Martin Biron

Biron cautions against getting too excited ahead of today’s CBA talks


There’s been a renewed sense of optimism about our chances of getting a 2012-13 NHL season since Saturday’s marathon negotiating session. The talks will resume today, but Biron, who is part of the NHLPA’s negotiating committee, isn’t getting overly excited just yet.

“I think every time there is a layoff where there’s no talks and then talks resume, there’s always optimism in the air,” Biron told ESPN. “Obviously, everybody is cautiously optimistic with some of the exchanges that Steve and Bill had, even though it was more brainstorming than anything concrete. But to be able to schedule some meetings and get larger groups involved again is going to be a good thing. Still, as with every case in the last little while when people got too optimistic, it’s just part of the process and we’ll see where it goes.”

One of the things that triggered the latest round of optimism was the NHL’s concession on the “Make Whole” provision, but Biron warned that “it’s still more of a concept right now, more than anything.”

On top of that, Biron said that Make Whole isn’t the only significant issue that remains.

“There are a lot of things like player contracting rights that are still there to be discussed and are still big items on the table,” Biron said.

So there’s still plenty of work that needs to be done. At the same time, there’s also time left to save the 2012-13 campaign if the NHL and union work together.


Cleary “cautiously optimistic,” thinks next two weeks are critical

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.’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?