Steve Fehr

“It might be the best day we’ve had” (video)


Mark Tuesday, Dec. 4 on your calendars. It might end up being one of the most pivotal dates of the NHL season.

After a marathon labor meeting between six owners and 18 players, NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly and NHLPA special counsel Steve Fehr held a joint press conference — a remarkable statement in itself — before announcing what many hockey fans longed to hear:

It was a good day.

“We had a long day,” Fehr said. “We thought it was a constructive day. We had a good dialogue. In some ways I’d say it might be the best day we’ve had, which isn’t too overly optimistic of a picture. There is still a lot of work to do and a lot to be done.”

Fehr relayed that message after the sides gathered at 2 p.m. ET and met for over five hours before breaking for dinner, only to reconvene at 10 p.m. for another two-hour session.

That was followed by Daly and Fehr standing side-by-side to address the media.

“I appreciate the efforts of the players,” Daly said. “Everybody is working hard. I think everybody wants to get a deal done, so that’s encouraging. We look forward to hopefully making more progress tomorrow.

“Hopefully, we’ll have more to update you on tomorrow. We are going forward with our board meeting. Hopefully be back at it after that, as well.”

The 18 players involved in today’s talks were Craig Adams, David Backes, Michael Cammalleri, Sidney Crosby, B.J. Crombeen, Mathieu Darche, Shane Doan, Ron Hainsey, Shawn Horcoff, Jamal Mayers, Manny Malhotra, Andy McDonald, Ryan Miller, George Parros, Brad Richards, Martin St. Louis, Jonathan Toews and Kevin Westgarth.

The players spent the afternoon and evening in labor discussions with six different owners — Jeremy Jacobs of the Boston Bruins, Ronald Burkle of the Pittsburgh Penguins, Mark Chipman of the Winnipeg Jets, Jeffery Vinik of the Tampa Bay Lightning, Murray Edwards of the Calgary Flames and Larry Tanenbaum of the Toronto Maple Leafs.

The two sides are expected to meet again on Wednesday, prior to the NHL’s Board of Governors meeting.

NHL commissioner Gary Bettman is also scheduled to speak tomorrow at 1 p.m. ET.

Memorial Cup champion goalie Appleby signs with Devils

Ken Appleby
The Canadian Press via AP
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Ken Appleby never got drafted, but his efforts during the New Jersey Devils’ training camp have earned him an entry-level contract, per the Bergen Record.

Although no team saw it fit to take him before the preseason, the 20-year-old is coming off of a very strong season. He had a 2.08 GAA and .924 save percentage in 50 games with the OHL’s Oshawa Generals. He went on to lead them to a Memorial Cup championship and earned the the Hap Emms Memorial Trophy as the tournament’s top goalie.

Appleby is the fifth goaltender the Devils have under contract after Cory Schneider, Keith Kinkaid, Scott Wedgewood, and Yann Danis. He’ll likely begin the season in the ECHL.

Alexandre Goulet and Jacob Sweeney also participated in the Devils’ training camp on an amateur tryout basis, but both of them have been released.

PHT Morning Skate: NHL stars weigh in on McDavid

Connor McDavid
The Canadian Press via AP
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PHT’s Morning Skate takes a look around the world of hockey to see what’s happening and what we’ll be talking about around the NHL world and beyond.

Some of the NHL’s top players discuss Connor McDavid‘s potential and the hype surrounding him. (Toronto Sun)

While we’re on the subject, Wayne Gretzky recalls what it was like for him going into the NHL and what’s in store for McDavid. (Edmonton Sun)

Sam Gagner is about to start a key season in his career. (Philadelphia Inquirer)

It’s time for the Washington Capitals to make some tough calls, particularly when it comes to Derek Roy. (CSN Mid-Atlantic)

With Raffi Torres hearing scheduled for today, here’s a look back at his suspension history. (San Jose Mercury News)

The Chicago Blackhawks have gotten their championship rings. (