The NHL and NHLPA have ended a second day of meetings with federal mediators, and it appears the two sides are no closer to reaching a new collective bargaining agreement
TSN’s Bob McKenzie reports there’s “no traction or progress” coming from Thursday’s meeting, which was led by FMCS mediators Scot L. Beckenbaugh and John (Jack) Sweeney.
ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun adds that no further mediation sessions have been planned.
The two sides met for most of Wednesday before departing with plans to resume talks on Thursday morning.
NHLPA executive Donald Fehr offered a short statement last night, outlining that a small group of union members met with a pair of FMCS mediators — it was expected that meetings would move from small, separate groups to today’s larger collaborative effort…which probably explains why no progress was made.
Of note, Renaud P Lavioe of RDS passes word that breaking off mediation doesn’t rule out the NHL and NHLPA using it again when (or, if) they get closer to an agreement.
We’ll have more to follow, assuming both the league and players’ union offer statements.
As for what’s next? Talks will inevitably turn to NHLPA/union decertification.
Spurs’ Bonner cautions NHLers, says decertification “throws everything into chaos”
Daly says decertification “would likely lead to the end of the season”
Specter of decertification looms over lockout
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.
Bit of uncertainty out of Vancouver regarding the health of backup goalie Jacob Markstrom.
Markstrom, a late drop from the Canucks’ 5-1 opening-night win over Calgary, has suffered a hamstring injury that will keep him sidelined for another week, the club announced on Thursday.
With Markstrom out, backup duties will stay with AHL call-up Richard Bachman, who served as Ryan Miller‘s No. 2 on Wednesday.
Now, the focus turns to how long Bachman keeps those duties.
Per a Sportsnet report, Markstrom could miss up to three weeks of action with his injury. If that’s the case, Bachman will almost certainly be called into action; the Canucks will play eight games in 17 nights starting with Saturday’s home-opener against the Flames, which includes back-to-backs in Los Angeles and Anaheim on Oct. 12 and 13.
It would be asking a lot of the No. 1, 35-year-old Ryan Miller, to shoulder that entire load.
Bachman does have some NHL experience, with nearly 50 games to his credit. That includes a 3-2-0 record with the Oilers last year, in which he posted a 2.84 GAA and .911 save percentage.