Jason Brough

NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 13:  Don Fehr, executive director of the National Hockey League Players Association meets with the media at the Marriott Marquis Times Square on September 13, 2012 in New York City. Joining him from left to right is Ruslan Fedotenko, Henrik Lundqvist, Zdeno Chara and Sidney Crosby.  (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

NHLPA to discuss salary cap at this week’s meetings


The NHLPA is meeting this week in Chicago, and what’s discussed could impact next season’s salary cap.

As you may know, the players’ association has the right under the CBA to propose a different growth factor than the standard five percent. That’s only happened once, ahead of the 2006-07 season, when the union and league agreed on a growth factor of zero percent. But a decade later, with escrow topping the list of players’ concerns, and after league revenues were hurt by a weakened Canadian dollar, there are at least the ingredients for it to happen again.

Following this week’s meetings, which will include a presentation and discussion on the growth factor, player reps will discuss the matter with their teammates, and then an Executive Board vote will be held. An agreement with the NHL then needs to be reached ahead of the June 30 deadline. Free agency opens on July 1.

On Monday, NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly said he expects the salary cap to remain “relatively flat” for next season. It’s currently at $71.4 million. In March, it was projected to rise to $74 million, though that was under the assumption the NHLPA would approve the full growth factor.

The consensus is that the NHLPA will, indeed, vote to accept the full five percent.

This year’s crop of free agents will be happy if that’s the case, though players like Duncan Keith might not be so thrilled.

Taking away Crosby’s ‘time and space,’ fewer turnovers among the objectives for Sharks in Game 2


PITTSBURGH — Sidney Crosby got behind Justin Braun and beat him down the ice. He picked up the puck in the corner beside the San Jose net and turned on a dime. Braun tried to stay with Crosby but lost his edge and fell. Before Logan Couture could fill in for Braun, Crosby spotted Conor Sheary alone in the slot and fed him a perfect backhand pass. Sheary’s shot beat Martin Jones, and the Penguins led 2-0.

The whole play took about 10 seconds. It went from one end of the ice to the other. It came pretty much out of nowhere.

It was vintage Crosby.

“He’s one of the best players in the league,” said Sharks defenseman Marc-Edouard Vlasic. “Strong. Can skate. Can shoot from his backhand or forehand. If you want to lead him one way, on his backhand he can probably be more dangerous. Taking away his time and space is most important.”

Because, as we saw in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final, it doesn’t take much time or space for Crosby to make something happen.

“He sees you all over the ice,” said Sheary. “They over-backchecked a bit and I found that soft area. I was looking far side. [Patric Hornqvist] had a defenseman (Vlasic) tied up in front so I don’t think Jones even had a chance to see it.”

As for Pittsburgh’s other superstar, Evgeni Malkin didn’t get on the scoresheet Monday, but his coach is confident that will happen soon enough.

“He’s generating scoring chances,” said Mike Sullivan. “That’s the thing we watch most is his scoring chance involvement, his primary chances himself. He’s been involved in a fair number of chances, both primary and secondary, over the last two series. We feel real comfortable with his game. We know it’s a matter of time before he scores.”

And, of course, everyone knows by now that the Penguins are more than just Crosby and Malkin. Their most prolific line in these playoffs has been centered by Nick Bonino, the guy who scored the winning goal in Game 1.

The Sharks, meanwhile, have vowed to start better in Game 2. They mostly blame themselves for what happened in the first game of the series, as opposed to crediting their opposition.

“No turnovers, try not to give them too many odd-man rushes. We gave up two and they scored on both,” added Vlasic. “We’ll come out with a better start. We will.”

Related: On his third team in three years, Bonino has ‘found a home for sure’ in Pittsburgh

Report: Hurricanes owner being sued by his three sons

DETROIT, MI - DECEMBER 02: Peter Karmanos, Jr., the owner and chief executive officer of the National Hockey League's Carolina Hurricanes, talks to the media at a meet and greet prior to her USA Hockey Hall of Fame induction at the Motor City Casino on December 2, 2013 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

Back in 2013, Jason Karmanos was fired by the Carolina Hurricanes after 15 years as their assistant GM.

It was a pretty noteworthy firing, since the Hurricanes are owned by his dad, Peter.

“The disagreement I had with my father had nothing to do with the direction of the team or the business of the team,” Jason Karmanos said at the time. “This has nothing to do with my job performance.”

Three years later and it seems Karmanos family relations are only getting worse.

From WDIV ClickOnDetroit:

The Karmanos family, businessman Peter Karmanos and his three elder sons, are fighting over more than $100 million.

The case is now in Oakland County Circuit Court. The dispute centers on Karmanos’s will, which stands to give substantial amounts of money to his sons. The problem? Pete Karmanos borrowed millions of dollars from trusts, made up of Compuware stock, promised to his three sons, Peter the third, Nick and Jason.

The trusts are valued at over $100 million, but over the years, Pete Sr. borrowed against the account to fund his beloved Carolina Hurricanes hockey team.

The details of the lawsuit are in the story. Basically, the sons are saying the father defaulted on the loan. Which, naturally, has raised questions about the financial health of the Hurricanes owner.

Jason Karmanos, by the way, is currently VP of hockey operations for the Pittsburgh Penguins, whose general manager is former ‘Canes GM Jim Rutherford.

The two teams haven’t had the best relationship either.

Related: Hurricanes president denies team could move to Quebec

‘Canes sign Glen Wesley’s son, Josh

PHILADELPHIA, PA - JUNE 28:  Josh Wesley meets his team after being drafted #96 by the Carolina Hurricanes on Day Two of the 2014 NHL Draft at the Wells Fargo Center on June 28, 2014 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

The Carolina Hurricanes have signed defenseman Josh Wesley to a three-year, entry-level contract.

Wesley, 20, was a fourth-round draft pick in 2014. He’s the son of former ‘Canes d-man Glen Wesley, who is currently the organization’s director of defenseman development.

“Josh has continued to progress in his development,” said GM Ron Francis. “He played very well for Niagara in the playoffs and is ready to begin his professional hockey career.”

Wesley, like his dad, is a defensive defenseman. He only had four points in 17 playoff games, but he finished plus-8.

The Russians say they’re in ‘negotiations’ with the NHL to get Voynov into the World Cup

St. Louis Blues v Los Angeles Kings

Yesterday in Pittsburgh, NHL commissioner Gary Bettman made it clear that Slava Voynov was still suspended and, because of that, would not be allowed to play in the upcoming World Cup.

Bettman also said that the Russian Ice Hockey Federation had been told as much.

However, it seems the Russians — who last week added Voynov to their World Cup roster — still haven’t given up on trying to get the 26-year-old defensemen into the tournament.

From Russian News Agency TASS:

“The Russian Ice Hockey Federation is holding negotiations with the organizers of the World Cup – the NHL – concerning the issue of national team’s defender Vyacheslav Voynov,” the RHF’s press service told TASS on Tuesday adding that besides the Russian and US sides the negotiations also involve Rene Fasel, the president of the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF).

“The Russian Ice Hockey Federation hopes that the organizers of the international competition will make a positive decision on the issue and the defender will be allowed to be included in the roster of the Russian national team,” the RHF added.

Known in the United States as Slava Voynov he played in the past for NHL’s Los Angeles Kings before the North American Hockey League suspended him over domestic violence charges and the player returned last autumn back home, where he is currently playing for the national team and KHL’s SKA St. Petersburg club.

Time will tell if the Russians can convince the NHL to change its stance. They could sure use Voynov, given the relative weakness of their defense. But Bettman did not sound yesterday like he was open to a negotiation.

The Russians, for the record, have maintained that it’s not the NHL’s decision to make.

So perhaps that’s the big question here — who has the final say on the matter? Officially, the World Cup “is a joint effort of the NHLPA and the NHL, in cooperation with the International Ice Hockey Federation.”

It’s just not entirely clear how that bit of boilerplate applies to the Voynov situation.