Gary Bettman

NHL offers concession on “make whole” provision


The 2013 Winter Classic has been canceled, but there’s still some hope for the 2012-13 season.

The owners are now willing to absorb a share of the “make whole” provision that was offered to the players in their previous CBA proposal, according to TSN’s Darren Dreger.

As we’ve previously discussed, the provision would reimburse players currently under contract for whatever they lose in absolute dollars in Year 1 and Year 2 of the proposed agreement. The plan was to do that by deferring compensation over the remaining years of the their deals.

In the old NHL offer, that deferred compensation would come out of the players’ side of hockey-related revenues.

NHLPA executive director Donald Fehr argued that meant the provision was simply “players paying players, not owners paying players. That is, players are ‘made whole’ for reduced salaries in one year by reducing their salaries in later years.”

With the NHL’s latest concession, that might not be the case. Sportsnet’s John Shannon noted that the NHL has some “qualifiers.”

If you’re wondering why the NHL waited until after the Winter Classic was canceled to make this offer the answer is simple: it didn’t. Although the public is finding out about it now, Darren Dreger said the NHL made this offer on Tuesday. However, the NHLPA is waiting for more details.

Still, this is a sign of progress at a time when hope seems to be in short supply.

Weaver announces retirement after 633 NHL games

Montreal Canadiens v Tampa Bay Lightning
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Mike Weaver has retired. The 37-year-old defenseman made the announcement today via the NHLPA.

“What an enjoyable experience to do something you love for 11 years in the NHL and 15 years in professional hockey,” said Weaver in a release. “I could never have imagined this. Hockey is more than just a game to me. Thanks to the Atlanta Thrashers, Los Angeles Kings, Vancouver Canucks, St. Louis Blues, Florida Panthers and the Montreal Canadiens.

“I would also like to thank the fans who brought the energy and excitement every night to the arenas. When the game starts, your teammates are who you trust, rely on and respect the most. Thank you to all my teammates for all the memories that will last a lifetime.”

Undrafted out of Michigan State, Weaver ended up playing 633 games in the NHL, plus 28 more in the playoffs.

Larkin will start season with Red Wings

Dylan Larkin
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Dylan Larkin — despite being just 19 years old — will begin the season on the Detroit Red Wings, a team not normally accustomed to having teenagers in the lineup.

Coach Jeff Blashill confirmed the news this morning. Larkin could apparently start on a line with Henrik Zetterberg and Justin Abdelkader.

Larkin, the 15th overall pick in the 2014 draft, had three goals and one assist in five preseason games. A natural center, he’s shown the potential to one day step into the kind of “big-time” role that Zetterberg and Pavel Datsyuk have played for so long in Detroit.

“You have to give our scouts credit,” former coach Mike Babcock told ESPN in May. “We got a great pick where we picked. How high end is he? How soon?”

Related: Coaching change ‘one of the reasons’ Larkin signed with Wings