Sidney Crosby

Crosby: Why change contract rights of “the most competitive league in the world”?


With the NHL and NHLPA at a stalemate on revamped contract rules for a new CBA, one of the league’s marquee players is wondering why owners want to change the system at all.

“They’re trying to take away all the contracting rights,” Sidney Crosby told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “The question I’d ask is why would we change that? I think we all think it’s the most competitive league in the world so why would you go and change that — the way contracts go and the way teams can operate?”

The proposed contracting rights, as outlined in Donald Fehr’s memo to NHLPA members, are:

Losing a year of salary arbitration eligibility, allowing the team to file for salary arbitration in any year that the player can file, extending UFA eligibility to age 28 or 8 seasons, limiting contracts to 5 years, and permitting only 5% year to year variability in player contracts.

The contract length issue is similar to that of the NBA, which implemented a five-year maximum in its latest collective bargaining agreement.

Crosby’s issue with the revamped plan is that it takes the “skill” out of being a general manager.

“If you try to change all these things, Ray’s [Shero, the Penguins GM] hands are going to be tied,” he explained. “That takes his skill of being a GM or his strength of having to that decision away. So I don’t really see the point.”

Of note, Crosby signed a 12-year, $104.4 million extension with Pittsburgh in June. The deal begins in 2013-14.

Dropping like flies: Johnson, Killorn hurt in Bolts’ exhibition

Montreal Canadiens v Tampa Bay Lightning - Game One
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You probably know the drill: injury updates are murky in the NHL basically from the moment a puck drops.

We’ll learn more once the 2015-16 season begins, but at the moment, Saturday might have served as a costly night for the Tampa Bay Lightning. Both Tyler Johnson and Alex Killorn went down with injuries stemming from a 3-2 pre-season win against the Florida Panthers.

“Guys were dropping like flies,” Steven Stamkos told the Tamba Bay Times.

These could be minor situations – just about any ailment will sideline a key asset this time of year – yet one cannot help but wonder if the Lightning might limp into this campaign.

Nikita Kucherov is dealing with his own issues, so that means at least minor issues for one half of the Bolts’ top six forwards.

It’s believed that more will be known about these banged-up Bolts sometime on Sunday.

Raffi Torres gets match penalty for being Raffi Torres

Raffi Torres

With knee issues still limiting him, Raffi Torres isn’t as mobile as he once was. Apparently he still moves well enough to leave the usual path of destruction.

It’s the pre-season, so it’s unclear if we’ll get a good look at the check, but Torres received a match penalty for his hit on Anaheim Ducks forward Jakob Silfverberg.

Most accounts were pretty critical of the San Jose Sharks’ chief troublemaker:

It’s too early to tell if Silfverberg is injured. If he is, that’s a significant loss for the Ducks, as he really showed signs of fulfilling his promise (especially during the 2015 playoffs).

As far as Torres goes, he’s hoping to play in the Sharks’ season-opener. Wherever he ends up, he’ll certainly make plenty of enemies on the ice.

Whether it was because of that hit or just the general distaste shared by those sides, it sounds like tonight’s Sharks – Ducks exhibition is getting ugly, in general:

This post will be updated if video of the hit becomes available, and also if we get a better idea of Silfverberg’s condition.

Update: Bullet dodged?