If there’s one thing you could say about the NHLPA in the past is that they’ve had issues sticking together behind a leader. The players’ association have never had a guy like Donald Fehr in the past, however, and that makes this round of CBA negotiations that much different.
Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews tells Tracey Myers of CSNChicago.com he’s confident in the process and believes in what Fehr is doing to help the players get a fair deal.
“We know his leadership abilities and we’re confident in what he’s been doing for us and we’re going to continue to feel that way,” Toews said. “Everyone wants to know answers right now and it’s impossible to tell the future. We’re confident in Don, we’re behind him 100 percent directing our NHLPA and we’ll leave it at that.”
Hawks forward Jamal Mayers also spoke to Myers saying they hope to make up some ground lost to the owners in the last round of negotiations. Therein lies the fight for the players. Hearing Toews’ positive attitude about working with Fehr is something that should have the owners realizing they won’t be able to push them around.
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.
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 CSNNE.com’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.