Dan Boyle, Alex Ovechkin

Boyle worries about damage lockout’s doing to NHL


San Jose Sharks defenseman Dan Boyle is a bit different from most NHL players. Plenty of them will talk about how much the lockout sucks, few of them will openly direct any of the blame on their side.

Boyle did just that when he said “I think right now both sides think it’s their way or the highway” last month.

For him, this isn’t about money — at least not on a personal level. He wants a deal that’s “fair for everybody,” but he’s 36 years old and has already made his fortune.

“It’s not the checks that I’m missing. My biggest concern is the fans,” Boyle said, in a CSN Bay Area report. “I’m so grateful and thankful to be playing this game, but if there’s nobody in the stands to play in front of, that’s the worst part. And that’s my biggest concern, is we’re hurting the game.

“We had some good steam coming in here. That’s what I worry about every day, and that’s what I talk to my wife about. I just don’t want to damage the fans, and the game.”

Of course, if the lockout does damage the NHL — and the fact that games have been missed that won’t be replaced makes that a certainty, at least in the short-term — that will shrink the pie both sides are fighting over.

Meanwhile, NHL commissioner Gary Bettman proposed a two-week moratorium on CBA talks, which Boyle, like many others, is against.

“I don’t understand it, because time is of the essence. I’d rather hammer away at it than waste another two weeks when time is so crucial,” Boyle said.

The NHLPA wants to resume CBA talks next week. We’ll see if the league agrees to that.


Why did Bettman suggest a two-week moratorium on talks?

Report: Based on NHL charts, league thinks gap might be over $1 billion

Ducks name Kesler alternate captain

Ryan Kesler
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For the second time in his career, Ryan Kesler is wearing an “A.”

On Thursday, the Anaheim Ducks announced that Kesler would serve as one of the club’s alternate captains this season, taking over for Francois Beauchemin, who signed in Colorado this summer.

With the move, Kesler joins Anaheim’s existing leadership group of captain Ryan Getzlaf, and alternate Corey Perry.

“It’s an honor,” Kesler said, per the Ducks. “It’s special. I’m going to wear it with pride and lead by example.”

As mentioned earlier, Kesler has some experience as an alternate — he wore an “A” in Vancouver from 2008-13, but had it removed prior to the start of the ’13-14 campaign.

It’s not surprising Anaheim went in this direction. GM Bob Murray made a huge investment in Kesler this summer by inking the 31-year-old to a six-year, $41.25M extension.

Diaz could leave Rangers for Europe

Raphael Diaz, Mike Sislo
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Could Raphael Diaz be on his way back to Switzerland?

We’ll know in a month.

Diaz, who lost out on the Rangers’ final blueline spot in training camp, has reported to the club’s AHL affiliate in Hartford but doesn’t seem pleased with his current situation, per the Post:

The 29-year-old Diaz, who cleared waivers last Saturday after the Blueshirts opted to keep rookie Dylan McIlrath as the club’s seventh on the blue line, is interested in the European option if he is not in the NHL.

The Blueshirts have told Diaz they will revisit the situation at the end of October, but have not promised to release him or assign him to a European team at that point.

If Diaz, a Swiss native who represented Switzerland in the 2014 Olympics, does play in Europe during the season, he would have to go through waivers in order to return to the NHL.

Diaz’s agent, Ritch Winter, told the Post that Diaz signed a one-year, $700,000 deal with the Rangers “to play with the Rangers.”

And it’s understandable if Diaz — a journeyman offensive defenseman — isn’t happy with this situation.

While some believe McIlrath earned his roster spot on merit, some think it’s because of his contract status. McIlrath, who’s only 23 and a former first-round pick, would’ve needed to clear waivers to go back to Hartford, and it’s believed he would’ve been claimed by another club.