Gary Bettman, Donald Fehr

Still details to negotiate on CBA length


A couple days ago, the NHLPA reportedly agreed to the NHL’s demand that the next CBA would last 10 years. Unfortunately, that doesn’t mean they can scratch that off of the “things to negotiate” list, according to CBC’s Elliotte Friedman.

Just because they both have settled on a 10-year deal doesn’t necessarily mean that we’ll get a decade-long break from any possible work stoppage.

There’s still a chance that either side will opt-out of the agreement, but when and how are sticking points. The players want the option to opt-out after seven campaigns, while the NHL thinks it should be eight. Additionally, the NHL wants to require that any party wishing to opt-out must notify the other following Year 6.

The NHL would also like the CBA to expire on June 30 while the players want to keep the date at Sept. 15. A June 30 expiration date would prevent the NHL from going on a spending spree just prior to any potential work stoppage, as was the case last summer.

Of course, the league and union still have quite a bit to talk about beyond just the CBA length. ESPN and TSN’s Pierre LeBrun estimated that 7-8 issues remain unresolved.

Personal reasons: No Ovechkin for Caps tonight

Alex Ovechkin
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Alex Ovechkin won’t play for the Washington Capitals on Tuesday because of personal reasons, the team confirmed.

He entered the building considerably later than usual, but his presence at least opened the door for the possibility of No. 8 suiting up against the San Jose Sharks.

Instead, the Capitals will face the hot-starting Sharks without Ovechkin (personal reasons) and Nicklas Backstrom (injury).

That’s a tall order, yet it’s also an opportunity for Barry Trotz to prove his system is a difference-maker … and that the Capitals have the young players to take up the mantle when the big stars are out

This is how Washington’s forward lines may look tonight:

No, the Capitals have not shared details regarding what his “personal reasons” might be, by the way.

Bruins put Morrow on IR, bring up Cross

Brady Skjei, Joe Morrow
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Lower-level defense is not the biggest of many worries for the Boston Bruins, yet it might be another in a series of headaches.’s Joe Haggerty points out that Joe Morrow has been placed on IR while AHL stalwart Tommy Cross was called up.

With a -3 rating and negligible offensive impact so far, few will really be missing Morrow (pictured). From the way Haggerty describes Cross, it’s a pretty cool story if he gets into the lineup:

Cross was named captain of the Providence Bruins this season, and actually had a strong training camp as the hard-hitting, tough stay-at-home defenseman he’s developed into during his five years in the B’s minor league system. The 2007 second round pick was a highly regarded potential puck-moving defenseman when he was drafted prior to his Boston College career, but a series of knee injuries negated some of his speed and puck-moving capabilities.

Granted, the Bruins would prefer a sure-thing improvement over a feel-good story right now, as this 0-3-0 start marks their worst beginning in some time.

Injuries have been an issue in general, too, with Zdeno Chara‘s slow start mixed with Dennis Seidenberg on the mend and Brad Marchand in limbo.

The Bruins’ next game comes against the Avalanche in Colorado. Maybe they’ll start to mend things on the ice?