Gary Bettman

Report: NHL makes concessions in new offer to union


It looks like there might finally be some new life in the CBA negotiations. The NHL has sent the union a new proposal according to ESPN and TSN’s Pierre LeBrun, RDS’ Renaud Lavoie and, originally, Eklund of Hockey Buzz.

Perhaps the biggest news is that the NHL is now willing to allow for contracts to be a maximum of six years under normal circumstances and seven if a team is re-signing one of its players. That’s up from the NHL’s previous demand of five-year term limits, which deputy commissioner Bill Daly once called “the hill we’ll die on.”

Here are some of the other main points:

— The NHL is now willing to allow a variance of 10% in contracts, up from its previous offer of 5%.

— $300 million in Make Whole or, as NHLPA boss Donald Fehr prefers to call it, “transition payments” is still on the table.

— The salary cap for 2013-14 would be $60 million.

— Each team would be allowed to buy out one contract prior to 2013-14 without it impacting the salary cap. However, the money would still come out of the players’ share of hockey-related revenues.

— The proposed CBA is still a 10-year deal and an “extremely detailed proposal,” according to the Minneapolis Star Tribune’s Michael Russo.

It’s worth noting that Daly would not confirm this offer when asked by LeBrun, although an NHL player has been cited as a source.

There’s also no negotiating session scheduled yet and the NHLPA had yet to make an official statement on the matter.

Update: Courtesy ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun, here are the full details of the NHL offer.

Measure of revenge? Red Wings bottle Lightning

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In some ways, it really felt like their first-round series.

For all the talent on both ends of the rink with the Detroit Red Wings and Tampa Bay Lightning, each squad can really smother opponents defensively when things go that way.

Through two periods, the two teams were very quiet. Things really picked up when Justin Abdelkader unleashed a big hit, a moment that injected enough life into the proceedings for the Red Wings to eventually build a 3-1 win.

Maybe they’re slipping under the radar a bit compared to previous iterations of the team, but it’s interesting that the Red Wings are now undefeated in three games.

They’ve been impressive at times, too, outscoring opponents by a combined score of 11-4.

Call it a refreshing time after Mike Babcock or merely carryover from a subtly solid run last season, but either way, the Red Wings may just be able to keep up their end of a brewing rivalry.

Hands of gold: Connor McDavid scores his first NHL goal


Taking three games to score your first NHL goal isn’t a big deal, unless you’re someone like Connor McDavid.

The mega-hyped wunderkind must feel relieved to finally find the net, as he tied tonight’s Edmonton Oilers – Dallas Stars skirmish with a 2-2 deflection goal, which you can watch above this post’s headline.

To no surprise, there were plenty of reactions, including Pierre LeBrun’s tweet (which inspired part of this headline).

Of course, there were the inevitable Wayne Gretzky comparisons:

Interesting thing you might not consider: Stars fans will have to stomach this one even more frequently than that time Patrik Stefan biffed that empty-netter (also against the Oilers):

McDavid may have also delivered his first questionable check, too: