Jeff Halpern

Halpern: “At some point, labor unions have to make a stand”

Jeff Halpern has already made the majority of the money he’ll make in his NHL career. The 36-year-old is set to earn $700,000 next season with the New York Rangers. Only two years ago, he was coming off a four-year, $8 million deal.

But despite his veteran status, Halpern’s still looking out for the young guys as the owners and NHLPA attempt to negotiate a new CBA.

“It’s more than [revenue] percentages on the line,” Halpern told CSNWashington.com. “It’s setting the table for players down the road. We’re trying to find something that works without completely giving in. At some point, labor unions have to make a stand and that’s where we are right now.”

Halpern points out that the current CBA negotiations aren’t like the last ones that resulted in the cancellation of the 2004-05 season and, ultimately, the introduction of a salary cap.

“We had a system before the [2004-05] lockout that was pretty advantageous to the players and we gave up pretty much everything that we stood for,” Halpern said. “Before that we had an open market system.

“We went into a salary cap system that the league wanted and the union isn’t arguing anymore. The major fights and disagreements from the last CBA are gone. Now it’s arguing over who gets how much of the pie, basically, and defining exactly how much that revenue is.”

Related: First step: actually define hockey-related revenue

Watch the Blackhawks’ Patrick Sharp tribute video

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Over the years, the Chicago Blackhawks have been forced to let some important players leave to keep their core together, which ultimately meant parting ways with Patrick Sharp.

The talented winger now wears a Dallas Stars jersey, so Blackhawks fans must face the reality of watching Sharp ply his trade for a formidable Central Division opponent.

Even if that might feel awkward, Blackhawks fans gave Sharp (and Johnny Oduya) a warm reception in Chicago on Thursday.

CSNChicago.com provides video of that ovation, which you can see in the clip above.

The Stars currently lead the Blackhawks 4-2, thanks in large part to Patrick … Eaves.

Wild must overcome Alex Ovechkin’s 14th career hat trick

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Death, taxes and Alex Ovechkin winning the Maurice Richard Trophy.

OK, the third thing on that list isn’t technically inevitable. It just feels that way lately in the NHL.

It’s unclear if the Washington Capitals can hold on against the Minnesota Wild, but we know for certain that Ovechkin already has a hat trick, the 14th of his high-scoring career.

This propels Ovechkin to the goals lead as of this writing, as he already has 34. As impressive as Patrick Kane has been, No. 8 is heating up, and may just edge No. 88 if Ovechkin can remain healthy.

One has to feel a little sympathy for the struggling Wild. They played well but lost against the Dallas Stars earlier this week and now must deal with Ovechkin and the just-as-hot Capitals.

Bylsma believes league will look at Gudas’ hit on Catenacci

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Rugged Philadelphia Flyers defenseman Radko Gudas may get in trouble with the league once again.

At least, it will be that way if Buffalo Sabres head coach Dan Bylsma has his way regarding Gudas’ five-minute charging major hit on Daniel Catenacci.

“I think there’s no question it’s head hit,” Bylsma said, according to the Buffalo News’ John Vogl. ” … I know the league will look at that hit and deal with it.”

As far as the injury portion of possible suspension considerations go:

Marcus Foligno‘s analysis of Gudas was … well just check it out.

The Flyers ended up winning 5-1. Gudas was a busy man overall, racking up 17 penalty minutes.

Fight video: Patrice Bergeron vs. Blake Wheeler (seriously)

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Regular Selke winner Patrice Bergeron can do it all on the ice, it seems. Apparently that means he’ll even drop the gloves.

That was the unlikely scene during Thursday’s Boston Bruins – Winnipeg Jets skirmish, as Bergeron fought fellow finesse forward Blake Wheeler.

Perhaps unusual feisty behavior was just in the air, as Tyler Myers squared off with Matt Beleskey.

(Not as unlikely, but still.)