NHLPA meeting w/ Fehr + Neuvirth opens can of worms + Fisher extended

Director of the NHLPA, Donald Fehr began a round of CBA meetings with the NHLPA[prior to resuming meetings with the NHL tomorrow]  in Kelowna yesterday and expected to continue today.The focus of these meetings with the NHLPA is the details of BOTH the NHL and NHLPA proposals. Players representing the NHLPA at these meetings include: Ryan Getzlaf, Shea Weber, Jarome Iginla, Tyler Myers, Brayden Schenn, Jordin Tootoo, Dan Hamhuis, Manny Malhotra, and James Reimer. Jeremy Roenick has spoken about his distaste for the ’embarassment’ of the NHL’s first proposal to the NHLPA and agreed that there was NO way the players would agree to such a deal. While the players will resume meeting today, it is also expected that some NHL representatives will meet to discuss officiating standards. Fehr and Bettman are expected to resume formal CBA tomorrow and Thursday in Toronto. Both sides remain anxious to come to an agreement and avoid another full season lockout. With the deadline drawing nearer…it will be quite dramatic whichever way the coming announcement goes.

In other news the Edmonton Oilers are reportedly close to signing Taylor Hall to an extension, and are beginning the pursuit of also signing Jordan Eberle to an extension. They are looking to keep their young but at times potent offense signed long-term.

Michael Neuvirth has unleashed a can of worms with a few controversial statements about a few teammates and former coach in an interview in the Czech Republic. He has said that ‘Alex Ovechkin is no long the player he used to…once you reach the top you can only fall…he hopes that Ovie starts to play the way he used when he was at the top’. He then said that ‘Ovechkin is a team player and great guy to have in the locker room’. Regarding Alex Semin he said that he ‘ didn’t have the best work ethic and could be the best player in the world but he doesn’t want to everyday and that is wrong’ and ‘him leaving the team is a minus for the Caps…but maybe its a good thing’. Regarding new coach Adam Oates he said ‘he is a Captials legend that it is a new beginning and it means Dale Hunter isn’t staying [the coach that took over for Bruce Boudreau last season] Holtby was Hunter’s #1 but I didn’t find a way to him after having good relationships with Boudreau and my former farm team coach… it’s good that he left’. In regards to Hunter’s #1 Holtby he had this to say : ‘I have played just over 100 NHL games and I am going into this season expecting to play 40-50 games and will finally try to be the #1..I have always had others in front of me in the net [Varlamov, Vokoun]…but this time will be a turning point…Holtby is my weakest competition ever[in comparison to the more experienced Varlamov & Vokoun]…he was my #2 when we both played for the farm team.’ Wow…that is a quite a few interesting statements for him to make about a former teammate [Semin] and current teammates [Ovechkin & Holtby] and some might not like what he had to say. One would have to think that there will be some sort or repercussions about such statements made. It’s up to Semin how he will play each game, & speaking of Holtby, he was the rookie goalie last season that in the playoffs took down the BRUINS in an epic 7 game series…and played valiantly in a 7 game series against the Rangers & Ovechkin is still a world class player and deserves a lot more respect than what Neuvirth gave to him [especially as Ovie is team captain…not too mention his many other accomplishments since joining the league]. Neuvirth showed much confidence in this interview, but I do think it is misguided to start calling out your teammates in such a disrespectful way.

The Nashville Predators have signed forward Mike Fisher to a 2-year extension worth $8.4 million[an annual cap hit of $4.1 million] that will kick in  at the start of the 2013-2014 season. Great signing by Nashville, Fisher is a very dependable player….putting up 63 points in 99 regular season games & 11 points in 22 post-season games with Nashville. Mike Fisher is a class act on & off the ice and my favourite part about this guy? He’s a Christian and not afraid who knows it! There are more and more hockey players that are not afraid to speak about their faith openly to media and it is amazing to hear…[David Booth, Dan Hamhuis to name a few others who aren’t afraid to speak the truth]. Way to go Fisher, best of luck as you continue your career in Nashville!

That’s all for today folks! I’m off to work! As always, until next time, nuck said.

Sarah E.L.

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