Lockout Languish is Over: That’s right fans, you can break out the NHL Jerseys, foam fingers, and noise makers and get ready to go out to the hockey rink, because the 2012 NHL Lockout is officially over! The NHL, Commissioner Gary Batteman, and owners all agreed to ratify a new collective bargaining agreement last Wednesday, with the NHLPA voting to ratify as well last Saturday.The new deal includes a mutual opt-out clause after 8 years, and contract limit terms at 7 years (8 for teams re-signing its own players) according to ESPN.com.
With the new deal in the books and everybody feeling all warm and fuzzy on the inside about one another training camps opened up yesterday (Sunday Jan 13th) and a 48-game regular season is slated to begin this Saturday January 19th. A total of 720 games will be played over a 99-day regular season with the last games to be played on April 27th. The Playoffs will follow on April 30th and The Stanley Cup Finals will run no later than June 28th. Other important dates to note: The trade deadline will be April 3rd and free agency begins on July 5th.
Final Thoughts: Well, it only took both sides a little over 113 days and the cancellation of 510 regular season games (including the Winter Classic and NHL All-Star Game), but hey hockey is back, baby! Thanks to Jackpot Capital casino for offering lots of entertainment during the lockout and I’m sure many people’s social networking skills have improved too whilst waiting for this news to break. NHL fans can rejoice in knowing the league successfully avoided repeating the same fate of” The season that never was in 2004-2005″. How about it hockey fans? Are you excited about the 48-game season? Or has the lockout taken all the fun out of this year? Leave a comment below.
An Ontario lawyer has purchased a toilet from the dressing room of the Maple Leafs hockey team. He paid $5,300 at an auction for this porcelain prize. The Garden which housed this toilet was opened from 1931-99, and was one of more than 100 items that went up for auction. He said he wants to sit on it, light a Cuban up and drink some Scotch while watching a game.
No-play-vember: The NHL Lockout remains at a stand-still after weekend meetings failed to bring anything to fruition. So, Boston Bruins fans will have to watch games at TD Garden from the hardwood, not the ice rink. That’s because the league has canceled all of the regular season games for the month of November. The cancellation of games comes as a result of the players union rejecting the most recent proposal from the owners two weeks ago in Toronto.
The Beef Between Both Sides: As with most lockouts, the biggest road block between the two sides is shared of league related revenue. The owners (big surprise here) wish to decrease the players guaranteed share of 57% in hockey related revenue. While the players union (shocker) wants increased shared revenue between them and the owners, as well as a fixed salary cap that’s not tied to league revenue. Other topics on the table include: free agency rule changes, the elimination of salary arbitration, and limits to contract terms.
Cancellations to Continue: With the November schedule axed, more cancellations are reportedly on the horizon. Next up on the NHL Lockout chopping block: both the Winter Classic and the All-Star game could be canceled by this Thursday. It’s likely both will be nixed because neither side will be able to actually meet in New York City, as methods of transportation have been shut down due to the recent “frankenstorm” that struck the east coast.
I want to hear from Boston Bruins fans and hockey fans alike on this one. What do you think of the lockout? Do you see it ending anytime soon? Leave a comment.
According to Claude Julien, 19 year old defenseman Dougie Hamilton is ready for the NHL. Coach Julien went to see him play in the AHL and said that he belongs in the big leagues. He is a 6″5 defender who was drafted 9th overall by the Boston Bruins. He has Mcquaid’s size (not quite Chara’s), but is quicker and younger, and can do damage on both ends. “Dougie is such a big player and he’s gotten so much stronger”, said Julien. He will easily be in the top 6 for our defenders when (if) this lock out finally ends.
Although we are in a work stoppage for hockey, there has been some speculation of the NHL expanding. They’re not going into useless Maine or Montana or something, but into bigger markets. However, they are markets that most will probably not care about, in our neighbors to the north. They have been in talks to bring two new NHL teams to Canada (Quebec, and the Greater Toronto Area known as Markham). Keep in mind that Toronto already has the Maple Leafs up there, but with the popularity of the sport up there, it just might work. New York has multiple teams for virtually every sport and that seems to work out for them.
Bruin’s GM Peter Chiarelli confirmed late last week that their annual rookie camp and tournament have been cancelled for this season due to the expiring CBA and potential lockout. As of now, the regular camp is still set to begin on September 17th.
He also said that he is in talks with other soon-to-be restricted free agents after extending Brad Marchand’s contract last week. He would not specify who he has been in negotiations with but Tuuka, Lucic, and Seguin are all set to be Restricted Free Agents after next season (assuming we have one). Who would you lock up first?
The Bruins agreed to a 4 year deal with 24 year old star forward Brad Marchand. The deal is worth 18 million and begins after next season. This will keep Marchand in the black and gold until after the 2016-17 season.
Last season he scored 28 goals and added 27 assists in only his second season with the B’s. This will make Brad the 3rd highest paid forward on the roster, behind Krejci and Bergeron. If we did not extend his contract, he would have been a restricted free agent after this season (if there is one). 8 days till the old Collective Bargaining Agreement expires and we see our third sports lockout in under a year.
If you didn’t catch it earlier today in his piece on Bergeron, the Boston Sports Blog would like to welcome our newest hockey writer, Andrew Mazze. It’s been a work in progress, but we wanted to make sure we found someone who loves the Bruins and knows a thing or two about hockey. The addition couldn’t have come at a better time as the Bruins are a hot topic this week for the site.
Thanks to the guys at I Love Boston Sports, a Boston sports apparel company, the Boston Sports Blog will be in the city Wednesday afternoon hanging out with Brad Marchand. I Love Boston Sports will be putting on the event, with Brad signing autographs and taking pictures, and asked us to come along for the ride. So clear your schedules Wednesday, February 1st from 3-5pm and head to the Upper Crust on the BU Campus at 888 Comm Ave, right across from the Agganis Arena!
Yesterday the NHL Power Rankings came out for the week, putting the B’s at 2nd place behind the Blackhawks. Not too bad, considering we did move up three spots since losing our 1st place ranking two weeks ago. What gets me is the fact that the Flyers are still ranked third after the Bruins destroyed them Saturday. Correction…Absolutely EMBARRASSED them on their home ice. Without Pronger and Giroux there is no way this team keeps pace with top teams, and the B’s game was just the beginning of that slide. But who cares, we’ll just take care of our business and let Philly’s misfortune pan out.
Taking care of business is exactly what the Bruin’s did last night at the garden. Despite struggling so far this season, Montreal always poses a threat when they come into Boston. It doesn’t matter how well either team is doing, the rivalry brings out the best in both squads. Last night the B’s held their ground with a 3-2 victory, and sent the Canadiens back across the border with their heads down. Krejci, Pouliot, and Marchard netted the goals for Boston, as Timmy stood solid once again between the pipes. The B’s scored a late goal off a turnover in the Montreal zone, which would prove crucial as the Habs pulled their goalie and netted one with under 2 minutes to play. With a few days’ rest, the Bruins are looking for revenge at home when the Florida Panthers come into town Friday.
The Panthers aggravate me. I mean is there even ice in Florida? Anyways, I guess all good things come to an end. The Bruin’s went into last night’s game hoping to brush off their first loss (with no points) in over a month by snagging a W against the Panthers. Unfortunately things didn’t fall their way. The Panthers broke a scoreless tie with 2:32 left in the game and put in an empty netter just to add insult to injury. Thomas and Jose Theodore were both solid in net, as Thomas stopped 28 of 29 shots, and Theodore let none of the 40 put against him. Not too much you can do. The opportunities were there, but the offense just couldn’t find the back of the net. I mean they hit the post like 3 or 4 times in the first period alone. Rough. But not to worry. I hear people saying the B’s are on a 2 game losing streak, blah blah blah. Already being counted out. Remember, they’re still sitting atop the Northeast Division and aren’t going to give up that easily. After such an incredible winning streak, the past two games means a lot to the team. They haven’t been used to losing so even such a small skid will be an eye opener. Expect the boys to come out ready to play Saturday, returning home from Columbus with another tally in the win column.