Preds help Hawks Count; Take Game 2 6-2

Source: Frederick Breedon/Getty Images

Source: Frederick Breedon/Getty Images

Well, if that wasn’t a good way to show that Nashville has what it takes to make it beyond the first round then I can’t tell you what was. Similar to Wednesday’s game, there were quite a few circumstances that certainly went against the Predators. However, instead of allowing those instances to bog them down, Nashville persevered and then some to take victory of Game 2 6-2. Here are the main highlights you should take away from last night’s game:

  • Definition of Top Shelf Cheddar? That’d be Colin Wilson, who did just that to give the Predators the lead early in the first period. That snipe was Wilson’s third of the playoffs – he might just be the hero of the playoffs.
  • Patrick Sharp would put Chicago on the board, but Roman Josi would make sure Nashville ended the period in the lead with just three seconds left in the first.
  • The penalty kill was overtly prepared for the possibility of spending some time in the box, due in part to Wednesday’s shenanigans. Gaustad was called for a four-minute high-sticking during the second period, putting the Predators in an all too familiar setting. However, the PK only allowed one shot-on-goal during that four minute spat, boosting not only the crowd but the team as well.
  • Patrick Kane’s goal was greatly celebrated, one could say, as he had five other buddies on the ice to do so with! A huge, monstrous missed too-many-men call lead to Kane’s first goal of the playoffs – one that happened to tie the game. To add insult to injury, the officials would soon wave off a perfectly clean goal from Calle Jarnkrok.

  • Injuries were abound last night, with Taylor Beck traveling back to the locker room after a Seabrook shot, and Shea Weber leaving for the remainder of the game with a lower-body injury. Weber will not be making the trip with the team to Chicago, definitely confirming he will be out at least two game. Mike Fisher, on the other hand, will be making the trip. Here’s a .gif of where Weber’s injury occurred:

  • Craig Smith notched his first of two goals last night in the second, helping to break that awful second period slump and gave Nashville a 3-2 lead going into the third.
  • Filip Forsberg gave the Predators a 4-2 lead in the third, becoming the youngest player in Preds franchise history to score a post-season goal.
  • And, quickly after Forsberg, Craig Smith wanted another taste and notched his second goal of the night on Corey Crawford. Ah, and Pekka Rinne picked up the assist on his goal, too.
  • Mike Santorelli would get the deciding goal for his first in the playoffs, making the final score 6-2 in favor of Nashville.
  • Vince Vaughn was in town to watch his beloved Blackhawks along with NHL Commissioner, Gary Bettman. The Predators should be beaming to show off such a great game to someone who doesn’t care much for small markets.

Other Thoughts:

That, ladies and gentlemen, was a game for the ages. The Predators went in knowing that things would possibly go against them – as it always has. Instead of taking the beating, Nashville stood firm and expressed the type of discipline they have been lacking for a while. Maybe it was the loss of Weber; maybe it was the excellent PK on that double-minor; whatever the case, there was a fire lit under the Predators that needs to stay lit for tomorrow’s game in Chicago and beyond.

Game 3 in Chicago starts at 2PM — A little bit earlier than the two here at home, I’d say. Like I said, that fire from last night needs to be there tomorrow. Chicago will have the crowd and home ice advantage, which could break them mentally. No need for mentality breaks.

Update: Nashville to Host 2016 NHL All-Star Game

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Image Source: Brooks Bratten


Update:
It has officially been announced from the mouth of Gary Bettman that Nashville will indeed host the 2016 NHL All-Star Celebration on January 30-31st, 2016. The Skills Competition will be held on the 30th, with the All-Star Game being held on the 31st. So now you can officially have a freak out moment in your office. Or at least, I am allowing myself to do so.
We know you have questions on how this is going to work. The Preds already have it covered with this handy-dandy FAQ!

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Wait – What does that title say? Yes, you read that right; Nashville will be the host of the 2016 NHL All-Star Game. And yes, if I were a guy named Chris Pratt, this would totally be my reaction. The NHL will formally address this announcement Friday at 11AM at the Bridgestone Arena, with Gary Bettman in tow. Try to contain your excitement, please! Nah, go ahead and celebrate.

CBA Talks Continue: Progress, Methinks

 

Rest In Peace, Winter Classic.

After a Christmas hiatus, we are back and… no good news or bad news really to report. A lot has happened, though and we will cover it all in one sugarcoated nutshell.

Let’s start with what we know:

  • Commissioner Gary Bettman has set a date for hockey doomsday: January 11th. If both the NHL and NHLPA have not come to an agreement in CBA talks by that date, the 2012– err, 2013 season will be kaput. 
  • The league proposed a new bargain last Thursday, basically consisting of 10-year CBA with a mutual opt-out after eight years, no contractual rollbacks on players’ salaries, 50-50 split of hockey-related revenue, $300 million towards the “Make Whole” provision, max-limits on free agent contracts, and one compliance buyout before the 2013-14 season. Phew – that’s a lot to throw on the table at once.
  • Late Tuesday night, the player’s association presented the league with a counter-proposal, but not too much has leaked to the media regarding what exactly the proposal entails. However, it has been noted that the NHLPA is not happy with the league’s pension offer, which is an entire argument in itself.
  • The NHLPA has a two hour (midnight EST) deadline to decide if they want to go ahead with the Disclaimer of Interest.

    Alrighty, got all that? A sense of false optimism has us biting our nails; we just can’t help ourselves. Progress is being make ever-so-surely, as the two sides are still meeting as we post this. As stated above, the NHLPA still has until the stroke of midnight to go with the DoI, but this is no Cinderella story – if the players’ association passes, they can always vote again in favor of it at a later date.

    We probably missed something, but that is what’s going on in the world of CBA talks at this time. Not good news, not bad news. Progress, methinks.

Players Speak Out against Lockout as Games continue to Cancel

Don Fehr back in September.

 

As you all know by now, the NHL has announced that it has canceled all games of the 2012-13 season through December 14th, along with the much anticipated All-Star weekend in Columbus.

That brings us up to 423 regular season games canceled thus far, including the Winter Classic between the Detroit Red Wings and the Toronto Maple Leafs. How much money has been lost thus far, too? Here are the status up to

Salary lost: $416,998,959.25
Days Lost in Regular Season: 45
Days since the Lockout: 71

By the time you read this, those numbers will probably have changed, which is absolutely unbelievable. However, with each day that passes, more and more players are becoming vocal about their opinions on the lockout at hand. The NHL and NHLPA will tell you that these players’ outbursts have nothing to do with the “progress” that the two sides have made, but it’s very clear that the players are getting just a frustrated as the fans at this point.

“(Bettman’s) the only guy in pro sports that likes lockouts. It’s ridiculous. The only people who have record revenue and try to cut everything from us are the owners. There needs to be a give-and-take. We’re willing to take less revenue. We’ll do a 50-50 split if they honor our contracts. That seems fair. When you sign a contract, you look the GM in the eye and you expect them to honor your contract.” – Jason Chimera, Washington Capitals

“I personally think (Gary Bettman’s) an idiot. Since he’s come in, he’s done nothing but damaged the game.” – Ian White, Detroit Red Wings

“It’s disappointing that the approach for Gary [Bettman] and the ownership group has been to make these hard dates and final offers and not budging and on and on. There’s no real answer to why except ‘We think we can lock you out and your careers are short and we can shake you down’. Not a good feeling.” – Mike Cammalleri, Calgary Flames

“The two sides are close enough to a deal that missing the bulk of a season is wrong and missing an entire season is not only insane, it is a blatant disregard for the sport, the fans and the culture we have grown over decades — just to satisfy egos, not the needs of either side.” – Ryan Miller, Buffalo Sabres

“But not to be able to play, and for the fans, too – they pay our salaries, anyway. It’s not fair for fans not to have hockey right now.” – Teemu Selanne, Anaheim Ducks

And, let’s not forget our very own Sergei Kostitsyn: “Let’s put it this way – it would be better [for the players] if the lockout continues. Players want a definite answer. If the NHL season is lost – let it be that way. I would then play in Russia for the whole season.”

We could continue to add and add all of the players that have spoken publicly about the lockout, but it would make for one long, drawn-out blog post. It’s clear the players aren’t ready for another lockout, with the last one (in 04-05) still fresh on everyone’s minds.

The real losers here are both the franchise and city of Columbus. With an already struggling hockey market, the All-Star weekend was going to boost both the city’s economy and possibly push some life into the Blue Jackets’ sinking organization. And, to top it off, with Columbus losing their hosting duties at an All-Star game, the chance of Nashville hosting one in the near future will be pushed back as well.

Fans have also expressed their opinions on the lockout, with even a Flyers fan jumping at Commissioner Gary Bettman while leaving a meeting on Wednesday. To be honest, we are surprised it hasn’t happened earlier. So, the question is, how long will fans continue to let both the NHL and NHLPA drag the knife wound through their backs? The optimism is slowly but surely dying off, leaving just a heap of diehards clinging to the dagger. Even we are having a hard time keeping interest, as you can see our posts have been few to none.

How long will the NHL and NHLPA continue to drag the “supposed” season until they finally call it off for good? What good is a season that will start mid-December? We’d be happy for any hockey, championship-worthy or not, but even if the lockout ends tomorrow, the NHL is still the worst-run professional organization in the world. Bettman will still be the commissioner; Fehr will still be the executive director of the NHLPA. Will they just disagree once again and throw the league into another lockout?

Again, the optimism is fading fast and we’re pulling the dagger out at an alarming rate. Time to take notice, NHL.

NHL Shoots Down PA’s Proposals

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Well boys and girls, the optimism for a full season is dwindling fast. The NHL and NHLPA met today to discuss possible CBA negotiations, with the PA giving three counter offers of their own.

Unfortunately, what seemed like a positive step turned into a “backward step” per Gary Bettman as the he and the NHL shoot down all three of the NHLPA’s offers.

Back to zero.

What were the PA’s offers? Here they are in a nutshell:
– Proposal #1: A fixed players share for the next three years and, depending on growth, the amount will be decided.
– Proposal #2: The owners take 50% with 5% growth.
– Proposal #3: The players go 50/50 as long as the owners honor all the current contracts signed by the players.

Lots of room for discussion, right? Well, Bettman said both sides were “speaking different languages” when all was said and done. Personally, we believe Proposal #3 is the best of the choices, but obviously the owners do not feel the same way.

Information is still making its way to social media, so we’ll update with all the latest information.

Let the Negotiations Begin: NHL deals Proposal to NHLPA

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After more than 100 days after the NHL/NHLPA CBA talks began, the two sides have finally decided it’s time to negotiate. 

The National Hockey League, under the guidance of commissioner Gary Bettman, has proposed a 50/50 split amongst hockey related revenue (HRR) with the NHLPA. With this proposal, Bettman is attempting to  save the 82-game schedule, with it expected to start on November 2nd, if the NHLPA agrees.

With fans sighing with relief that at least one side has made a move, all is not quiet on the home front. The current split is at 57% in favor of the players, which (without doing the math) tells you with this new proposal, the players will lose money, wether all at once or long-term. 

So what could possibly hold the players’ association back from accepting this slice of pie, besides the 7% decrease in possible income? Well, there’s more to this proposal than a 50/50 split of HHR. Here is some of the fine print:

  • Five-year limit on long-term contracts. As of right now, there aren’t any limits.
  • Salary arbitration stays the same.
  • Unrestricted Free Agency would begin at the age of 28 and/or eight years of a NHL term.
  • Entry-level contracts would be extended from three years to four. 

     

 

So, what does Don Fehr and the players have to say? Not too much; at least, not for now. As much as we would have enjoyed the NHLPA to announce they’re acceptance to the proposal today, that was definitely a long shot in the dark. The NHLPA did announce that they will respond to the NHL’s proposal within 48 hours, so sometime on Wednesday or Thursday (hopefully).  Fehr also mentioned that, if the new proposal is agreed upon, the deal would last at least six years.

Again, after 100 days, we have lift off to a possible end in the lockout. 

– Photo courtesy of: Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

 

 

CBA Talks Halt; 2012-13 Season Hangs in the Balance

Whatever he’s thinking about, it isn’t the fans.

You are probably wondering why we haven’t covered the current Collective Bargaining Agreement that haunts the future of the 2012-13 NHL season. Welp, we figured you were hearing enough from everyone else, but also because we just didn’t want to discuss it. Bad juju, really.

Well, after trying to ignore the potential lockout like a five-year-old (if you close your eyes and cover your ears, it’s not real, right?), we finally hiked up our big girl undies and weighed the pending situation at hand.

As of Friday, the NHLPA and the NHL have come to no conclusion, with no intentions of meeting again before the CBA expires on the 15th. The meeting lasted a whopping 90 minutes. That gives these two knot-heads twelve days to agree to disagree or say bye-bye to the 2012-13 season (that, or it’ll be delayed).

NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman doesn’t seem worried about a potential lockout, claiming that, because the league survived the last lockout (2004-05 season), it will be just fine if another one occurs. Fans and the media, however, beg the differ.

The strength of hockey will not be effected in certain places such as Los Angeles, Boston, Detroit, and all of Canada, but for non-traditional markets, the event of a lockout could be disastrous. The Columbus Blue Jackets are walking a very, very thin wire and, after losing Rick Nash to the New York Rangers, a lockout could be the scissors that cut their lifeline. Hosting the All-Star Game won’t help much if there isn’t one, and it sure won’t bring an already waning fan base back on board, either.

The Phoenix Coyotes, still floating on Cloud 9 after making it to the third round of the playoffs, will soon find their cloud bursting into flames if the lockout does indeed occur. What fan base they generated during the playoffs will enviably die off due to lack of a season, sending the Coyotes back into the limbo that is “What Canadian city will be getting an NHL team”. Now, not to bash the Coyotes, as they do have a committed, loyal fan base, but I am talking about those who jumped on the bandwagon and/or those Arizonians who were introduced to hockey during that time.

Though we do not want to discuss it, Nashville will be effected as well. The Predators have nestled themselves into Music City just fine, and the team managed to survive the 2004-05 season without fail. However, although the fan base is strong and loyal fans have began to emerge, Nashville is still a non-traditional market and, enviably, will be damaged by a potential lockout. The Predators bring fans from across the South, from Alabama to Arkansas (most notable Preds fans from Arkansas? The Duggar Family from 19 Kids and Counting) and, without a season, but in a lockout situation, those fans will revert back into college football drones.

No matter if the team is settled in a non-tradition market or in a thriving, hockey-centered community, every city with an NHL team will be affected negatively. Wether it be monetarily, numerically, physically, whatever- Bettman can easily shrug off the fact he will lose no more than chump-change and a few “bandwagoners” if a lockout occurs. The fans, however, lose out in every aspect of the situation. Cities that don’t even have teams will be affected.

“Once we get past Sept. 15, I think the dynamic changes,” Commissioner Bettman stated. “The damage to the business changes the dynamic of the negotiation. So, from our standpoint, we’re hoping to make a deal by Sept. 15. That’s how we’ve positioned the offers we’ve made. And I’m hopeful that it can still be done. There is enough time if there is a willingness to negotiate.”

As stated above, the NHL and NHLPA have not set another meeting to discuss the CBA any further, leaving the 15th of September looming over every fans’ head.


Check out this video by Janne Makkonen – If this doesn’t make you want to punch Gary Bettman, I’m not sure what will. It gives an example and statistics of people will be affected if a lockout occurs and how fans can make a difference.

Here’s to hoping the NHL and the NHLPA get their butts in gear and finish these CBA talks before the 15th. Even if the season is pushed back, we’d rather see that than an entire lockout. Though it looks like neither side is going to back down, something’s got to give soon. For the fans sake.