After securing the first seed in the Eastern Conference last season, the New York Rangers went all the way to the Eastern Conference Finals before finally being defeated in six games by the New Jersey Devils. Not content with that leap forward, the Rangers acquired Rick Nash from the Columbus Blue Jackets over the summer to make them one of the more interesting teams to watch going into the 2012-13 campaign.
That would also make them, from an on-ice perspective, potentially one of the biggest losers if there is no NHL hockey in 2012-13.
“The only thing I can say is that I want us to play hockey,” Rangers owner James Dolan told ESPNNewYork.com.
On that point, Dolan can find common ground with a number of people, including Rangers forward Brad Richards.
“We just want to play. We just want to get it figured out,” said Richards. “From my experience last time [there was a lockout], no one even talked at this point. I don’t even know if anyone talked for a while into the lockout, so, a lot of people are trying to figure things out right now.”
“There’s a lot of meetings, a lot more than last time,” Richards continued. “So, I think both sides know there’s some urgency.”
Richards also pointed out that while the current CBA will expire in less than a week, we still have some time before the regular season is scheduled to begin.
Holland is a solid player, generating 27 points in 65 games with Toronto last season. He’s a nice enough piece, but with the Maple Leafs in rebuild mode, they’re not exactly anxious to pay supporting cast members more than necessary.
With such a context in mind, it should be intriguing to see how much either side will budge.
At the moment, the Maple Leafs seem to hold the advantage.
Report: Flyers, Schenn disagree on money, term with arbitration looming
It sounds like the Philadelphia Flyers have some work to do if they hope to avoid an arbitration hearing with Brayden Schenn.
The session would take place on Monday, so the clock is ticking.
While the differences in opinion aren’t outright enormous, the Flyers still need to clean up their cap situation, so every $1 million counts. That – plus the length of a deal – seem to be the issue for the 24-year-old forward and the Flyers, according to Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman:
Brayden Schenn arb: PHI: $4.25M year 1 and just under $4.37 year 2. Player ask: $5.5M for one year
With the Flyers aiming for a two-year agreement while Schenn just wants one, it’s not quite as simple as merely saying “split the difference.”
Then again, that general logic could prove helpful. Perhaps the best path to a deal would be for the Flyers to edge closer to $5.5 million while convincing Schenn to sign for two years rather than one?
Of course, the Flyers could also offer Schenn more security in exchange for giving up some UFA years:
To be clear, those reported numbers are what was submitted to arbitrator. Doesn't mean they can't settle for longer term before Monday.
When the adrenaline wears off after a big hit or violent fight, fans will want to see results on the scoreboard and in the standings. It remains to be seen if the Oilers truly made strides in that regard during a summer of change.
On the bright side, their wunderkind star and expensive new addition are at least on the same page.