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x2012-13 Lockout

In the Toronto Globe and Mail, Erik Duhatschek writes about the pressure and the fun of the 1994-95 season that was only 48 games.

Former Rangers coach Colin Campbell said that "it was hard to catch up that year" and LA Kings goalie Kelly Hrudey said "it was amazing to feel that sort of pressure that quickly in a season. Every game was just so important."

He went on to say, "but it was also the best hockey I've ever been a part of."

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10:21PM: Chris Johnston says the MOU has been signed and that the NHL lockout is over.

10:20PM: It is believed that the MOU has been signed and the schedule will be released momentarily.

10:06PM: Michael Russo tweets that the MOU should be completed and signed "very soon."

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5:33PM:?Pierre LeBrun says that 12 players voted against the CBA.

5:01PM: Renaud Lavoie says that 98% of the players voted in favor of ratifying.

4:41PM: The NHLPA has confirmed that they have ratified the CBA.

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The NHLPA has announced that they will start the process of ratifying the CBA tonight at 8PM.

The voting will be done electronically, like they did with the disclaimer of interest vote, and it will conclude on Saturday morning at 8AM.

The NHLPA say that they will make an announcement on the results of the vote Saturday morning.

Tags: x2012-13 Lockout, Adam Rotter
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According to Pierre LeBrun, the NHL Board of Governors has ratified the CBA,

The players will ratify the CBA this weekend and training camp will start on Sunday.

4:40PM:

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12/26/12: At ESPN.com, Pierre LeBrun writes that the NHL should bring back the World Cup of Hockey and make it permanent so that, with the Olympics, there would be International Hockey played every two years.

LeBrun writes "So every two years you either have the best in the world playing in the Olympics or the World Cup. Playing it in February instead of September, like the old Canada Cups/World Cup, would bring more legitimacy to the event"

He adds that in World Cup seasons the All-Star game would be eliminated, like it is with the Olympics, but that in other years the All-Star game would take place in January

Tags: x2012-13 Lockout, Adam Rotter
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The NHL Board of Governors is meeting today at 1PM in New York to ratify the new CBA. Gary Bettman is expected to address the Governors and explain to them how the lockout played out and how they can go about growing their business again.

Ken Campbell writes at The Hockey News that the first step the NHL can take is by announcing that within two years Bettman will no longer be the Commissioner.

Campbell writes "The league owes its fans. And one way it can display that it is truly willing to turn the page is to tell Bettman that he must go. It?s not because all of this is necessarily Bettman?s fault because he has been doing the bidding of his employers, but the reality is that he has been the central character of three lockouts and history will show his name will always be associated with those work stoppages before anything else. He is the lightning rod for criticism and has done a remarkable job of accepting those terms of employment over the past 20 years."

Tags: x2012-13 Lockout, Adam Rotter
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In the Toronto Star, Damien Cox writes that when the lockout officially ends and the season starts, many fans are going to feel "dirty" and "ashamed" about buying tickets and supporting a league that has prevented, at least for half a season, hockey from being played.

He writes "how else could they possibly feel? The league and the players have this week taken their obvious lack of respect to the people who fund their enterprise to new heights."

David Shoalts writes in the Globe and Mail that it is time for the fans to treat the NHL like any other business, "Try and think of another business with customers that pay it that kind of money that treats them this way. Try and think of another industry whose first response to the expiration of a labour agreement is to shut down."

Tags: x2012-13 Lockout, Adam Rotter
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According to Pierre LeBrun at ESPN.com, there are rules in the CBA that allow teams to trade 50% of a players cap hit/salary to another team to facilitate a trade.

Teams are not allowed to trade more than 50% of a players contract. He adds that only 15% of your salary cap can include contracts and salaries that were acquired via this kind of trade.

For example, the Rangers could trade Arron Asham (cap hit and salary of $1 million) to another team and only be on the hook for a cap hit and salary of $500,000.

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At Sportsnet, John Shannon writes that it is long overdue for the NHL and NHLPA to resolve their differences and put their energy into a partnership that would actually grow the game and create more revenue.

The business side of the NHL, he writes, is truly suffering from all of the fighting that has taken place.

Shannon writes, "The players have to stop calling out the commissioner. The owners have to stop throwing anonymous barbs the way of the union. Plain and simple, it is not in the best interest of the business of the NHL. "

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According to Nick Kypreos, the two compliance buyouts that each team is entitled to can be used in the summers of 2013 and 2014 only.

He adds that teams have the option to use both buyout at once.

Chris Johnston writes that the buyouts will cost the teams 2/3rds of what is remaining on the deal.

Tags: Buyout, x2012-13 Lockout, Adam Rotter
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5:23AM: According to many reports, the NHL and NHLPA have reached a tentative agreement to end the NHL lockout.

Some of the details that have emerged are:

  • 10-year CBA with an opt-out after EIGHT years
  • Contracts limited to SEVEN YEARS to sign a new player, EIGHT to sign your own player.
  • The salary cap will be $64.3 million in 2013-14. The floor will be $44 million.
  • 5:55AM: Kypreos says that the contract variance is 35%
  • 5:58AM: Elliotte Friedman says that the lowest paid season of any multi-year deal can be no lower than 50% of the highest season.
9:17AM: Johnston says that anything over $900,000 in the minor leagues will count against the salary cap. He adds "To be clear, one-way deals in AHL totalling the minimum salary plus $375,000 are exempt from cap. The NYR have a decision on Redden."

Tags: x2012-13 Lockout, Adam Rotter
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10:03PM: Renaud Lavoie says that it is too early to tell how soon a possible deal can be struck

10PM: Kevin Paul Dupont tweets "Vet agent: deal as good as done, league now taking it to final hour, grabbing what's left to take off table."

8:57PM: Louis Jean, a reporter from Montreal, spoke with Bill Daly who said that the two sides will keep talking through the night until the they hit a wall or the talks start being counterproductive.

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3:11PM: Larry Brooks tweets that the NHL appears willing to come off of their demand of a salary cap of $60 million for next season but will want something in exchange for that move.

8:44AM: At ESPN.com, Pierre LeBrun predicts that the NHL will end up bending a bit and raise their salary cap proposal to between $62 million and $62.5 million.

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2:50PM: Nick Cotsonika tweets that in a role reversal, it is the NHL side of things that is saying things are close instead of the PA.

2:43PM: Aaron Portzline spoke with the a player who said that people were getting "ahead of themselves right now" and nothing is guaranteed.

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Damien Cox tweets "Looks like game of chicken is going distance. Fehr believes NHL will give on all issues rather than cancel season. We'll see if he's right. "

In The Hockey News, Ken Campbell writes "the players and their leader, Don Fehr, meanwhile, show almost no interest in doing any meaningful bargaining until the pressure of a lockout emerges. Then the players? association does a ritualistic mating dance with the NHL that is based primarily on avoiding the issues, showing up late and unprepared for meetings and playing an enormous number of head games."

In the NY Post, Mark Everson writes that there is some belief that if the season is lost, Gary Bettman will lose his job.

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Last night on twitter, Aaron Ward said that the federal mediator that has been part of talks all week was brought in at the request of the NHL.

Kevin Allen wrote that if nothing else, the mediation process has allowed some of the anger and "heat" between the two sides to subside a bit.

Pierre LeBrun writes at ESPN.com that both sides told the mediator that there is a little "wiggle room" on the key issues.

Tags: Mediation, x2012-13 Lockout, Adam Rotter
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At The Record, Andrew Gross writes that it is time for the NHL to switch up their point system and start awarding three points for a win in regulation, two points for an OT or shootout win and one point for an OT/SO loss.

He says that implementing a 3-2-1 would increase the intensity that teams play with in third periods and give more games a playoff kind of feel.

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In the Toronto Sun, Damien Cox writes that while the NHL and NHLPA don't trust each other and can't agree on much, what they can agree on is despising and not respecting their fans.

Cox writes "while they waste time, they?re also essentially telling their customers that they know they?ll buy whatever they have to sell and whenever they decide to sell it. They?ll take it and like it and may-I-have-another-sir."

He adds that "Not once has either Bettman or Fehr said something like, ?We ask our fans to bear with us. We?re trying. But it?s going to take time.?

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1/7/13: This is not going to happen, this season, or in the near future according to Puck Daddy.

1/4/13:The other day on twitter, Nick Kypreos of Sportsnet wrote "Although it hasn't been brought up in negotiations both NHL NHLPA have had internal discussions on 4 more teams qualifying for playoffs."

Tags: Rangers, x2012-13 Lockout, Adam Rotter
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https://twitter.com/DamoSpin/status/287231474137169921

Darren Dreger writes "Because of lack of trust both sides say all language will have to be carefully executed before "Game On" declared. By product of yesterday?"


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At CBC, Elliotte Friedman writes that the actual % of which salary can vary from season to season may be as high as 30%, but that no season can be lower than 60% of the highest.

https://twitter.com/mirtle/status/286997888821784576

Mirtle has more on this in the Globe and Mail.

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9:48AM: At ESPN.com, Pierre LeBrun writes "Logic dictates a deal will get done, given what little separates both sides. But logic has been benched for long periods of this sordid game."


9:24AM:In a post to twitter, Nick Cotsonika wrote "Now that we're past deadline for 52 games, it would make little difference if they reached a deal today or in a week. And so we wait."

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At Sportsnet, Michael Grange writes that there are two groups of people who are talking to Gary Bettman and telling what their different wants are.

One group is the big market teams, like the Rangers and Maple Leafs, along with corporate sponsors and TV broadcast holders who want the NHL back on the ice.

The other group includes the small market teams that are struggling like Florida and Columbus who "see this next CBA as being the key to their ability to survive, if not thrive."

Tags: Rangers, x2012-13 Lockout, Adam Rotter
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According to Gary Lawless in the Winnipeg Free Press, Gary Bettman is ready to cancel the NHL season this coming Thursday if a deal isn't done or appears imminent.

Lawless was told this information from a "veteran member of the NHL's board of Governors."

He writes that the league is under the impression that Donald Fehr isn't interested in making a deal until after Bettman has cancelled the season and he is intentionally slowing down the talks.

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7:15PM: Dandenault adds "I still believe their will be season...just very tough negociation..."

6:50PM: Mathieu Dandenault sent out a tweet saying "The nhl and nhlpa talks r dead for now...look for the players to disclaim."

Larry Brooks tweets "Belief within PA that Bettman/Batterman pulled bait and switch after initial disclaimer deadline passed."

Tags: Decertification, x2012-13 Lockout, Adam Rotter
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2:55PM: Nick Kypreos said on Hockey Central at Noon that the salary cap fight is turning into big market owners vs small market owners and the big market owners don't want to see the cap come down.

Doug MacLean once again notes that Gary Bettman warned the big market teams to be careful about how the managed the cap because the CBA was expiring. MacLean adds that the small market teams are "adamant" that the floor is not higher than $44 million.

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10:54AM: Elliotte Friedman tweets that this "is quite the concession from players...proof that NHL was going to hold firm on money being "outside the system." But, remember "Nothing is done until everything is done," as one source says.

10:12AM: Michael Grange tweets that the NHL has agreed to TWO amnesty buyouts prior to the 2013-14 season.

Grange also notes that the two sides have agreed on year to year salary variances of 20%

Tags: Buyout, x2012-13 Lockout, Adam Rotter
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10:29PM: Chris Botta says "NHL isn't taking PA disclaimer seriously. Fehr isn't taking Bettman's Jan. 11 deadline seriously. The mistrust never ends."

10:23PM: Nick Kypreos says that there are still stumbling blocks with the pension and some owners say that the NHLPA proposal leaves the owners with too much liability.

10:16PM: Montreal reporter L.A. says "From what I've heard this evening, there's more hype than true reason for optimism in NHLvsNHLPA discussions. Decertification still possible"

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3:42PM: Nick Kypreos says that the league is aware that the players filing their disclaimer of interest is a "real possibility."

3:39PM: According to Pierre LeBrun, Bruce Garrioch, Elliotte Friedman and Darren Dreger, the meeting between the NHL and NHLPA is over and the NHLPA made a presentation to the league on the details of their counter offer to the offer that the NHL made last night.

The two sides are expected to meet again tonight.

Tags: x2012-13 Lockout, Adam Rotter
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According to Andy Strickland of True Hockey, The NHLPA has countered the NHL offer of 6 year contracts, seven if you are re-signing your own player, with an offer of eight years contracts across the board.

He writes that the players are still concerned with the salary variance from year to year, which the NHL proposed to be 10%. The NHLPA has previously proposed 25%.

Strickland also notes that the NHL is holding firm at $60 million for the 2013-14 salary cap and that the players are moving in that direction.

Tags: x2012-13 Lockout, Adam Rotter
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In an article written at CBC, Elliotte Friedman writes that we will have a very big indication on how the talks between the NHL and NHLPA are progressing as today is the deadline for the players to disclaim interest and dissolve their union.

He notes that if the players see the talks going in the right direction they are less likely to disclaim but if talks aren't where the players want them to be but "if things devolve into a fugutive-style train wreck" the players will disclaim and the battle will leave the boardroom and head to the court room.

Darren Dreger just tweeted "To disclaim or not to disclaim...that is the question.? PA exec board expected to have conf call today to decide."

Tags: Decertification, x2012-13 Lockout, Adam Rotter
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10:10PM: Katie Strang tweets "Bettman said league obliged on some things asked for by the union, while stood firm on others. Is "glad to see" process continue"

10:07PM: Bettman says that the two sides plan on meeting tomorrow.

Chris Johnston tweets:

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At CBC, Elliotte Friedman writes that one of the encouraging signs of the CBA negotiations is that many of the involved parties are keeping their mouths shut and not leaking out much information.

Friedman says that the two sides are finally showing how serious they are about making a deal, but that there is no guarantee that it leads anywhere.

He does note that even during the final stages of the NBA lockout there were arguments and heated discussions but it ended with a deal getting done.

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12:35PM:

https://twitter.com/ChrisBottaNHL/status/286163089496358912

9:24AM:Last night on Sportsnet, Doug MacLean and Scott Morrison spoke about the latest in the CBA talks following the NHLPA's counteroffer to the NHL.

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11:51AM: The two sides will not meet until 5PM

10:10AM: Yesterday, while meeting with the media outside the NHL offices, Gary Bettman confirmed that the NHL needs to start by the middle of January if they want to have a season, ?we have said that we need to drop the puck by 1/19 if we want to have a 48 game season. We don?t want to play anything less than that.?

Damien Cox though, in the Toronto Star, doesn't believe that no deal by January 11th, with a week for training camp, would cancel the season. Cox says that there is "not a chance" the season is cancelled this early and reminds that the 2005 season wasn't "snuffed out" until February 16th.

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In the National Post, Bruce Arthur writes of how the NHL's proposal of a "take it or leave it" salary cap of $42.5 million and the NHLPA counter of $49 million led to the cancellation of the 2004-05 season.

According to an ESPN.com timeline from 2005:

  • The two sides meet informally on February 2, 2005 and the NHL proposal of a salary cap is rejected.
  • They meet for nine hours on 2/3/05 and don't comment on how the day went
  • They meet for four hours on 2/4/05 and the NHLPA says no progress was made while the NHL says that the talks were "constructive."
  • They have a secret meeting on 2/9/05 where the NHLPA rejects an NHL proposal. The NHL tells them that a deal needs to be in place by the weekend or games will be cancelled.
  • The two sides meet with mediators on 2/10/05 for four hours and 2/13/05 and no progress is made
  • On 2/14/05, the NHLPA agrees to a salary cap in a private meeting in Niagara Falls. The NHL offers $40 million and the players counter with $52 million
  • On 2/15/05, Gary Bettman issues a "final" offer that he says is non-negotiable and sets a deadline for 11AM the next day. The players counter with a proposal of $49 million for the salary cap.
  • On 2/16/05, Bettman cancels the season.
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6:44PM: Darren Dreger tweets "Little info leaking from either side. Far from alarming or surprising, but still some differences on the main issues that must be resolved."

6:43PM: John Shannon tweets that the PA proposal was 26 pages. The NHL proposal was 288 pages

5:12PM: According to Darren Dreger, Bruce Garrioch, Renaud Lavoie and Chris Johnston the talks between the NHL and NHLPA are done for today.

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The NHLPA has said that Marty St. Louis, Rick DiPietro, Ron Hainsey, Jamal Mayers and Chris Campoli are going to be in the meeting where the players provide their counter proposal to the owners.

Ian Mendes of Sportsnet tweets "Absolute chaos with people walking around Manhattan today. Next round of CBA talks should take place at Mardi Gras in New Orleans."

http://twitter.com/RealKyper/status/285827730317119488

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The NHL and NHLPA are expected to meet in New York today with the NHLPA countering the owners proposal from last Friday.

John Shannon writes at Sportsnet that he doesn't foresee much happening today and if the players offer something quite different from what the NHL proposed, "we will see this league go down a path that no one could ever have foreseen."

Shannon writes that the players need to work within the framework that the owners proposed last week if there is to be any shot of salvaging the season.

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On the radio in Toronto last week, Elliotte Friedman and Nick Kypreos spoke about what the league could use as a "hook" to bring the fans back.

Kypreos said that this situation is far different than it was coming out of the last lockout, "In 2004 we had new rules. They are going to have to pull something out of their sleeve."

Friedman said that the league would have to offer NHL Center Ice for free "at the very least."

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https://twitter.com/RenLavoieRDS/status/285515390820442112

According to Aaron Ward, the NHLPA is supposed to be present a counteroffer to the NHL

6:15PM Darren Dreger says "NHL has asked players to respond to all issues collectively and doesn't want to have to negotiate item by item. We will see how PA counters."

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At ESPN.com, Pierre LeBrun says that the NHL should look to start free agency on the day after the NHL draft ends.

The NHL draft starts on Friday and ends on Saturday which would have free agency start that Sunday.

LeBrun says that most of the important front office people are all in one place for the draft and it would create a huge buzz to start free agency.

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At CBC, Elliotte Friedman writes that it isn't exactly smooth sailing toward a new CBA getting done and the league and NHLPA still have to navigate some tough roads before a new deal can be agreed on.

He says that the major issue is the NHL having patience with Donald Fehr as he tries to wait out the owners and pick up some last minute wins for the players.

Friedman says that some players feel as if an exhibition game or two before the regular season starts is necessary but he isn't sure the owners want "anything to do with that."

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In the NY Post, Larry Brooks writes that big market teams who have invested in trying to build winning teams are being punished by the proposed CBA and a cap being reduced to $60 million.

Brooks says that the focus of this weeks talks needs to be on next season and the impact it will have on teams.

He adds that the Rangers will be presented with a lose/lose situation if the cap is pushed down to $60 million.

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In The Hockey News, Ken Campbell writes that Donald Fehr deserves a raise from the NHLPA because his strategy of waiting out the owners to get a better deal has worked in a big way.

Campbell writes that Fehr has made the owners crazy with his tactics such as arriving an hour late for a meeting and then leaving shortly after. He writes "despite not having a single card to play going into this game, he has managed to take the league to the cleaners every bit as decisively as his predecessors."

He thinks that Fehr played into the idea that the owners never wanted to cancel this season and by waiting around the players would get a deal that is better for them.

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At Sportsnet, Mark Spector writes that the belief coming out of the NHL office is that the owners told Commissioner Gary Bettman that losing this season to a lockout is "not an option" and that it is time to make a deal.

He writes that those have been the orders, not to have the season cancelled, since the beginning of the lockout and now that time is growing short it is time to make the proper moves/concessions to make a new CBA and start the season.

Spector writes "The owners have never wanted to lose an entire season over this, even knowing that they will make their losses back through the life of a more favourable CBA. Players, we believe, are desperate to play. They know better than anyone that every dollar lost is irretrievable on their side; that every paycheque today?s player misses will be made up by a future player who might only be in bantam today."

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In the Ottawa Sun, Bruce Garrioch writes that the players need to move quickly in their response to the NHL proposal because the deadline the NHL has set is "real" and the season will be cancelled if a deal isn't struck by January 11th.

Stephen Brunt spoke on Sportsnet and said "if it is another take or leave it proposition then it isn't going to settle this lockout. If this is the basis for negotiation and they are going to grind it out now then I think there is a good chance we will be playing hockey before the end of January. "

Brunt adds that Bettman and Fehr have a mandate to get a deal done.

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7:51PM: James Mirtle tweets that the consensus from players on the call is that the owners movement wasn't that much but this was enough to at least restart talks.

12:16PM: Chris Botta tweets "NHL offer today is the set-up for league's rejection of PA's counterpropsal in a few days. We're still two weeks from closure."

12:09PM: LeBrun says that even though the NHLPA will want to change some things in the proposal the feeling is that this is an important step towards getting a deal done.

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http://twitter.com/darenmillard/status/284802512853270530


According to Larry Brooks, there is talk that Columbus and Winnipeg may swap conferences this season.

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