Donald Fehr: Sidney Crosby

Players to re-vote on disclaimer of interest


The NHLPA’s executive board may soon regain its authority to file a disclaimer of interest that would dissolve the union and push CBA negotiations with the NHL into uncharted waters.

According to Sportsnet’s Nick Kypreos, players are being told to re-vote on the issue “as early as today.” The board’s authority expired yesterday at midnight.

With limited information emerging from this week’s negotiations, it’s hard to say what this news means. It could be the union fully intends to dissolve. Or, it could be the players simply want to ramp up pressure on the owners in order to get a deal done before uncharted waters are entered.

Today’s talks were met largely with optimism that an end to the lockout was approaching. Though hope has quickly turned to despair before during the work stoppage, one league source told that “a couple owners are cautiously optimistic.”

That hope was shared by Ducks forward Teemu Selanne, who told Finnish website that he thinks the lockout will be over by Monday and that the season will start by Jan. 18 or 19.

Remaining issues include next year’s salary cap, maximum contract lengths, and matters relating to player pensions.

Update (4:24 p.m. ET):

So at the very least, it sounds like the NHLPA won’t be able to file a disclaimer of interest for a couple of days.

Of course, even if the NHLPA does end up dissolving the union, it doesn’t mean all hope is lost, as the two sides could continue to negotiate (albeit without Donald Fehr representing the players).

Tough start: Lehner knocked out of Sabres debut, won’t return

Matt Puempel, Alex Chiasson, Robin Lehner
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Chances are Robin Lehner won’t look back fondly on his first game as a Sabre.

Midway through Buffalo’s season-opener against Ottawa, Lehner — facing his old team for the first time since getting traded this summer — suffered a lower-body injury, and was forced from the contest.

During the second intermission, the Sabres ruled out Lehner for the night.

It was a difficult turn of events for 24-year-old, who admitted he was keen to go up against the Sens. He had a bit of a chip on his shoulder about his time in the Canadian capital; Lehner felt he never got a full opportunity to run with the No. 1 gig, and probably wasn’t thrilled GM Bryan Murray opted to keep Craig Anderson and Andrew Hammond instead of him.

As for tonight’s injury, details are scarce. All that’s known is the ailment was serious enough for Lehner to leave and not return, forcing backup Chad Johnson into duty.

Prior to getting hurt, Lehner had stopped 11 of 12 shots faced.


‘Canes lose Wisniewski (lower body) 47 seconds into debut

Phil Kessel, James Wisniewski
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James Wisniewski‘s time as a Carolina Hurricane is off to a troubling start.

Wisniewski, acquired by the ‘Canes at this year’s draft, exited Thursday’s season-opener against Nashville early in the first period with a lower-body injury.

Shortly thereafter, the team ruled out his return.

Wisniewski, 31, was expected to play a fairly significant role on Carolina’s defense this year.

It’s unclear what the injury is or how severe it might be, but initial reports don’t sound good; Wisniewski appeared to be in significant pain and had to be helped off the ice.