Donald Fehr

Might the players’ proposal pit the owners against each other?


NHL commissioner Gary Bettman has yet to see what the NHLPA will counter their proposal with, but it’s possible the players’ union will come back with something a bit different. Rather than looking to cash in big for themselves, they may seek to pit the owners against each other.

Aaron Portzline from The Columbus Dispatch hears from the dean of Indiana University School of Law Gary Roberts (no, not the former Flames and Maple Leafs forward) who says a plan like that might just work.

“Knowing Donald Fehr, I will be shocked if that’s not part of his proposal, and a big part of it,” said Gary Roberts, dean of the Indiana University School of Law. “Salary caps do not work very well — or for very long — if you have a great disparity of revenue between clubs.

“You either set the cap so low that some teams make enormous profits — that doesn’t sit well with the players — or you set it so high that the clubs in smaller markets just can’t keep up.”

That sort of thing is precisely what’s going on now as many teams spend to the floor to maximize what they make while others spend to the cap (and then some) because they’re awash in profits. Meanwhile, they’ve all got to spend the same kind of money regardless of how much they take in. That kind of disparity doesn’t sit well with the teams fighting to turn a profit.

One solution Portzline shares from sources is letting teams trade their salary cap space to teams in need of more for picks or cash. Hey, it’s a creative solution albeit one that doesn’t sound likely to happen.

Bruins list Chara on IR, for now

Zdeno Chara
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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.

Kassian suspended without pay, placed in Stage 2 of Substance Abuse Program

Anaheim Ducks v Vancouver Canucks
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Zack Kassian may have avoided major injuries stemming from his Sunday car accident, but it likely sent the signal that he may need help.

The response: he was placed in Stage Two of the Substance Abuse and Behavioral Health Program (SABH) of the NHL and NHLPA on Monday.

According to the league’s release, Kassian “will be suspended without pay until cleared for on-ice competition by the program administrators.”

Speaking of being suspended without pay, here’s a key detail:

The 24-year-old ended up with a broken nose and broken foot from that accident. The 2015-16 season was set to be his first campaign in the Montreal Canadiens organization after a tumultuous time with the Vancouver Canucks.

Kassian spoke of becoming more mature heading to Montreal, but the Canadiens were critical of his actions, wondering how many wake-up calls someone can get.

In case you’re wondering about the difference between stage one and two: