August 10, 2012
NHL notes: Some hope in CBA talks
By QMI Agency
A day after Gary Bettman's doom-and-gloom outlook, Friday brought some sunny reactions to NHL labour negotiations.
NHL commissioner Bettman took a hardline approach Thursday, warning that the league would impose a lockout if an agreement couldn't be reached by Sept. 15 on a new collective bargaining agreement. Union head Donald Fehr added fuel to the fire, saying there was a "meaningful gulf" in talks on revenue sharing.
Both sides were more optimistic Friday after a fourth consecutive day of meetings.
"I think it's absolutely possible to get something done with no time missed," said Winnipeg Jets defenceman Ron Hainsey, speaking on behalf of the players association.
NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly told ESPN New York he always tries "to be optimistic about these things."
He said there was time for a deal to get done but that it would require a lot of work.
"We've got a lot of issues still open," Daly said.
"We haven't even heard from (the union) on the economic issues and we have a month, so it will require hard work and commitment on both sides. But certainly the NHL is committed and we hope the players are committed as well."
Should there be a lockout, the players association is making plans for an exhibition series against a team of Russian all-stars from the KHL, Sportsnet reported Friday.
Games would be played in Moscow, Halifax, Quebec City and a southern Ontario site.
HUET LEERY OF LOCKOUT
The NHL labour negotiations apparently have put a sour taste in Cristobal Huet's mouth.
The 36-year-old goaltender had been angling for a return to North America after two seasons in Europe, but he now may have had a change of heart.
"We talked with several teams (including the Vancouver Canucks and Los Angeles Kings)," agent Stephen Bartlett told TVA Sports on Friday.
But the possibility of a lockout complicates things, he said, adding they were looking at options in Europe.
Huet has played in Switzerland the past two seasons.
He appeared in 272 NHL games from 2002 through 2010, with a goals-against average of 2.46 and a save percentage of .913.
The Detroit Red Wings are awaiting word on whether Tomas Holmstrom retires or returns for a 16th season, MLive.com reported. General manager Ken Holland said the 39-year-old forward is taking the summer to decide ... Prospect Mika Zibanejad will play either in Ottawa or at the AHL affiliate in Binghamton instead of returning home to Sweden, the Senators said. The 19-year-old winger will battle for a job on one of the first two lines.