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Lightning's Killorn: Unanimous rejection of NHL Olympic proposal

TAMPA — RW Alex Killorn said there's no doubt NHL players want to participate in the 2018 Olympics in South Korea.

But the players union wasn't willing to add three years to the collective bargaining agreement to ensure that participation. That's why Killorn said players "unanimously" rejected on Friday the NHL's offer of allowing players to participate if they extended the labor deal to 2025.

Killorn said Saturday the key issue is the players' salary contributions to the escrow system, set up to help with the league's revenue sharing. The contributions were 15 percent in the first quarter of the season. That percentage is based on expected league revenue, to ensure there's enough money to split 50-50 with owners.

"These are our careers," Killorn said. "You want to make the most out of what you make. We want a fair deal. Owners realize they're doing pretty well with escrow. Them trying to extend (the labor deal) kind of shows their hand. It's not a bad play by them. But at what cost to go to the Olympics?"

Olympic participation likely will be discussed at this week's board of governors meeting in Palm Beach. A decision is expected in January. Lightning GM Steve Yzerman, who has won gold medals for Canada as a player and an executive, hopes both sides can work it out.

"I think it's fantastic for our sport," Yzerman said. "I think it's great for our league that we go and we're there. I think for all the players it's an honor to be part of the Olympics."

GARRISON OUT: Just when the Lightning got D Anton Stralman back, it lost another top-four defenseman. Jason Garrison was scratched for the 2-1 shootout win against the Capitals after suffering a lower-body injury at the end of the second period Thursday against the Blues when he took a shot off the outside of a leg. He didn't skate Saturday and appeared doubtful for today's game in Carolina. He was considered day-to-day.

"He took a shot in a spot where there was no pad," coach Jon Cooper said. "Those aren't comfortable, but I don't think it'll be too long term."

LINING UP: G Ben Bishop started. … Forwards Joel Vermin and Michael Bournival were in the lineup for the second straight game. … C Vladislav Namestnikov was back in the lineup, with RW J.T. Brown a healthy scratch. … RW Ryan Callahan (lower body) missed his second straight game. … C Brian Boyle got some power-play time.

FAMILIAR FACE: Lightning 2010 first-round draft pick RW Brett Connolly is on his third team in three years, but he is enjoying his time with the Capitals since signing a one-year, $850,000 deal last summer. "Hopefully I can establish myself here," he said. "I like the fit." Connolly had dinner Friday with former Lightning teammates Killorn, Andrej Sustr, Jonathan Drouin and Tyler Johnson. "It's good to see the guys," he said. "This is where I started." Connolly, 24, is getting married in the summer to fiancee Katrina outside of Toronto.

nuts and bolts: Drouin didn't play the final six minutes of regulation and overtime, but he took the first shootout attempt. His shot was saved. … Brown and his wife, Lexi, recently learned they're expecting a baby daughter in June. "It's still crazy to think about," Brown said.

Lightning's Killorn: Unanimous rejection of NHL Olympic proposal 12/03/16 [Last modified: Saturday, December 3, 2016 11:30pm]
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