NHLPA head Donald Fehr addressed the Canadian Auto Workers on Saturday, but many – including CSNPhilly.com’s Tim Panaccio – believe that his messages were really aimed at the owners.
Most notably, Fehr said that the two sides were “very close” to getting a deal done, but after saying that it was more or less rhetoric time again (via Sportsnet).
“All I can tell you is there had been some movement,” Fehr said. “We responded with some movement, we think we’re done on the dollars or close to it … It seemed to me that we ought to be able to move forward and finish things off (but) they have not indicated a willingness to move forward.”
Fehr goes on to say there has been some communication since things blew up on Thursday, yet nothing substantial.
There are the occasional players who seem to speak out sporadically, but Chris Campoli ranks among those who emphasize the support Fehr generally enjoys.
“He’s our guy, he’s our leader and we believe in him,” Campoli said. “There’s not going to be a deal without him.”
Ryan Kesler also expressed his approval, claiming that Fehr’s leadership has “never been stronger.”
So Fehr claims that the sides might be close and the players seem firmly behind their leader, but what’s next?
“You keep negotiating,” Fehr said.
It’s just unclear when that may resume.
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.