It’s after midnight, on Sunday September 16th; do you know where your Bruins are? They aren’t on the ice at the TD Garden. They aren’t on the ice at Ristuccia. They are on ice, period. As of 11:59 EST on Saturday September 15th, there was no new CBA (Collective Bargaining Agreement) signed therefore forcing a lockout until a new CBA is signed.
There were no last minute meetings; in fact the two sides (NHL and NHLPA) only talked via phone, with a statement coming from Bill Daly,
NHL’s Deputy Commissioner, Saturday afternoon to TSN stating “We talked to the union this morning and in light of the fact that they have nothing new to offer, or any substantive response to our last proposal, there would be nothing gained by convening a bargaining session at this time. I’m sure that we will remain in contact in the coming days.”
As this latest lockout has commenced, this is now the third work stoppage that has occurred during NHL commissioner Gary Bettman’s time in this position with the league. It is evident in the negotiations that have happened up until now, that the league and its owners are looking for an awful lot very quickly. The CBA that just expired was signed seven years ago (when the last lockout happened, and it being an entire season) and made many changes, that included the salary cap, a 24 per cent wage roll back on all existing NHL player contracts, as well as an escrow feature of a cap that linked revenue and salaries. Those are some of the same issues that have now caused the second lockout in seven years.
The NHL is looking to mirror what both the NBA and NFL currently have with their players, which is an approximate 50/50 sharing of the revenues or HRR (Hockey Related Revenue) in this circumstance. The newly expired CBA had the players share at 57% and the owners at 43%, the latest proposal from the NHL to the PA was for the players share to be lowered to 46%. The players gravely disagree and want their shares to stay at the current 57%. Neither side budging, thus causing one of the major standstill in negotiations.
One of the main reasons that the NHL is looking decrease the PA’s share so drastically is due to the fact that they, the NHL, believe the players are receiving too high of a share while not being responsible for any of the expenses associated with running the business. Some of those expenses being the cost to transport players accommodate players and equipping players. A not so small factor to take into consideration in regards to this is, since the now expired CBA was signed 7 years ago, the NHL revenues have soared from $2.2 billion to $3.3 billion. Yes, that’s billion not million.
Donald Fehr, Director of the Player’s Association, and the players have shown their solidarity with each other during these negotiations, with the Bruins playing a large role in that. During the most recent meetings in New York City, the Bruins had the highest number of players to represent a team among the 283 players that showed their support. One of the downfalls to the meetings that went on in NYC this week was when, at the conclusion of the owners meeting with the league, an owner called for a vote to support the looming lockout. That vote ended up being unanimous in the favor of a lockout, and the owner that called for the vote, Jeremy Jacobs, owner of the Boston Bruins.
Prior to the lockout the Bruins were pretty busy with getting a few last minute signings in before Saturday at midnight. Those signings started back on September 6th,when Malcolm Subban signed a 3 year entry-level contract with the B’s. The 18-year-old was taken 24th overall in the 2012 entry draft. The 6’1”, 188-pound goaltender spent the 2011-12 season with the Belleville Bulls of the OHL posting a 2.50 GAA and .923 save percentage with a record of 25-14 in 39 games and adding 3 shut outs as well. Subban’s last name is already well known in the NHL with his brother PK Subban currently playing for Montreal Canadiens. They followed that up with the next day signing Brad Marchand to a 4 year contract extension worth 18 million. Marchand finished his 2nd full season with the Bruins with 28 goals 27 assists and 55 points, all career highs. The 28 goals put him second on the team right behind Tyler Seguin’s 29, and his plus-34 put him at 5th in the league. The 24-year-old also tallied 87 penalty minutes in his 76 games played. Next up was Tyler Seguin, who on September 11th, signed a six-year contract extension worth an average of $5.75 million annually over the six years. The 20-year-old appeared in his second season with the Bruins and put up career highs in goals, assists and points with 29 goals 38 assists and 67 points. Seguin’s 29 goals were the highest on the team as well as adding a plus-34 that put him second in the league only behind teammate Patrice Bergeron. The last signing before the lockout was on Saturday morning when Milan Lucic signed a 3 year contract extension worth 18 million. Lucic in the 2011-12 season appeared in 81 games registering a career high in assists with 35 and adding 26 goals putting him at a second consecutive season with 20 plus goals. Lucic was also the first of six NHLers to reach both 20 goals and 100 penalty minutes on the season.
Also prior to the exiting CBA expiring and the league heading to a lockout the Bruins assigned numerous players to Providence so they can continue to play with the AHL team. The following players were sent to Providence: Matt Bartkowski, Ryan Button, Carter Camper, Jordan Caron, Colby Cohen, Tommy Cross, Craig Cunningham, Justin Florek, Michael Hutchinson, Jared Knight, Torey Krug, Kevan Miller, Adam Morrison, Tyler Randall, Max Sauve, Ryan Spooner, Niklas Svedberg, Zach Trotman and Dave Warsofsky. Also, Garnet Exelby, Christian Hanson, Jamie Tardif and Trent Whitfield have all cleared waivers and have been assigned to Providence. Dougie Hamilton (Niagara Ice Dogs) and Malcolm Subban (Belleville Bulls) have been assigned to their junior teams in the OHL.
Make sure you stay tuned to @GetRealHockey for all my updates on the Bruins and the existing lockout.
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