On Tuesday, when the players and owners met without NHL commissioner Gary Bettman and NHLPA executive director Donald Fehr, there seemed to be a sense of optimism about the talks, at least based on Bettman’s and the owner’s recent statements.
Then the mood quickly changed and now one player seems to be blaming Fehr.
“We were ready to play again,” the player said, according to Denver Post and SI.com writer Adrian Dater. “But Don came in (Wed.) and told us we could get more and to hold out.”
Dater asserted that the source was a depth player. He further claimed that there are more like him, but the top players are still siding with Fehr.
“Bottom line here: Players say they are unified, but not what I’m hearing from this depth player,” Dater said. “They’ll deny that publicly, but privately, they are feeling powerless as the Ryan Millers and Brad Richards of the world pretend this is a sacrifice for them.”
Logan Couture was quick to voice his “100% agreement” with Fehr following tonight’s events.
This anonymous player’s remarks are rare, but not groundbreaking.
Michal Neuvirth previously argued that “this lockout is not about majority of players, I think. It is about several superstars with big contracts.”
His statements led to a backlash from his fellow players and Neuvirth later apologized.
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Following his stunning 41-game suspension, it looks like Raffi Torres has at least one former teammate in his corner.
We haven’t yet seen how the San Jose Sharks or the NHLPA are reacting to the league’s hammer-dropping decision to punish Torres for his Torres-like hit on Jakob Silfverberg, but Jason Demers decided to put in a good word for Torres tonight.
It was a simple message: “#FreeTorres.”
Demers, now of the Dallas Stars, was once with Torres and the Sharks. (In case this post’s main image didn’t make that clear enough already.)
Perhaps this will become “a thing” at some point.
So far, it seems like it’s instead “a thing (that people are making fun of).”
… You get the idea.
The bottom line is that there are some who either a) blindly support Torres because they’re Sharks fans or b) simply think that the punishment was excessive.
The most important statement came from the Department of Player Safety, though.
Those who feel as though the Boston Bruins may rebound – John Tortorella, maybe? – likely rest some of their optimism on the back of a healthy Zdeno Chara.
It’s possible that he’s merely limping into what may otherwise be a healthy 2015-16 season, but it’s definitely looking like a slow start thanks to a lower-body injury.
The latest sign of a bumpy beginning came on Monday, as several onlookers (including CSNNE.com’s Joe Haggerty) pointed out that Chara was listed on injured reserve.
As Haggerty notes, that move is retroactive to Sept. 24, so his status really just opens up options for the Bruins.
Still … it’s a little unsettling, isn’t it?
The Bruins likely realize that they need to transition away from their generational behemoth, but last season provided a stark suggestion that may not be ready yet. Trading Dougie Hamilton and losing Dennis Seidenberg to injury only make them more dependent on the towering 38-year-old.
This isn’t really something to panic about, yet it might leave a few extra seats open on the Bruins’ bandwagon.