Devils goaltender Martin Brodeur Might Play More Than one More Season
Devils goaltender Martin Brodeur, who will turn 41 one week from today, has said many times already that he will come back next season and play out the second and final season on his contract. That doesn’t mean that next season will definitely be Brodeur’s last, though.
“Not at all,” the future Hall of Famer said today. “It’s the last year on my contract and that’s about it. This year, even though we didn’t make the playoffs, I had a great time playing the game. I really had a good time competing at the level I wanted to compete (at) and if it stays like that and I’m still having fun, who knows that’s going to happen? I’m not putting a decision in my mind.
“Two, three years ago, it was harder to make that decision, but now, for whatever reason, I don’t know if it’s the way the game is here, I really enjoy we have a chance to win every single game and the coaches make it fun to come to the rink.”
Brodeur went 13-9-7 this season with a 2.22 goals-against average and .901 save percentage. His GAA was his best since a 2.17 mark in 2007-08
Brodeur and backup goaltender Johan Hedberg, who will turn 40 on Sunday, are both signed through the end of the 2013-14 season. Devils general manager Lou Lamoriello said today he is comfortable having Brodeur and Hedberg back as his goaltending tandem next season.
If Brodeur were to play beyond that, though, it might mean splitting the job with a younger goaltender and helping him getting his feet wet in the NHL.
Colorado Avalanche Win 2013 NHL Draft Lottery
By finishing with the fewest points in the regular season, the Florida Panthers had the best chance to land the No. 1 pick at the 2013 NHL Draft in June.
But, on Monday, the Colorado Avalanche were the ones smiling.
Colorado (16-25-7) was the winner of the 2013 Scotiabank NHL Draft Lottery and will select first at this year’s draft, which will be held on June 30 at the Prudential Center in New Jersey.
Portland Winterhawks defenseman Seth Jones was recently revealed as the top-ranked player eligible for this year’s draft. The 6-foot-4, 206-pound blueliner had 14 goals and 42 assists in 61 games during the regular season and also helped the United States capture the gold medal at the World Junior Championships this past winter.
Other top-ranked players available for Colorado are center Nathan MacKinnon and left wing Jonathan Drouin, who both play for the Halifax Mooseheads in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League.
The No. 1 pick will join a Colorado roster that already boasts rising stars Gabriel Landeskog and Matt Duchene. Landeskog, 20, won the Calder Trophy as the NHL’s top rookie last season and has since been named the team’s captain.
With the Avalanche winning the lottery, the Panthers will select second and the Tampa Bay Lightning, Nashville Predators and Carolina Hurricanes will round out the top five.
Stanley Cup Playoffs Set To Open Tuesday
The 2013 Stanley Cup Playoffs will open Tuesday in Chicago with a matchup between the Presidents’ Trophy-winning Chicago Blackhawks and the Minnesota Wild, who were the last team to clinch a playoff berth.
The NHL released the playoff schedule Sunday night and it includes three Game 1s on Tuesday, another three on Wednesday and two more on Thursday.
In addition to the Chicago-Minnesota series, Tuesday will also feature both Southern California teams. The Los Angeles Kings will begin defense of their 2012 Stanley Cup championship against the St. Louis Blues at Scottrade Center and the Detroit Red Wings will open their 22nd straight postseason against the Anaheim Ducks at Honda Center.
The Blackhawks and Wild have two days between Games 1 and 2, as the series resumes Friday. Game 2 will be played in both St. Louis and Anaheim on Thursday.
Wednesday will mark the first time the Toronto Maple Leafs will play a game in the Stanley Cup Playoffs since May 4, 2004. The Leafs open against the Boston Bruins at TD Garden. Game 2 will be Saturday.
Sidney Crosby could return Wednesday, when the Pittsburgh Penguins open their postseason against the New York Islanders at Consol Energy Center. The Islanders haven’t been in the playoffs since 2007. It was 20 years ago when the Islanders ruined the Penguins’ chance at a three-peat by shocking them in seven games in the Patrick Division Finals.
Crosby missed the last 12 games of the season after breaking his jaw in a game at Consol Energy Center against, you guessed it, the Islanders. He also made his initial return from his concussion symptoms on Nov. 21, 2011 at Consol Energy Center against the Islanders — and he had four points in a 5-0 win.
Game 2 between the Penguins and Islanders is Friday and Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum will host its first playoff match in six years in Game 3 on Sunday at noon ET.
One of either Cory Schneider or Roberto Luongo will be in net for the Vancouver Canucks on Wednesday when they open the playoffs at Rogers Arena against the San Jose Sharks. Schneider is currently day-to-day with an undisclosed injury, leaving the possibility that Luongo could start the postseason for the Canucks.
Attention Rick Nash fantasy hockey owners: you just missed out on some major penalty minutes tonight, but don’t worry — there’s probably a suspension heading Nash’s way!
Late in the third period of Thursday’s game between the New York Rangers and the Florida Panthers, Florida’s Tomas Kopecky had a great chance to score on Henrik Lundqvist. He was denied on the play, and then took an elbow from Rick Nash to the back of the head for his troubles.
No penalty was called on the play, but since people out in the real world noticed it there’s a good chance Nash gets a phone call from the league about this one. This is a suspension-worthy hit, for sure. Nash jumped to deliver this hit. He jumped so high, in fact, that he actually had to lower his arms in order to connect with Kopecky’s head. If that’s not a suspension, then what are we even doing here?
Crabb, 29, was designated as a non-roster player Thursday, opening a spot on the 23-man active roster for the Caps to activate Mike Green from the injured reserve list.
Crabb is on a one-year, one-way contract worth $950,000.
Should Crabb clear waivers at noon (EDT) Saturday, the Capitals will assign him to the American Hockey League’s Hershey Bears. If Crabb is sent to Hershey, Washington will carry a salary cap hit of $50,000 from his contract.
Call it a formality if you want, but Alex Kovalev officially retired from the NHL on Thursday, according to the Miami Herald’s George Richards.
While his career ended on a flat note following a 14-game stint with the Florida Panthers, the 40-year-old had a prolific run.
The Russian-born winger won his lone Stanley Cup in 1994 with the New York Rangers. He was a three-time All-Star. His career totals are impressive: 430 goals and 599 assists for 1,029 points in 1,316 regular season games and exactly 100 points in 123 postseason appearances.
(His greatest playoff run came in his first campaign as he scored 21 points in 23 games to help the Rangers win that memorable curse-breaking championship.)
Rangers president and general manager Glen Sather is expected to undergo surgery for prostate cancer Thursday in New York, according to three sources close to Sather. He is to be hospitalized for a few days and resume his normal duties soon, the sources said.
Assistant general manager Jeff Gorton was representing the team at the NHL general managers meetings in Toronto Wednesday, the team confirmed.
Sather, 69, was not available for comment.
“Almost all of Glen’s business is done on the phone anyway,” a source said. “He just doesn’t want anybody to make a fuss over him.”
Sather, who was inducted into the hockey Hall of Fame in 1997, is the franchise’s 12th president and 10th general manager. He was appointed June 1, 2000. Before that, he was the GM in Edmonton, where the Oilers blossomed into a dynasty and won five Stanley Cups. He ranks 16th on the NHL’s all-time coaching list with 497 victories.
Karlsson out 3-4 months following Achilles surgery
Sadness. Anger. Frustration. The Ottawa Senators are experiencing it all.
“There’s no words that can explain what we’re feeling,” goalie Craig Anderson said.
He wasn’t referring to the agony of defeat after a 4-2 loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins on Wednesday, their fifth setback in the team’s past seven games.
The Senators were more upset to learn they won’t have the defenseman they believe is the best player in the National Hockey League — and for what could be a very long time.
Erik Karlsson, their 22-year-old reigning Norris Trophy winner, underwent surgery Thursday to repair a 70-percent tear in his Achilles. He will be out three to four months, according to Ottawa GM Bryan Murray.
“He’s playing 30 minutes a game, a Norris Trophy winner, arguably the best player in the League. It’s obviously a big loss — but like every injury, it’s somebody’s opportunity,” coach Paul Maclean said Wednesday night. “We have to find out who that’s going to be.”
During the final minute of the second period, Matt Cooke came from behind to pin Karlsson against the left-wing boards. Cooke’s left skate made contact with the back of Karlsson’s lower left leg, leaving Karlsson in obvious pain. He immediately headed to the dressing room.
“With (Karlsson), it seemed like everything was going for him,” said defense partner Marc Methot, noting Karlsson’s six goals and 10 points in 13 games. “All of the sudden, he gets horrible luck out there. It’s one of those injuries that requires a lot of bad luck to get. We’re going to be missing him huge back there.”
There was no penalty called on the play on Cooke, who has a history of supplemental discipline from the NHL. He was suspended for the final 10 regular-season games and the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs for an elbow on the New York Rangers’ Ryan McDonough in March 2011.
The NHL’s Department of Player Safety reviewed the play and spoke to both general managers before determining there would be no supplemental discipline.
When asked if Cooke intended to injure Karlsson on the play, MacLean said: “That’s not up to me to decide.”
Added Anderson: “I don’t know if it’s intent to injure, but I don’t know why you would hit somebody like that in that situation. I can’t tell if it’s intent to injure or not, but it obviously catches Erik really unfortunate, a heel of his skate where we don’t have any padding.
Cooke faces no hearing or discipline for Karlsson injury
The National Hockey League has already decided that there will no hearing and no supplemental discipline for Penguins forward Matt Cooke regarding the injury to Ottawa Senators defenceman Erik Karlsson.
Cooke was tangled up with Karlsson near the puck along the boards on Wednesday night when his skate blade cut the left achilles of the Norris Trophy-winning blueliner.
The Senators said that Karlsson will require surgery and will be out indefinitely. According to TSN Hockey Insider Darren Dreger, Karlsson’s tendon wasn’t completely cut, but the best case scenario for Karlsson to return is upwards of four months.
The league said on Thursday that the Department of Player Safety has reviewed the incident and that Brendan Shanahan has spoken with both general managers.
“I feel horrible for Erik Karlsson, I feel bad for Ottawa,” Penguins GM Ray Shero told ESPN.com on Thursday morning. “It’s a bad feeling. But I can’t rationalize where that was a dirty play or anything with intent. Our fan base knows how it feels to lose a star player. It’s emotional. I know how it feels like. It’s just very unfortunate. I would not be defending Matt Cooke if I thought it was a dirty hockey play.”
The 34-year-old Cooke has a long history of suspensions from the NHL, several of which have been for hits to the head. He has been banned from play five times during his career, most recently in March, 2011 for an elbow to the head of New York Rangers defenceman Ryan McDonagh. For that incident, Cooke was suspended for the remainder of the season and the playoffs, a total of 17 games.
Rangers must decide whether or not to send J.T. Miller to minors
New York Post
J.T. Miller’s audition with the Rangers is just about in its final act.
Within the next couple of days, coach John Tortorella and general manager Glen Sather are going to have to make a decision on whether the 19-year-old center gets the role as an integral part of a team with Stanley Cup aspirations, or if he is best served learning in the minors.
If Miller dresses for the Rangers (7-5-0) tonight against the Islanders (4-7-1) at the Garden, it will be his fifth career NHL game. If he plays one more — the next game being Sunday at home against the Capitals — then the first year of Miller’s entry-level contract will go in effect during this lockout-shortened, 48-game season. That also would mean an accelerated timetable in terms of games played before the arrival of his restricted free agency, then just two more seasons away.
“We think he’s going to be a really good player,” Tortorella said after yesterday’s optional practice. “We’re just not sure how quickly it’s going to come. So that’s our situation as an organization, to watch that.”
Watch they have. In Miller’s first four games, he has spent more time impressing than disappointing, most especially in his first game on Garden ice last Thursday, a 4-1 win over the Islanders. Then, he scored his first two NHL goals and looked entirely at home with the Broadway spotlight in his face and the Broadway Hat atop his head.
But it has not been all roses for the team’s 2011 first-round pick (15th overall), as Tuesday night’s 4-3 shootout win against the Bruins in Boston was probably his weakest performance in a Rangers’ uniform, and he knew it.
“I’m going to need to try and stay simple,” he said one day after playing 12:24 and not registering a shot on goal at the harsh TD Garden. “I’m trying to play my game and not do too much.”
Tortorella also is trying to keep an open mind about the kid from East Palestine, Ohio, who was a star for Team USA in their gold-medal performance at last month’s World Junior Championships, as well as being the youngest player named to the AHL All-Star team.
“Jason Spezza is expected to go under the knife.
Sources say the Senators centre will likely elect to have surgery to repair a back injury and could be out long-term. However, it’s not immediately known if that will cost him the whole season.
Senators GM Bryan Murray has called an 11 a.m. news conference to outline the procedure.
The possibility of the surgery was raised Tuesday when Spezza visited a doctor in Toronto, but the Senators wanted to get a second opinion to make sure that was the necessary route.
It is not known how long he’ll be out but many believe the procedure is not considered serious in nature. There’s still a chance he could be back for the post-season.
Coach Paul MacLean was tight-lipped when asked about Spezza before the club hosted the Montreal Canadians Wednesday. He admitted the possibility of the Senators being without their top centre for awhile hadn’t been ruled out.
The Senators are calling it an “upper body” injury but it’s believed he was being sent for more tests in Ottawa.
“He’s still being evaluated. I don’t know yet,” said MacLean.
It’s a certainty Spezza won’t be going on the road with the Senators when they face the Carolina Hurricanes Friday in Raleigh and then travel to Montreal for a rematch Sunday afternoon at the Bell Centre at 2 p.m.
The Sun confirmed Spezza, who has had back problems before, was in Toronto getting evaluated by doctors. He was spotted at the Ottawa airport Tuesday night catching a flight but returned to the city Wednesday morning.”
“Before P.K. Subban gets back on the ice with the Montreal Canadiens, he better be ready to buy into a new philosophy.
The defenceman joined his team Wednesday in Ottawa for the first time since signing a two-year $5.75 million contract, but was not in the lineup for their game against the Senators.
He took part in the team’s optional morning skate, and admitted he wasn’t sure when he would play his first game.
It appears Subban has been given a clear message and if he plans on playing an integral role with the team he’d better accept the new set of rules.
“The first thing Marc Bergevin and I did was sit down with (Subban) and explain our philosophy and he understood where we’re coming from,” Canadiens coach Michel Therrien said. “It was a good, honest conversation with P.K. and we just want to make sure everyone is on the same page.”
The Canadiens have two days off before playing back-to-back afternoon home games on the weekend against the Buffalo Sabres and Senators, respectively.
“I felt great today. I’m going to continue to practice and get ready,” said Subban. “As of right now, there’s no time frame to when I’ll be returning. I don’t know. It’s not my decision.”
Therrien admitted he has no immediate timetable for Subban’s return. He said he wouldn’t make a decision until he had seen Subban in a full practice with his teammates.
“He appears to be in good condition and that’s a positive,” said Therrien. “When we can have a practice with our team we’ll have a better idea.
“There’s a lot of things he needs to pick up. We play a different system. I want to make sure when he steps on the ice he knows what to do.”
The Canadiens aren’t rushing Subban back to ensure the 23-year-old will not disrupt the team’s chemistry.
Much has been made as to whether or not Subban would be welcomed back with open arms by his teammates, but Therrien says he’s not concerned. However, he did preach the importance of accepting the team mentality.
“He’s a big part of our hockey team, but like everyone I believe you need to come on a team with a good frame of mind and good attitudeawe want to make sure our team concept stays the same.”"
“Sounds like Jamie Oleksiak will make his Dallas Stars and NHL debut on Friday against the Phoenix Coyotes,
Oleksiak, 21, was Dallas’ first-round pick (14th overall) at the 2011 NHL Entry Draft and recently participated in his first-ever AHL All-Star Game.
Following Wednesday’s call-up, he was put on a defensive pairing with Alex Goligoski at practice and should be in the lineup tomorrow, according to Stars Inside Edge.
It’s a big move that should have Stars fans excited — “big” being the operative word.
Oleksiak is listed at 6-foot-7, 242 pounds and has a massive reach, something that benefited him well during his time in the American league.”
“Now there’s a timetable for how long the Rangers will have to go on living without the heart of their team, and it’s a timetable that even at its worst can be weathered.
Wednesday the Rangers announced that captain Ryan Callahan will be out 10-14 days after suffering a left shoulder subluxation as a result of a third-period fight with the Flyers’ Max Talbot in the Rangers’ 2-1 win on Tuesday. The injury is a temporary and partial dislocation, which is the best-case scenario for what looked to be a much more serious injury at the time.
“What it means is that the shoulder joint, the ball in the socket, the ball slides part of the way out but doesn’t get stuck out,” said Dr. Brad Parsons, an orthopedic surgeon at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, who is a shoulder specialist but does not work with NHL players.
“If it’s just a subluxation, the deep structures of the shoulder might have gotten stretched or strained — the ligaments and muscles, and that obviously causes pain. But usually a period of rest, two weeks or so, will allow the shoulder inflammation to resolve or get better.”
The competitor in Callahan will not take the rest easily, but the good news is that he is a hockey player, where most of the sport is played with his arm below shoulder level. As opposed to a sport where his arm might be above his head, Callahan’s recovery will be dictated by how long it takes to regain strength and flexibility rather than structural mending.
That and pain management, which never has seemed like a problem for the 5-foot-11 ball of energy from Rochester.
“There might be pain,” Dr. Parsons said. “But as long as it’s not giving him symptoms, in a few weeks, he’ll be able to do all the things he’ll need to be successful again.”
The team, on the other hand, is a different story. What the Rangers need to be successful is to do their best attempting to fill Callahan’s multi-faceted role, not just as a locker room leader, but as a penalty killer, a power play staple, and an even-strength grinder with a bit of touch.”
“The medical news was good and bad for the Kings on Monday.
Or bad and good, depending on your point of view.
The bad news came late in the afternoon, with defenseman Matt Greene possibly sidelined for the rest of the lockout-shortened season because of a back injury suffered during the Kings’ season-opening 5-2 loss Saturday to the Chicago Blackhawks at Staples Center.
The Kings said in a news release only that Greene suffered a “mid-body injury” and would be placed on the injured reserve list.
The team recalled defenseman Andrew Bodnarchuk from Manchester (N.H.) of the American Hockey League to take Greene’s roster spot.
TSN, a Canadian sports network, first reported the precise nature and extent of Greene’s injury.
The good news came earlier in the day, with center Anze Kopitar announcing he was fit to play after a sprained right knee sidelined him for Saturday’s game. He said he would play tonight against the Colorado Avalanche in Denver, the first contest on a three-game trip.
After participating in the pregame Stanley Cup banner and ring ceremony on the ice Saturday, Kopitar retreated to the dressing room and peeled off his uniform. He watched on TV from the quiet of the room, and he didn’t like what he saw from the offensively-challenged Kings.”
“It will be official Tuesday.
Tomas Holmstrom is headed to retirement.
And his loss will leave another void in the Red Wings locker room.
“Just a fantastic guy to have around, always fun to be around, always had something to say,” defenseman Niklas Kronwall said. “It was just fun to be around him.”
Holmstrom, who’ll turn 40 Wednesday, officially will end his 15-year career during a news conference at Joe Louis Arena. He played 1,026 games and had 530 points (243 goals).
Not a bad professional career for an afterthought ninth-round pick, 257th overall, in 1994.
“He was a great teammates, a great man, and ultra competitive,” coach Mike Babcock said. “All the best players are ultra competitive. He found a way to win four Stanley Cup championships, represent his country (Sweden, in the Olympics) and play over 1,000 games. Pretty impressive.”
Babcock called Holmstrom the best net-front player he’s coached.
“He wasn’t a very good skater, but found a way to not have it a track meet,” Babcock said. “He was the quickest guy from the net-front, to the corner, back to the net-front, I’ve ever coached. He competed to get to a spot.”
Red Wings players believe Holmstrom created a position in the game — the player willing to take abuse in front of the net, distracting goaltenders and tipping pucks into the net.
“Just the battle level he had on the ice every night,” forward and captain Henrik Zetterberg said. “He basically created a role in his league, stand in front of the net, take a beating and be real good at it.”
“There is no historical precedent for what the Rangers are going through right now, so don’t look backward to try to figure out what is going to happen in the future.
In 1995, the most recent instance of a 48-game schedule, the league was very different, with no three-point game, no Wild or Blue Jackets franchises, larger divisions and substantially more scoring. That year, the Devils won the Stanley Cup after finishing the first 24 games with a record of 9-11-4.
Now that the Rangers have lost the first two games of this 48-game season, taking hope in the Devils’ triumph would be foolhardy. As would be taking their losses to the Bruins and Penguins lightly, as both games were thorough beatings the likes of which were almost non-existent last season, when the Rangers made it to the Eastern Conference Finals.
“You can’t really use the early-in-the-season thing,” Brad Richards said after losing to the Penguins, 6-3, on Sunday in their first game at the revamped Garden.
“The only good thing is, we’re only four points out of the division,” the alternate captain continued, “but it’s going to come quick and you can’t let it snowball.”
There also has been some solace taken in the fact the Rangers started last season 0-1-2 after three games and 3-3-3 after nine. They then finished the first 48 games with a 31-12-5 record, en route to coming up two points short of winning the Presidents’ Trophy.
But they started that season with two games in Stockholm, then had cameras from HBO all over them in the lead-up to the Winter Classic. This season, they had a six-day training camp, which included one day off and no live scrimmage with another team, a possible passed-up benefit, even if it were against their AHL affiliate.”
“The Chicago Blackhawks added depth to their goaltending Monday when they acquired Henrik Karlsson from the Calgary Flames for a seventh-round pick in the 2013 NHL Draft.
Karlsson, who has appeared in 26 regular-season game with the Flames over parts of the last two seasons, was assigned to the AHL’s Rockford IceHogs. The 29-year-old posted a 5-9-8 record with a 2.79 goals-against average and .905 save percentage during that span.
The Hawks had an opportunity to pick up Karlsson off waivers last week but passed at the time, instead Monday surrendering the pick which they had acquired Dec. 2, 2011 in a trade with the Ottawa Senators for Rob Klinkhammer.”
“For the second time this week in Manhattan the clock counted down to midnight, and everyone waited for something to drop. The National Hockey League and its players were locked in their longest meeting in a week full of offers and counter-offers, and the players retained the ability to formally disband their union at midnight, which the league would regard with extreme hostility. It was, for a moment, a potentially significant moment.
The union, however, declined to exercise the option, and the two sides talked until 1 a.m. ET. The meetings involved a mediator, which was jointly requested, and will continue Thursday morning at 10 a.m.
“There’s been some progress, but we’re still apart on a number of issues. But as long as the process continues, I’m hopeful,” said NHL commissioner Gary Bettman.
“We had some internal meetings, a number of face to face sessions, a mediator was present during the day today, the parties moved closer together on some issues,” said NHLPA executive director Don Fehr. “But there is still a ways to go if an agreement will be reached, and we’ll see where we are in the morning.
“It’s sort of like if you have a river to cross, you either have to build a bridge or you have to do something else, if you’re going to cross the river … as you might expect, the differences between us relate to the economic issues that don’t involve the share.”
Those include the salary-cap figure for 2013-14, which the union wants at $65 million US versus the NHL’s offer of $60 million; and pensions, which cropped back up in the past couple days.
None of this means an agreement is in sight. Two hours into an evening meeting that stretched into the early morning, Pierre LeBrun of TSN and ESPN.com reported there was a sense of disappointment on both sides at the lack of real movement on the remaining core issues.
The two sides had been inching forward, day by day, but if Wednesday was a roadblock, there was the potential for a bigger problem. The NHLPA had presented a proposal in the early afternoon, and the two groups reconvened just after 8 in the evening, with a robust 12-player contingent. It had been a strange way to bargain, really — often horsetrading gets done during marathon sessions, such as the 15-hour run the NBA went on to close its deal. Instead the full sides had rarely spent more than a few hours in the same building, until this meeting.
“If you’re a Detroit Red Wings fan who can’t get enough of the Columbus Blue Jackets and Nashville Predators, the proposed 2013 NHL schedule is just for you.
According to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, the 48-game schedule the league plans to implement if a labor deal is reached by Jan. 11 will consist mostly of divisional games.
Teams would play division rivals seven times each (for a total of 28 games) and would face the other 10 clubs within their conference home and away (20 games). As expected, there would be no interconference games, just like in the lockout-shortened 1995 season.
Under the regular 82-game scheduling format, division rivals meet six times.
This scheduling matrix is subject to change, but if it materializes, 58 percent of the Red Wings’ slate would consist of games against Central Division foes Columbus, Nashville, Chicago and St. Louis.
If division rivals meet in the first round of the playoffs, they could end up playing each other 14 times in a span of four months.
The NHL season would begin on Jan. 19 with numerous rivalry games, according to the Tribune-Review.”
“Can the NHLPA’s rank-and-file members to ask for a vote on the owners’ latest offer? Of course, says Daniel Alfredsson, but he doesn’t think it would be a good idea.
“I hope it doesn’t happen because I don’t think most of the players feel there is a deal to get done for us right now,” Alfredsson said, according to the Ottawa Sun.
Alfredsson isn’t clear on the mechanics of how the purely theoretical vote would take place.
“I’m sure they would have a conference call with the board they have all the time with all the player reps and get a concensus,” said Alfredsson. “But, where we are now, I can’t see us being close to that point.”
They might not be, but Don Cherry thinks they should hold that vote, and make a secret ballot.”
“Historically, when you look back at lockouts and other labor strife in the NHL, many of the league’s superstars were either uninvolved or silent passengers hiding in the background.
Forget the unmitigated disaster that unfolded Thursday night in New York City between the players and the union.
What’s important is that the two sides are closer than they have ever been to resolving the lockout, which enters its 85th day Sunday.
And one of the reasons they have gotten closer is because the face of the game — from a player’s perspective and not the NHLPA itself — was involved: Sidney Crosby.
The Penguins star did what the greatest player in the game is supposed to do. He got involved.
As close as he is to Mario Lemieux, as much as Crosby emulates what Lemieux meant to the NHL, the example that lay before Crosby wasn’t Lemieux.
It’s his childhood idol, Steve Yzerman, one of the all-time leaders in Detroit, who knew when to take the mantle in Motor City and run with it.”