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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.

Sabres place Lehner on IR; Recall Lieuwen

Connor Brown, Robin Lehner
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They’re just one game into their regular season, but the Buffalo Sabres have already had to shift things around in their crease.

The Sabres announced that they have placed starting goaltender Robin Lehner on injured reserve after he was knocked out of Thursday’s game with a lower-body injury.

In a corresponding move, the club has recalled Nathan Lieuwen from their AHL affiliate in Rochester.

The 24-year-old didn’t play in the NHL last season, but he did have a 1-4-0 record with a 2.98 goals-against-average and a .906 save percentage in seven games during the 2013-14 season.

Lieuwen was Buffalo’s sixth round pick, 167th overall, in the 2011 draft.

The Sabres also announced that they have loaned defenseman Jake McCabe and goaltender Linus Ullmark to the Rochester Americans (AHL).

McCabe was a healthy scratch in Thursday’s game against Ottawa, while Ullmark is being activated off I.R. after having double hip surgery during the off-season.



Chara ‘doubtful’ for game against rival Canadiens

Brad Marchand, Zdeno Chara
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It looks like the Boston Bruins will be without their captain again on Saturday night.

Head coach Claude Julien told members of the media that Zdeno Chara is considered doubtful for tonight’s game against the Montreal Canadiens.

Chara suffered an upper-body injury during the preseason and he’s already been forced to miss Boston’s season opening loss to the Jets.

Per CSN, Chara says he’s improving but he won’t return to the lineup until he’s as close to 100 percent as possible.

“Every area of the injury is improving,” said Chara. “Hopefully it’s not long before I’m free of any kind of discomfort. That’s what we’re doing right now…we’re being patient. For sure you don’t want to come back, and be half of what you are…and basically hurting yourself and the team. And you’re putting yourself in a position where you could be missing more time. At this time of the season, I think it’s important to be as close as you can be to 100 percent.”

Based on the number of defensive mistakes they committed on Thursday, the Bruins need Chara back as soon as possible: