of the players’ share, thanks anyway.

Oilers get Kronwall’d – in more ways than one

Niklas Kronwall
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When someone gets clobbered by Niklas Kronwall, they get Kronwall’d.

(His detractors may insist that the definition require the words “dirty” or “illegal,” but that’s a debate for another day.)

It’s easy to get lost in those thunderous hits and forget that the  Swedish defenseman also brings some skill to the table.

He made a big impact – literally and figuratively – in Detroit’s 4-3 overtime win against the Edmonton Oilers on Friday.

First, the Kronwalling:

Next, Kronwall’s overtime-winner:

It hasn’t always been pretty, but the Red Wings are leaning on guys like Kronwall and Dylan Larkin to stick with it.

Tonight’s win extends their point streak to six games (4-0-2), with five of those contests going to overtime.

Dubinsky – Crosby’s nemesis – gets the last laugh on Friday

Sidney Crosby, Brandon Dubinsky

Brandon Dubinsky isn’t a household name like Sidney Crosby is, yet for all the hype that Crosby vs. Alex Ovechkin gets, Dubinsky is the sort of guy who truly rankles No. 87.

It’s been getting that spotlight since the Columbus Blue Jackets faced off against the Pittsburgh Penguins in a brisk playoff series, though it wouldn’t be surprising if the bad blood stemmed to Dubinsky’s days with New York.

To some, Dubinsky’s cross-check on Crosby will resonate far more than the end result of this game:

The bottom line is that he’ll get the last laugh, at least for now. (In-game, that moment merely drew a minor penalty.)

That’s because Dubinsky set up the overtime game-winner, and the cherry on the top of that spite sundae came with Crosby being on the ice when it happened:

They’re not just rubbing the Penguins the wrong way.

Even Dubinsky kind of sort of admits that he may have been in the wrong.


More and more, the Blue Jackets are looking like a nuisance … possibly one that will grind their way to an unlikely playoff berth. They improved to 8-4-0 in November after a disastrous 2-10-0 October.

In other words, there’s at least a chance that we may see these increasingly bitter rivals butt heads in another playoff series.

Eichel’s sweet snipe helps Sabres snap six-game skid

Jack Eichel
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The Buffalo Sabres probably deserved better during at least some chunks of their six-game skid, yet Jack Eichel swooped in on Friday to remind fans that there’s a light shining at the end of the tunnel.

You can watch his goal from tonight’s eventual 4-1 win against the Carolina Hurricanes in the video above.

That’s not necessarily the absolute height of his on-ice magic, yet it clearly gave his team a lift:

Call this a healthy reminder that Eichel has the ability to change games, something Buffalo fans hope to get used to.

Report: Likely no suspension for Matt Beleskey’s hit on Derek Stepan


Alain Vigneault went there in comparing Matt Beleskey‘s hit on Derek Stepan to the notorious check Aaron Rome delivered on Nathan Horton many moons ago, but the league seems to disagree.

While Rome sat through that memorable Stanley Cup Final between Boston and Vancouver, it sounds like Beleskey won’t face any further discipline, according to ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun.

In the unlikely event that anything changes, PHT will make note.

The next game between the Rangers and Bruins takes place at Madison Square Garden on Jan. 11. Will these bad feelings linger?