NHL Alumni Dinner

NHL and players’ union “Big 4” met up tonight


After days going by without any substantive talks between the NHL and NHLPA, it took an NHL Alumni event to put everyone in the same room together.

Tim Panaccio of CSNPhilly.com reports NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman, NHLPA Executive Director Donald Fehr as well as Bill Daly and Steve Fehr got together tonight for an informal negotiating session at the NHL Alumni Gala Dinner in Toronto.

While an informal meeting was expected tonight, having all four of the major participants there was not. Perhaps everyone is getting serious about things.

Their goal? Simple: Get everyone back to the negotiating table to restart talks and try to prevent losing any regular season games.

Earlier in the day, Daly said they were waiting for the players’ union to come back with a counter-proposal to the league’s last offer. It’s unknown when the players will do just that, but given the two sides haven’t had any formal talks since the lockout began over a week ago, it’ll take some time.

(Photo: @NHLAlumni)

Senators select Kyle Turris as alternate captain

Chris Neil Kyle Turris Dustin Tokarski
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Kyle Turris is gearing up for his fifth season with the Ottawa Senators, but this campaign will be a little different.

Ottawa announced that Turris will be joining Chris Neil as one of the team’s alternate captains. Turris is assuming that role from Chris Phillips as the 37-year-old defenseman remains out indefinitely due to a back injury.

Since being acquired from the then Phoenix Coyotes in 2011, Turris has established himself as one of Ottawa’s top forwards. He tied for second in the team’s scoring race last season with 64 points in 82 contests and gelled with rookie linemate Mark Stone.

With the Senators favoring a youth movement, Turris actually stands out as one of the Senators’ more experienced players at the age of 26. He’s also set to play a big role with the Senators for years to come as he’s locked to an affordable $3.5 million annual cap hit through 2017-18.

Meanwhile defenseman Erik Karlsson is getting ready for his second season as the team’s captain.

Another Sabre hurt: Gionta (lower body) day-to-day

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On the eve of their season opener, the Buffalo Sabres got another bit of bad health news.

Captain Brian Gionta missed practice and is day-to-day with a lower-body injury, per head coach Dan Bylsma. The ailment puts the 36-year-old’s availability for Thursday’s game against Ottawa in jeopardy.

The ailment also puts Gionta alongside a slew of hurting Sabres. Defensemen Zach Bogosian and Josh Gorges were on the injured list when Buffalo’ roster was released this morning, along with rookie Brendan Guhle and veteran Cody McCormick.

There is a bright light for Buffalo, however.

Gorges skated on Wednesday and could possibly dress tomorrow, per Bylsma. If he does play, it’ll likely be on a pairing with Rasmus Ristolainen.