After more than four hours of late-night negotiating, the NHL and NHLPA ended Wednesday’s discussions without a new CBA. On the bright side, Gary Bettman told multiple reporters that the previously undocumented mediation will resume Thursday at 10 a.m. ET.
Overall, the CBC’s Elliotte Friedman summarizes the Bettman’s and Donald Fehr’s thoughts as such: there was progress made, but a gap still remains.
Disclaimer of interest update
Bettman told the Canadian Press’ Chris Johnston that the league was “not notified” about a disclaimer of interest. Sportsnet’s Nick Kypreos indicates that the union would require a re-vote to start the process of filing again.
It was a bit of an eyebrow-raiser that mediation was involved on Wednesday, but that’s not all: ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun reports that the sides have used a mediator all week long. Johnston reports that his name is Scot Beckenbaugh.
The two sides are still in “guarded” mode, which isn’t a bad sign.
Donald Fehr indicated that there’s been progress but there’s “still a ways to go,” while Johnston squeezed a little more out of Bettman:
The mediation session seems likely, yet Fehr told Johnston that the NHLPA will decide if it wants to participate in another meeting after assessing things on Thursday morning.
Overall, it seems like baby steps have been made. We’ll see if any serious progress happens this week or if the two sides need the immediacy of that Jan. 11 deadline for real action to happen.
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.