Fehr and players

Report: NHLPA dropped demand for “aftermath” protection


Remember when the NHLPA wanted protection from the “aftermath” of the lockout? Well, it still probably wants it, but it’s no longer demanding it, according to Yahoo! Sports.

The NHL Players’ Association backed off on its proposal that the players’ share could not go backwards in terms of dollars starting in Year 2. It had been a non-starter for the NHL.

Basically, under the players’ previous proposal, their combined pay would drop in Year 1 as their percentage of hockey-related revenue dropped from 57 to 50. After that, their combined pay would never be less than the previous year, even if HRR went down.

The NHL understandably wanted no part of the PA’s proposal given the uncertain future of a league that’s suffering through its third work stoppage in 20 years, not to mention the tenuous state of the economy.

“There is no way to predict,” said commissioner Gary Bettman when asked how long it would take for the NHL to recover from the work stoppage.

Yahoo! is also reporting the NHLPA proposed a limited mid-level cap exception, similar to the one in the NBA (that made Drew Gooden rich) as a way to ease the squeeze on the league’s middle class that the players have argued will be a consequence of max length contracts. (The league isn’t convinced of the argument.)

Video: Flyers, Bolts confirm 3-on-3 OT is pretty much the greatest thing ever


Well, the NHL’s two new initiatives for ’15-16 seem to be going swimmingly.

Not long after Ottawa successfully made the second-ever coach’s challenge, fans got their first look at 3-on-3 overtime.

And what a look it was.

In the span of 137 seconds, the Tampa Bay Lightning and Philadelphia Flyers combined for eight shots on goal, a few breakaways, some tremendous saves — including one on a penalty shot — and, finally, Jason Garrison‘s game-winning goal on a breakaway from center, giving the Bolts a 3-2 win.

It was, in a word, fun.

Lots of fun.

A quick sampling of reviews:

Of course, not everybody was a fan:

Now, to temper things a bit — this was the first time we’ve seen 3-on-3 with something on the line, so there was a novelty factor at play. There’s also no guaranteeing future OT sessions will be as exciting as this.

But none of that takes away from the fact 3-on-3 made for appointment viewing, and immense entertainment value. The prospect of future games like this? That’s pretty exciting.

In Jets return, Burmistrov delivers headshot to Bergeron (Updated)


Didn’t take long for Alex Burmistrov to make his presence felt — though not in a good way.

Burmistrov, playing in his first game for the Jets after a two-year stint in Russia, delivered a questionable elbow to the head of Boston’s Patrice Bergeron late in the first period of Thursday’s season-opener:

Burmistrov received a two-minute minor for an illegal check to the head, while Bergeron received a matching minor for roughing (retaliating for the elbow, specifically).

The Bruins went into the intermission leading 1-0, and have yet to update Bergeron’s status.

Update: Bergeron stayed in the game, but B’s head coach Claude Julien was none too pleased with the hit. Following the game, he called for the NHL’s Department of Player Safety to look at it…