NHLPA special counsel Steve Fehr briefly addressed the media following a second day of federally mediated bargaining, this time with NHL counsel Bob Batterman.
Unsurprisingly, Fehr had little to say.
“There has been contact between the parties today, principally at the mediator’s office,” Fehr said. “I’ve met with the mediator, Bob Batterman — outside counsel for the league — has been there. We’ve met separately through the mediator at times, we’ve met together, Don was over there very briefly.
“I think we’re done with contact for tonight.”
What else we learned:
— FCMS mediator Scot L. Beckenbaugh was once again involved in talks, but little was accomplished. It sounds as though neither side showed any change in position.
— The two sides will speak again tomorrow, though it’s unclear if they’ll meet in person or via telephone. Fehr said he didn’t know where a potential face-to-face meeting would be held.
— Sportsnet’s John Shannon has been “led to believe” that federal mediators are now “out of the picture.”
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The Edmonton Oilers have assigned center Leon Draisaitl to AHL Bakersfield.
The demotion of Draisaitl, 19, means 21-year-old rookie Anton Slepyshev has made the opening-day roster after scoring twice and adding two assists in exhibition action.
The Oilers experimented during the preseason with Draisaitl, a natural center, on the wing. He didn’t have a particularly poor camp, finishing with one goal and three assists in six games.
But Slepyshev apparently impressed more.
“He’s a young player but he’s played pro hockey before,” coach Todd McLellan told the Edmonton Journal. “You can see it.”
Slepyshev played 58 games in the KHL last season, scoring 15 goals for Salavat Yulaev Ufa.
A preseason push by a number of Vancouver Canucks youngsters has left forward Linden Vey and defenseman Frank Corrado on waivers today.
The more surprising name of the two is Corrado, the 22-year-old who entered the season with an excellent chance of making the opening-day roster. However, it seems that rookie d-man Ben Hutton, 22, has been given the nod after finishing an eye-opening preseason with one goal and four assists in seven games. (This despite Hutton being waiver exempt. So it’s a risk for the Canucks, to be sure.)
It was the play of 19-year-old rookie Jared McCann that led, in part, to the waiving of Vey. (For more on that, click here.) Veteran Adam Cracknell remains with the team as well, to some surprise.
Rookie winger Jake Virtanen is also expected to be on Vancouver’s opening-day roster, though that’s no big shock.
Defenseman Alex Biega is also on waivers, as expected.