This lockout might end soon, but right now it seems like the NHL and NHLPA have
some awfully significant differences of opinion.
So once again the topic turns to the possibility of introducing a federal mediator in the hopes of pushing the negotiations forward.
Two weeks ago, NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly “didn’t think that the introduction of a mediator into the process was timely or that it would necessarily further the process.” Still, he suggested that might change at some point.
So has it?
NHLPA special counsel Steve Fehr
recently suggested that the union is open to a mediator, but his impression is that the NHL “isn’t terribly interested it.”
Maybe it’s time to revise that impression.
“They haven’t approached us about it but if they did, certainly it’s something we’d take back to our group and consider,” Daly said according to
ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun.
Obviously that’s not the same as Daly committing to having a mediator, but based on Fehr and Daly’s recent statements, it seems like it’s at least a possibility.
This isn’t breaking news or anything. We just thought you’d like to know that three of the NHL’s 10 oldest players (who’ve played at least one game this season) are members of the Florida Panthers.
Oh, and the Panthers’ starting goalie? He’s the oldest starter in the league. (Scroll down.)
Here’s the list of skaters, topped by 43-year-old
Yet another veteran Panther, 36-year-old defenseman
Brian Campbell, ranks 17th on the list.
Granted, the above list does not include 39-year-old
Patrik Elias (who’s hurt) or 39-year-old Eric Boulton (who just re-signed with the Isles). As soon as those two play, Thornton will get pushed out of the top 10.
Now here’s the list of goalies who’ve started at least one game this season, topped by 36-year-old
For the record, Luongo isn’t the oldest goalie under contract. That would be Minnesota’s
Niklas Backstrom, who’s 37.
Related: Can Florida’s old guys hang on while the young guys get better?
Matt O'Connor‘s time in the Canadian capital was brief, but still noteworthy.
O’Connor, the losing netminder in Sunday’s “
Battle of the Backups” against Montreal — Habs No. 2 Mike Condon got the win — has been sent down to AHL Binghamton to pave the way for Andrew Hammond‘s return from a groin injury, per the Sun.
The Hamburglar has been out since the preseason, but his return is earlier than expected.
He was originally supposed to miss the first two weeks, yet now sounds as though
he’ll play one of Ottawa’s two games on an upcoming road trip through Columbus and Pittsburgh.
It’s going to be interesting to see if Hammond can replicate the success he had last season, when he came out of nowhere to go 20-1-2 with a 1.79 GAA and .941 save percentage, and finish seventh in Vezina voting.