According to NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly, the league is happy with how the current CBA is working and doesn’t think “there is anything major that would need fixing.”
Translation: Daly doesn’t foresee another work stoppage, at least from the NHL’s perspective.
“I think there’s a general satisfaction with how the system is working,” Daly told SiriusXMNHL, per Today’s Slapshot. “From time to time, tweaks are needed. I think the sign of any healthy collective bargaining relationship is, particularly when you’re talking about tweaks, you try to deal with them mid-term and try to make adjustments. I think we’ve been successful with the [NHLPA], at least during the first four years of this agreement, in being able to do that, on both sides of the table.”
The NHL and NHLPA each have the right to opt out of the CBA after the 2019-20 season. Otherwise, it’s set to expire after the 2021-22 campaign.
“It’s early, but I don’t see any storm clouds on the horizon, at least yet,” said Daly.
In spite of that optimism, there’s reason to wonder if the players’ association is quite as happy with the current system — specifically with regards to escrow.
Fortunately, there’s still time for that situation to work itself out. Escrow only becomes a concern when league revenues fall short of projections, which they did in 2015-16 due to the dramatic decline of the Canadian dollar.
Washington Capitals goalie Philipp Grubauer has been added to Team Europe’s World Cup roster. The 24-year-old German will replace Frederik Andersen, who will miss the tournament with an upper-body injury.
Team Europe’s other netminders are Jaroslav Halak and Thomas Greiss. With Andersen out, the two Islanders teammates are expected to compete for starting duties, with Grubauer now a third option.
In other Team Europe news, Slovenia’s Anze Kopitar has been named the captain of the squad. Veteran defensemen Zdeno Chara and Mark Streit will each wear an “A”.
Team Europe opens the World Cup on Saturday, Sep. 17, against the United States. Canada and the Czech Republic are the other teams in its group.
The Columbus Blue Jackets were one of the NHL’s most disappointing teams last season, and it cost head coach Todd Richards his job.
But according to the Columbus Dispatch, the club’s management group has received a vote of confidence from ownership, in the form of contract extensions.
President of hockey operations John Davidson, general manager Jarmo Kekalainen and assistant general manager Bill Zito all signed two-year extensions, The Dispatch has learned, putting them under contract with the Blue Jackets through the 2018-19 season.
“This (extension) gives us an opportunity to keep doing what we’ve been trying to build,” Kekalainen said. “It’s a process that will take its time, but we’re on our way.”
The Jackets did not have a particularly noteworthy summer, save for the decision to draft Pierre-Luc Dubois over Jesse Puljujarvi. Sam Gagner was signed in free agency, but he came cheap for a reason. There are high hopes for 2015 first-rounder Zach Werenski, but he still has to make the team.
Which is to say, aside from a few minor changes, it’s mostly the same group that finished last season.
“I certainly feel for the fans who have been here from Day 1,” Davidson told the Dispatch. “But we haven’t (been here from Day 1). Look at Los Angeles and Chicago. Look at Florida, as an up-and-coming team. Pittsburgh’s done it more than once. You have to go through this to get where you want to go. We’re still a work in progress.”
And that will be the key next season for Davidson, Kekalainen, Zito and head coach John Tortorella — there has to be progress, and a decent amount of it. Otherwise, Jackets fans will have every right to question whether their team is in capable hands.
Related: Keeping Sergei Bobrovsky healthy a ‘huge priority’ for Jackets
Lawson Crouse doesn’t want to go back to junior. Now a member of the Arizona Coyotes, the 11th overall draft pick in 2015 believes he’s ready for the NHL.
“I’m mentally and physically ready,” the 19-year-old left winger said, per the Arizona Republic. “Last year I got sent back and had to develop a little bit more. But I think that I’m ready now, and I’m ready to make the next step.”
Crouse, acquired last month from Florida for the price of taking on Dave Bolland‘s contract, had 23 goals and 39 assists (62 points) in 49 games for Kingston in 2015-16. When he was drafted by the Panthers, there were lingering questions about his offensive production, following a 51-point season for the Frontenacs.
“I don’t think my points were horrible, but I know they can improve, and I know there is a long ways to go,” he said at the time. “I do a lot of other things well. That’s the part of my game that stands out for me.”
Indeed, if Crouse is going to make the Coyotes, it need not be in a top-six scoring role. Though still a teenager, he has the size and strength to play on the third or fourth lines. And with all the other young, high-end forward talent (Max Domi, Christian Dvorak, Anthony Duclair, Dylan Strome) in the Coyotes organization, it’s likely a bottom-six role or back to Kingston for another year.
Related: Crouse brings ‘total package’ to Arizona
In 2012, when the Islanders announced they were moving to Brooklyn, owner Charles Wang used the word “ironclad” in describing the team’s lease at Barclays Center.
Yet according to Newsday, there’s an opt-out clause in that lease, and here’s how it works:
After the Islanders finish their second season in Brooklyn, the two sides have until Jan. 1, 2018, to renegotiate the terms of the current deal. If no new deal is reached, the two sides can stay with the current deal or choose to opt out. Each side would have until Jan. 30, 2018, to deliver an opt-out notice in writing.
If the Islanders decide to opt out, the team can choose to leave at the end of either its third or fourth season. If Barclays triggers the opt-out, the Islanders would have to leave after the fourth season. The team just completed its first season in Brooklyn in May.
The opt-out clause can be triggered only if the two sides have engaged in “good-faith discussions” during the renegotiation window, according to the license agreement.
Newsday has more details and analysis, so be sure to click on the story.
It’s already been reported that the Isles’ new majority owners, Jon Ledecky and Scott Malkin, have been exploring the possibility of getting a new arena built for the club. The team’s first season in Brooklyn was a challenging one, and it remains to be seen if they’ll be there for the long run.