Gary Bettman

Bettman on CBA: “The owners will not play another year under the current agreement”


With labor negotiations heating up, NHL commissioner Gary Bettman echoed the owners’ refusal to play another season under the current CBA.

“We reiterated to the union that the owners will not play another year under the current agreement,” Bettman told reporters following Thursday’s meetings.

This statement is significant regarding the agreement’s expiration — Sept. 15. The owners’ stance on not extending the current bargaining agreement means it’s essentially a lockout date.

Previously, NHLPA boss Donald Fehr stated Sept. 15 “is not a magic date unless someone wants to make it so.”

“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,” he 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.”

Jesse Spector of The Sporting News pressed the commissioner further on the issue of continuing under the current CBA.

“Asked Bettman if NHL could operate if deal was close — crossing t’s, dotting i’s — on 9/15,” Spector tweeted. “He said if they were close, they’d get it done.”

In other CBA-related news from today:

— Fehr said there’s a “meaningful gulf” between the two sides on revenue sharing.

From ESPN’s Katie Strang: “NHLPA made a presentation in response to league’s proposed revenue-sharing system today. Counter-proposal coming Tuesday.”

Dropping like flies: Johnson, Killorn hurt in Bolts’ exhibition

Montreal Canadiens v Tampa Bay Lightning - Game One
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You probably know the drill: injury updates are murky in the NHL basically from the moment a puck drops.

We’ll learn more once the 2015-16 season begins, but at the moment, Saturday might have served as a costly night for the Tampa Bay Lightning. Both Tyler Johnson and Alex Killorn went down with injuries stemming from a 3-2 pre-season win against the Florida Panthers.

“Guys were dropping like flies,” Steven Stamkos told the Tamba Bay Times.

These could be minor situations – just about any ailment will sideline a key asset this time of year – yet one cannot help but wonder if the Lightning might limp into this campaign.

Nikita Kucherov is dealing with his own issues, so that means at least minor issues for one half of the Bolts’ top six forwards.

It’s believed that more will be known about these banged-up Bolts sometime on Sunday.

Raffi Torres gets match penalty for being Raffi Torres

Raffi Torres

With knee issues still limiting him, Raffi Torres isn’t as mobile as he once was. Apparently he still moves well enough to leave the usual path of destruction.

It’s the pre-season, so it’s unclear if we’ll get a good look at the check, but Torres received a match penalty for his hit on Anaheim Ducks forward Jakob Silfverberg.

Most accounts were pretty critical of the San Jose Sharks’ chief troublemaker:

It’s too early to tell if Silfverberg is injured. If he is, that’s a significant loss for the Ducks, as he really showed signs of fulfilling his promise (especially during the 2015 playoffs).

As far as Torres goes, he’s hoping to play in the Sharks’ season-opener. Wherever he ends up, he’ll certainly make plenty of enemies on the ice.

Whether it was because of that hit or just the general distaste shared by those sides, it sounds like tonight’s Sharks – Ducks exhibition is getting ugly, in general:

This post will be updated if video of the hit becomes available, and also if we get a better idea of Silfverberg’s condition.

Update: Bullet dodged?