Kevin Bieksa

Major issue: What exactly is hockey-related revenue?


In a letter to the players, NHLPA chief Donald Fehr raised concerns that the NHL’s new 50-50 offer may not be quite what it seems.

The league, Fehr says, wants to “clarify” hockey-related revenue. And since the players would receive 50 percent of that HRR, it’s rather important they know how HRR is defined.

“It is not immediately clear what [‘clarify’] means, but so far all of [the NHL’s] ideas in this regard have had the effect of reducing HRR, and thereby lowering salaries,” wrote Fehr.

Canucks defenseman Kevin Bieksa echoed Fehr’s sentiments.

“I think people have to be cautious about this 50/50 split,” Bieksa said Tuesday, as per “This is, as far as I’m concerned, a PR gimmick: it sounds great on paper but everyone should be asking themselves ‘50/50 of what?’ Everything’s relative, it sounds great but if there’s omissions by them from what’s included in HRR then we’re making 45 per cent.

“You have to be careful when you hear the words ‘fifty-fifty’. I don’t really like it. For them it’s a PR gimmick.”

Suffice to say, if the NHL wants to significantly alter the definition of HRR, there could be a significant problem. Because while the 50-50 split is in line with leagues like the NBA and NFL – and, as such, sounds fair to the fans – each league defines revenue differently.

Economist Andrew Zimbalist explains.

“You have to be very cautious when you start doing cross-league comparisons because the definition of revenue and even the definition of compensation differs from league to league,” Zimbalist told The Star-Ledger. “To simply believe, as [commissioner Gary Bettman] seems to believe, the other leagues went down to 50-50 and that’s where [the NHL] needs to be is not a very persuasive argument.”

In addition, if the NHL wants to dramatically re-define HRR, the NHLPA may in turn request its own changes to the formula. For example, it may demand the players get a share of expansion/relocation fees. They didn’t under the last CBA, and with potential expansion/relocation to places like Toronto, Quebec City and Seattle, the league could be looking at a windfall in the neighborhood of $1 billion.

Related: Fehr has a few issues with the NHL’s new offer

Report: Islanders cut first-rounder Barzal from camp

Mathew Barzal
Getty Images
Leave a comment

It seems Mathew Barzal has played in his last game in a New York Islanders’ uniform for a little while.

Barzal took part in the Islanders’ preseason finale against the Washington Capitals on Sunday, but after that contest the Islanders decided to return him to WHL Seattle, per Newsday’s Arthur Staple.

He was taken with the 16th overall pick in 2015 NHL Entry Draft. That selection was well-traveled as it originally belonged to the Pittsburgh Penguins, but was involved in the David Perron trade and then moved to the Islanders as part of Edmonton’s deal to get Griffin Reinhart.

Barzal is noteworthy for his skill and speed, but he may have slipped in the draft due to a knee injury he sustained during the 2014-15 campaign.

The Islanders also reassigned Kirill Petrov, Kevin Czuczman, Scott Mayfield, and Adam Pelech to the AHL’s Bridgeport Sound Tigers.

Torres offered in-person hearing, potentially setting up long suspension

Torres hit

What will Raffi Torres get this time?

The 33-year-old forward that has become known primarily for his controversial hits has once again put himself in the sights of the NHL’s Department of Players Safety. They confirmed that he was offered an in-person hearing following his hit on Jakub Silfverberg Saturday night. He declined the opportunity to meet with them face-to-face, but the offer itself is an important detail because it gives the league the option to suspend him for more than five games.

It certainly seems like the stage is set for a lengthy suspension. While Torres is not considered a repeat offender as his last suspension came more than 18 months ago, the NHL still retains the right to consider his history when deciding on this matter.

Among other incidents, he was once was banned from 25 games for his hit on Marian Hossa in 2012, although it was later reduced to 21 contests after an appeal. The NHL found that Torres was guilty of breaking three rules for that hit; namely interference, charging, and illegally hitting the head. The NHL is reviewing Torres’ latest incident for the same three violations.

You can see the hit below:

And here it is slowed down:

Torres got a match penalty and Silfverberg left the game. Fortunately, Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau said that Silfverberg could have returned, but was kept out for precautionary reasons.