Fehr and Bettman

Report: New round of CBA meetings planned next week


The NHL and NHLPA are expected to meet up in New York next week, although they reportedly won’t do so any sooner than Tuesday, RDS’ Renaud P. Lavoie reports.

The NHLPA will also hold a conference call at four pm ET on Monday, according to TSN’s Aaron Ward.

The latest round of formal negotiations follow a tumultuous weekend where the 2013 Winter Classic was canceled and postponed to 2014 on Friday, but Steve Fehr and Bill Daly held lengthy, informal talks on Saturday.

While there have been repeated reports about the two sides staying in touch via phone calls and e-mails, larger-scale discussions have been halted since the two sides hit an impasse on Oct. 18.

Some believe the new deadline for a CBA would fall around Nov. 23,* so a perceived increase in urgency is a welcome sight for anxious fans. It’s anyone’s guess just how much progress might be made, though.

* – Just a few days after the NBA came to its own CBA agreement in 2011, if you find parallels between the two processes.


Daly said Saturday meeting “covered a lot of ground.”

Fehr agreed

NHL cancels 2013 Winter Classic

Same place, same teams: 2014 Winter Classic to be held at Michigan Stadium

GM says Blue Jackets are ‘off the rails’ right now

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On Monday, PHT discussed the Columbus Blue Jackets’ troubling start, even if it felt like it may be too early to raise concerns.

Apparently Blue Jackets management is a little shaken by the second 0-3-0 start in franchise history, however.

Columbus GM Jarmo Kekalainen shared his shock and dismay with the Columbus Dispatch’s Aaron Portzline on Tuesday.

“I’m surprised how, in just five days, we’ve gone from a very confident group to something that’s the opposite of that,” Kekalainen told The Dispatch on Tuesday. “Our confidence, our game … it’s off the rails right now.

Maybe losing to the Buffalo Sabres stings a little bit extra?

Kekalainen said “there’s no excuse for how we played in Buffalo,” pointing out that every team in the NHL is a “good team.”

Indeed, just about every squad boasts some dangerous weapons if they catch an opponent sleeping.

Portzline goes deeper on Columbus’ recent history of stumbling out of the gate, but consider the foreboding stretch coming up.

Next four games: Three out of four at home
Eight games following that: Seven out of eight on the road.

As you can see, winter is coming for Columbus, so they best get things together. All things considered, this is the right time for a wake-up call.

For bonus chuckles, here’s a photo of Kekalainen on a railing.

via AP

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.