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Max contract lengths, 10-year CBA top list of unresolved issues


When Donald Fehr and Gary Bettman return to the bargaining table today in New York, the heads of the NHLPA and NHL, respectively, will face at least two major unresolved issues:

Max contract lengths: The league is reportedly refusing to budge on a five-year limit with a five percent variance on annual salary. The one exception is if players are re-signing with their current teams, in which case it would be a seven-year max. Clearly the NHL doesn’t want bidding wars for free agents to be determined by which team will offer the longest term. (Granted, there was no bidding war for Rick DiPietro, but his 15-year, $67.5 million contract with the Islanders is an extreme example of how long-term deals can go wrong.)

CBA length: The NHL has proposed a 10-year agreement (with option to opt out after eight years) and tied it to $300 million (up from $211 million) in “make whole” funds. Translation: no 10-year CBA, no $300 million. It’s not clear if the players are vehemently opposed to a lengthy CBA or if it’s more they don’t like the $300 million being dependent on it.

Despite the optimism that has accompanied talks this week, TSN’s Bob McKenzie reports “there’s a hugely negative vibe emanating from both sides right now. Keeping this process on rails today will be challenging.”


NHL has reason to fight for maximum contract lengths

Ryan Miller, Jeremy Jacobs got heated — yet CBA talks continued

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. (NHL.com)