Much like NHL commissioner Gary Bettman, NHLPA head Donald Fehr answered a wide variety of The Globe & Mail’s questions following the announcement of canceled games.
Perhaps his most interesting bit came while he was discussing the fact that the two sides are discussing different proposals thanks to some disagreements about what hockey-related revenue should really mean.
“Look, the owners started out by running as fast as they could and as hard as they could away from the players, saying ‘Catch me if you can, even though every move you make is against your own interests.’” Fehr said. ” … This isn’t Ping-Pong. You have to distinguish between offers which are really made for the purpose of trying to reach an agreement and those which aren’t.”
Fehr goes much deeper on that topic as well as other issues, but here are some simplified takeaways:
- Fehr said that the NHLPA is “open to talk about” a soft salary cap that would involve a luxury tax.
- Responding to complaints about last weekend’s lack of financial negotiations, Fehr explained: “from our standpoint, if you’re bogged down on one set of issues, you go and talk about the other ones.”
- Fehr didn’t rule out mediation altogether, yet he didn’t seem too keen on it, either.
- His comments about teams getting fined for divulging details rank as some of his most interesting quips:
“That raises two questions: When in the world did we get to the point of regulating free speech in America again?” Fehr said. “And secondly, what is it we’re afraid they’re going to say?”
Fehr said plenty in this interview, so click here if you want more than just excerpts.
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As if Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Final couldn’t get any more dramatic, it has — Tampa Bay captain Steve Stamkos, who hasn’t played since Mar. 31, will make his playoff debut against the Penguins tonight.
Stamkos underwent vascular surgery in early April to correct a blood clotting issue, and has remained on blood thinners ever since. While there’s been no confirmation he’s off medication, he did tell Sportsnet he’d be able to return to the lineup once he was.
Stamkos reiterated that he’s still on the same prescription of blood thinners he was given earlier this month. He takes a 12-hour dosage, twice a day, and it has been suggested to him that once he is cleared to stop taking the medication, Stamkos conceivably could return to the Lightning lineup almost immediately.
That’s why I’m trying to stay in shape,” he said.
Per NHL.com, Stamkos took the warmup and participated in line rushes centering Ondrej Palat and Ryan Callahan.
It’s been exactly eight weeks since Stamkos played his last game. At the time of his diagnosis, the Lightning said his timetable for recovery was 1-3 months.
To say his return will be a boost is a major understatement. Aside from the emotional factor, Stamkos led the Bolts in goals this year, with 36, and would presumably spark a power play that’s gone just 2-for-12 in the series.
Steve Stamkos took the team bus to tonight’s Eastern Conference Game 7 in Pittsburgh. As TVA noted, it was the first time he’s arrived early for a game in these playoffs.
In his pregame presser, Bolts head coach Jon Cooper refused to answer any questions about Stamkos’ availability.
And then Stamkos took the warmup.
As such, the drama surrounding Tampa Bay’s captain has reached an all-time high. Stamkos, who’s been out of the lineup since early April due to blood clots, looks as though he’s on the verge of an emotional comeback as the Lightning try to win an ECF Game 7 — on the road — for a second consecutive season.
“If Stamkos is in the lineup, it’s our best foot forward,” Cooper said. “If he’s not in the lineup, it’s because he wasn’t eligible to play.”
No word if No. 91 is still on the blood thinning medication he’s been taking since undergoing vascular surgery on Apr. 4.
EDINA, Minn. (AP) Minnesota Wild left wing Zach Parise has been rehabilitating his back injury without surgery, putting him on track to be at full strength by September.
Parise said Thursday he’s “happy with the way everything’s going.” He said he’s been able to work out as he normally does during the summer, despite missing the playoffs because of the injury.
Parise said there’s “no question” he’ll be ready to play for Team USA in the World Cup of Hockey tournament.
Parise joined teammates Erik Haula, Jason Pominville, Nate Prosser, Jared Spurgeon and Jason Zucker at an autograph signing to raise money for people affected by the wildfires in Alberta. The parents of Spurgeon’s wife, Danielle, lost their home to a fire in the Edmonton area.