Edmonton Oilers v Calgary Flames

NHL wins Alberta Labour Board case


The Alberta Labour Board ruled in favor of the NHL today, shooting down the NHLPA’s attempt to block the league from locking out the Calgary Flames and Edmonton Oilers, TSN reports.

This comes a little less than a month after Quebec’s board backed the NHL in a similar players’ effort regarding the Montreal Canadiens.

Click here if you’d like to read up on the hearing in PDF form.

If you’re not that desperate for a lockout diversion, The Los Angeles Times’ Helene Elliott compiled some of the highlights.

Elliott’s first excerpt from the Alberta Labour Board’s decision:

“We are of the opinion this is a case where it makes labour relations sense to exercise our discretion not to make a declaration of unlawful conduct and not to issue any remedy.”

The Alberta Labour Board also noted that it would be odd to make a decision based on just two of the NHL’s 30 franchises:

“Finally, for this Board to intervene in this dispute and declare the lockout illegal as it relates to the Alberta teams and their players (or otherwise interfere with the progress of collective bargaining on a league-wide basis) would be detrimental to the ongoing relationship between the parties and the ability of the league to function properly. The result of such an intervention by this Board would be to effectively remove the Calgary Flames and Edmonton Oilers teams and players from the league-wide collective bargaining process that the parties have historically engaged in and has been established and recognized under the NLRA.”

In other words: you two are on your own.

Personal reasons: No Ovechkin for Caps tonight

Alex Ovechkin
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Alex Ovechkin won’t play for the Washington Capitals on Tuesday because of personal reasons, the team confirmed.

He entered the building considerably later than usual, but his presence at least opened the door for the possibility of No. 8 suiting up against the San Jose Sharks.

Instead, the Capitals will face the hot-starting Sharks without Ovechkin (personal reasons) and Nicklas Backstrom (injury).

That’s a tall order, yet it’s also an opportunity for Barry Trotz to prove his system is a difference-maker … and that the Capitals have the young players to take up the mantle when the big stars are out

This is how Washington’s forward lines may look tonight:

No, the Capitals have not shared details regarding what his “personal reasons” might be, by the way.

Bruins put Morrow on IR, bring up Cross

Brady Skjei, Joe Morrow
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Lower-level defense is not the biggest of many worries for the Boston Bruins, yet it might be another in a series of headaches.

CSNNE.com’s Joe Haggerty points out that Joe Morrow has been placed on IR while AHL stalwart Tommy Cross was called up.

With a -3 rating and negligible offensive impact so far, few will really be missing Morrow (pictured). From the way Haggerty describes Cross, it’s a pretty cool story if he gets into the lineup:

Cross was named captain of the Providence Bruins this season, and actually had a strong training camp as the hard-hitting, tough stay-at-home defenseman he’s developed into during his five years in the B’s minor league system. The 2007 second round pick was a highly regarded potential puck-moving defenseman when he was drafted prior to his Boston College career, but a series of knee injuries negated some of his speed and puck-moving capabilities.

Granted, the Bruins would prefer a sure-thing improvement over a feel-good story right now, as this 0-3-0 start marks their worst beginning in some time.

Injuries have been an issue in general, too, with Zdeno Chara‘s slow start mixed with Dennis Seidenberg on the mend and Brad Marchand in limbo.

The Bruins’ next game comes against the Avalanche in Colorado. Maybe they’ll start to mend things on the ice?