Wednesday, September 12, 2012

NHL CBA Hope?, Northeast Fantasy Preview, Seattle and More

Good AM hockey fans!

Is that a slight glimmer of hope in the distance?

After standing off for the better part of the week, the NHL and NHLPA are to meet today and tomorrow in last ditch efforts at negotiations.

Of course, perhaps this is only for show. After all, it would look mighty silly to let the current CBA expire without at least engaging in last minute discussions.

Then again, maybe there is cause for hope. As Scott Burnside points out, contrary to 2004, owners do not all have the stomach to turn the lights off yet again. This time around, many clearly benefit from starting the season on time.

It's a valid argument. I'm not sure the Minnesota Wild would be too thrilled giving $24 million in guaranteed signing bonuses to Ryan Suter and Zach Parise only to cancel parts of the season. Or that the Los Angeles Kings want to halt their cup-winning momentum. Or that big earners like Montreal, Toronto and New York want their cash registers to quiet.

So, keeping up appearances or genuine reason for hope? Only time will tell.

Habs and Hockey News

- Assuming we have a punctual season, we need to be thinking about our fantasy teams. Thankfully, our Fred Poulin has you covered, offering his insights into the Montreal Canadiens and the Northeast Division.

- Speaking of fantasy hockey, HabsWorld is wrapping up its Fantasy Focus series and is looking at some of the spare parts on the Canadiens roster.

- As always, Stu Hackel gives an excellent rundown of the current CBA situation.

- Increasingly, Seattle seems to be becoming a viable candidate for an NHL team, especially now that the city has approved a new arena.

- Mathias Brunet, over at La Presse, share this picture of Dustin Byfuglien. I'm not sure if I believe it or not, the dude is like twice my size.

- Michal Rozsival signed a one-year deal with the Chicago Blackhawks.

- The Hockey News' Rory Boylen looks at how overbearing parents can ruin the hockey experience.

- Contrary to popular belief, hockey can be pretty rough-and-tumble in Europe as well. Just take recent incidents in Finland for example.

- Facepalm. Justin Bieber was offered an ECHL contract.

(Photo by Hannah Foslien /Getty Images)


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