Friday musings…world junior talk and CBA news

- December 28th, 2012

In the effort of full disclosure, I was close to getting up (okay, staying up) to watch Canada’s comeback win over Slovakia on Friday but opted for the replay instead.

Another strong game for 2011 Winnipeg Jets first rounder Mark Scheifele, who had a goal and an assist and was chosen player of the game.

Along with his skill, Scheifele showed a little more edge to his game, throwing a few body checks and being on the receiving end of a couple knee-on-knee collisions as well. However, he kept his composure and got the job done, delivering the GWG with a nifty redirection to give him three goals (matching his total from the 2012 world junior) and four points in the first two games.

Jacob Trouba, the Jets’ 2012 first rounder, notched his second goal of the tournament and was also chosen player of the game for his squad in Team USA’s 2-1 loss to Russia.

Going to be interesting to see that Canada/Team USA match-up on Dec. 30. Thinking it might be a good idea to see that one live, but we’ll see how it goes.

As for today’s CBA news, it’s a positive step that the NHL has come up with a new, extensive 300-page offer, but we’re guessing the NHLPA will not agree to everything outright. That’s just the way negotiations have been working to this point.

Here were some of the highlights of the NHL proposal, as pointed out by a source to Sun Media colleague Bruce Garrioch:

  • The league has agreed to change contract term limits from five years to six years.
  • The NHL will allow for a contract variance of 10% either way. That is up from the 5% it first offered.
  • The league is willing to allow one buyout per-term that won’t count against the cap, but it will come out of the players’ share of hockey related revenues.
  • The league is leaving the ‘Make Whole’ of $300 million on the table.

NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly confirmed the offer early Friday afternoon in a statement posted at NHL.com but didn’t go into the details.

“In light of media reports this morning, I can confirm that we delivered to the union a new, comprehensive proposal for a successor CBA late yesterday afternoon,” said Daly. “We are not prepared to discuss the details of our proposal at this time. We are hopeful that once the union’s staff and negotiating committee have had an opportunity to thoroughly review and consider our new proposal, they will share it with the players. We want to be back on the ice as soon as possible.”

The NHLPA is holding a conference call Friday afternoon but there are reports that they won’t be responding to the offer publicly.

I’m not ready to get too worked about this just yet, as it looks like there will be at least one more back-and-forth between the league and the players before this gets settled — or the season goes off the rails completely.

But again, I think it’s another step in the right direction.

At the end of the day, I’m standing by my original view that the two sides are too close not to be able to salvage a season, but it’s looking more and more like 48 to 50 games will be the max and the best guess is that the season must be up and running before Jan. 20 to avoid playing into July.

One way or another, the end is near.

Enjoy your weekend.

Categories: Hockey

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