While the early stages of CBA negotiations have been met with some pessimism, NHLPA boss Donald Fehr isn’t worried about a potential timeline to get a deal done.
In fact, there might not be a timeline at all.
“All I’ve said is Sept. 15 is not a magic date unless someone wants to make it so,” Fehr told the Globe and Mail about the current CBA expiration date. “There’s nothing that happens on Sept. 15 if we don’t have an agreement, provided nobody says we’re going to go on strike or says we’re going to lock the doors.”
Fehr has stated in the past that, despite the fact the current agreement expires midway through September, 2012-13 play may go on without a new deal — so long as both sides are willing to keep negotiating.
“There’s nothing magic about Sept. 15. The law is that if you don’t have a new agreement, and as long as both sides are willing to keep negotiating, you can continue to play under the terms of the old one until you reach an agreement,” Fehr said back in late June. “All I know is that in baseball, there were any number of occasions in which we played while the parties were continuing to negotiate.”
It’s unclear if the NHL and its owners are of the same mindset.
Speaking of the NHL, commissioner Gary Bettman reportedly submitted 76,000 pages of financial information to the NHLPA on Monday evening. It’s the latest in what both sides are calling “amicable” and “constructive” negotiations thus far.
“We’re doing our best to comply with all of their requests regardless of whether we think they are relevant,” Bettman said.
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.