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Are both sides showing cracks in their armor?


For the most part, the owners haven’t shared their thoughts on the lockout and the players have primarily expressed their support for the NHLPA and its executive director, Donald Fehr.

That’s given the impression of two unified fronts clashing against each other, but is that an accurate perception? Ultimately, we can’t fully know what goes on behind closed doors, but recent reports have suggested that both sides have their detractors.

One of the first in a series of noteworthy events within the last week was an anonymous NHL player stating that a player was called out and embarrassed during a conference call for asking “Don why he was learning details of the NHL’s last proposal through the media.”

That was followed by Roman Hamrlik’s recent criticisms of Fehr. He later expanded upon his initial comments, but didn’t offer a retraction.

Michal Neuvirth then chose to up the ante by not only supporting Hamrlik, but also saying that, “This lockout is not about majority of players, I think. It is about several superstars with big contracts.”

On the flip side, a Philadelphia Daily News report asserted that Flyers owner Ed Snider is teaming up with the rival Pittsburgh Penguins to bring an end to this lockout.

“If this is the deal we are going to get, what’s the point of dragging this out?” a source familiar with Snider’s thinking said at the time.

Snider was quick to distance himself by calling the report “erroneous,” but the reporter, Frank Seravalli, stood by what he had written.

If nothing else, the stories and statements that have come out over the last few days have been interesting. If you’re fishing for reasons to stay positive, then they might offer you a ray of light in the hope that somewhere behind closed doors, NHL commissioner Gary Bettman and Fehr might be feeling some pressure to make a deal sooner rather than later.

Kings’ AHL affiliate gives Emery PTO

Ray Emery
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Ray Emery has agreed to join the Ontario Reign on a professional tryout, according to a team release.

The Reign are the minor league affiliate of the Los Angeles Kings.

Emery attended Tampa Bay’s training camp on a PTO, but he was released after the team claimed Kevin Poulin on waivers from the Islanders.

The 33-year-old had a 10-11-7 record with a 3.06 goals-against-average and a .894 save percentage in 31 games with the Flyers last season.

Even with starter Jonathan Quick struggling, it’s hard to envision this move leading to a return to the NHL for Emery.

The Kings have Quick and Jhonas Enroth with the big club, while veteran Peter Budaj was signed to a two-way contract on Friday.

Goalie nods: Reimer makes first start of the season

James Reimer
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James Reimer will get his first start of the 2015-16 season on Saturday night against Ottawa.

Maple Leafs head coach Mike Babcock made it clear from the beginning that Jonathan Bernier was going to start on Wednesday against Montreal and Friday in Detroit, while Reimer would get in against the Sens.

“I’ve known this for a long time that (Bernier is) starting and he’s starting on Wednesday and he’s starting on Friday. Reims is starting on Saturday,” Babcock said before the season began.

Things haven’t gone according to plan for Toronto through two games.

Not only have they lost both contests, but Bernier was pulled in yesterday’s 4-0 loss to the Red Wings, and the team has scored only one goal this season.

Reimer, who stopped 12 of 13 shots in just under 40 minutes of action against Detroit, will go up against Craig Anderson.


Cam Talbot will try to get his first win as an Oiler as they travel to Nashville to take on the Predators. Pekka Rinne will start for the Predators.

Carey Price and Tuukka Rask will face-off when the Canadiens and Bruins renew hostilities at the TD Garden in Boston.

Petr Mrazek will be between the pipes when the Red Wings take on the ‘Canes in Carolina. Cam Ward gets the nod for the Hurricanes.

Keith Kinkaid for the Devils. Braden Holtby makes his first start of the year in the Capitals’ season opener.

Steve Mason for the Flyers. Roberto Luongo for the Panthers in their opener.

-Columbus hasn’t confirmed who their starter will be in the back half of their home-and-home with the Rangers. Henrik Lundqvist will start for New York.

Jake Allen makes his first start of the regular season for St. Louis. Devan Dubnyk for the Wild.

-The Islanders have yet to confirm their starter for tonight’s game in Chicago. Scott Darling for the ‘Hawks after Corey Crawford helped spoil the party in Brooklyn yesterday.

Antti Niemi gets the call for Dallas after he blanked the Penguins in his first start. Semyon Varlamov for Colorado.

Jonas Hiller for Calgary. Ryan Miller for the Canucks.

-The Penguins haven’t confirmed who their starter will be in Arizona tonight. Mike Smith will likely play in back-to-back games after beating the Kings on Friday.

-The Ducks have yet to confirm their starter. Martin Jones will start for San Jose.