Friday, April 27, 2018
Tampa Bay Lightning

NHL cancels all September preseason games because of lockout

NEW YORK — The NHL on Wednesday canceled its September preseason game schedule, the first on-ice casualty of the lockout.

The league wiped out all games through Sept. 30 "because of the absence of a collective bargaining agreement" with the players association, it said in a statement.

The league has "no set policy on cancellations" of other games, deputy commissioner Bill Daly said.

The regular season is scheduled to begin on Oct. 11. The Lightning opens Oct. 13.

The Lightning loses four preseason games, one of them at the Tampa Bay Times Forum scheduled for Sept. 26 against the Blues. Another game was scheduled for Orlando on Oct. 27 against the Hurricanes.

Lightning season ticket holders will be notified of refund options, the team said. People who bought single-game tickets to canceled games should contact the point of purchase for refund information.

Also on Day 4 of the lockout, the league told its employees it will switch to a four-day work week Oct. 1, according to media reports. The employees also will take 20 percent pay cuts, ESPN reported.

Daly said on Canadian radio he and commissioner Gary Bettman, who makes around $8 million a year, would forgo their salaries during the lockout.

The Panthers and Senators have let staff go. Several other teams, including the Lightning, have said they don't have layoff plans as of now.

It was thought the sides would have a formal negotiating session Wednesday, but none was held. No formal sessions were scheduled.

Daly and union special counsel Steve Fehr have been in constant communication since the lockout began Sunday, and they had planned to speak informally Wednesday.

Ovechkin threatens exit: On the day he signed a contract to play for his former Russian KHL team, Dynamo Moscow, Capitals star Alex Ovechkin reiterated that if a new collective bargaining agreement includes dramatic rollbacks in existing salaries, he might not return to the league once the lockout ends. "If our contracts get slashed … I won't rule out staying in the KHL, even past this season," Ovechkin said, as translated by the Russian sports news­paper Sport-Express.

Other players also might not return, he said. "Why they have to cut our salary and our contracts right now? They sign us. (Now they) want to cut it. I think it's a stupid idea and stupid decision by NHL, Bettman and the guys who work there."

If Ovechkin or any other player who signed with a KHL team were to stay in Russia once the NHL season started, he would be in violation of his deal with his NHL team, and the breach of contract would be in conflict with the league's agreement with the KHL to honor each other's player contracts.

An estimated 45-plus players have signed with European teams since the lockout began.

Fighting rules: The NHL said it will be "watching closely" rules to curb fighting that the junior Ontario league instituted Wednesday. The rules allow players 10 fights before supplementary discipline kicks in. For each fight from 11 to 15, a player will be suspended two games. For each fight after 16, a player gets a two-game suspension and his club gets fined $1,000. Fights instigated by an opponent don't count against a player's total. A player who totals 10 fights and then instigates one or more gets a four-game suspension plus other penalties for each instigation. The Ontario league talks to the NHL when it makes rule changes, Colin Campbell, NHL senior vice president and director of hockey operations, told ESPN. The NHL had debated internally instituting fighting rules, he said.

Times staff writer Damian Cristodero contributed to this report.

Comments
Chris Kunitz brings four Stanley Cups worth of experience to the Lightning

Chris Kunitz brings four Stanley Cups worth of experience to the Lightning

TAMPA – It was the late spring of 2007, days after a much younger Chris Kunitz lifted the Stanley Cup for the first time. He found himself wondering if he would ever be in that position again. Hoping, really."For sure," he said. "It's almost a ...
Published: 04/26/18
A look at the Lightning-Bruins series

A look at the Lightning-Bruins series

So it is the Bruins.The big, bad Bruins.The Bruins come to town Saturday for the start of the Eastern Conference semifinals with the Lightning, a best-of-seven series that begins with a 3 p.m. puck drop.It is the second-round series nearly everyone p...
Published: 04/26/18
Lightning to face Bruins in East semifinals

Lightning to face Bruins in East semifinals

The Bruins beat the Maple Leafs 7-4 in Game 7 of their first-round playoff series Wednesday night and will face the Lightning in the Eastern Conference semifinals beginning Saturday at Amalie Arena. Here is the semifinal schedule: Saturday: at Tamp...
Published: 04/25/18
Updated: 04/26/18
Art of the block: Get in the way of the puck. Expect pain.

Art of the block: Get in the way of the puck. Expect pain.

BRANDON — The welts and the bruises and — yes, even the broken bones — they are the badges given this time of year to the hearty souls who, in hockey vernacular, sacrifice the body.They are awarded to the guys who knock aside wrist ...
Published: 04/25/18
Lightning opens second round Saturday; time depends on opponent

Lightning opens second round Saturday; time depends on opponent

Game 1 of the Lightning's Eastern Conference semifinals begins Saturday at Amalie Arena regardless of whether the Maple Leafs or Bruins win Wednesday's first-round series Game 7 to advance.Still in question is the start time.If the Bruins advanc...
Published: 04/24/18
Lightning plays the waiting game

Lightning plays the waiting game

TAMPA — Had Boston closed out Toronto on Monday, Game 1 of the Lightning-Bruins series would have been Wednesday. Instead, the Lightning returned to the ice Tuesday still awaiting its opponent for the conference semifinals that begin later this...
Published: 04/24/18
How the Lightning did its best work on the Devils shorthanded

How the Lightning did its best work on the Devils shorthanded

TAMPA — The Lightning rolled past the Devils in five games of the Stanley Cup playoffs quarterfinal series largely because the penalty kill became a beast, killing off 16 of 19, including the final 15 when down a man.Two of those three goals al...
Published: 04/24/18
Bruins … Leafs … doesn’t matter. Lightning’s got this

Bruins … Leafs … doesn’t matter. Lightning’s got this

TAMPA — The Bruins and Maple Leafs play Game 7 Wednesday night in Boston.Let them.Let them beat each other's brains in for all the Lightning care. Let it go to overtime. Let it go to six overtimes. Lightning players and coaches will be watching...
Published: 04/24/18
Bruins’ Brad Marchand: ‘You have to be willing to do anything … in order to win’

Bruins’ Brad Marchand: ‘You have to be willing to do anything … in order to win’

Brad Marchand might be the ultimate pest, but he's not the original.Not even in his own family.The Boston Bruins left wing writes in a first-person story published last week in The Players' Tribune that he got his inspiration from his younger br...
Published: 04/24/18
Lightning wait goes on: Leafs top Bruins to force Game 7

Lightning wait goes on: Leafs top Bruins to force Game 7

TORONTO — Frederik Andersen made 32 saves as the Maple Leafs defeated the Bruins 3-1 to force a Game 7 in their first-round playoff series Monday night.William Nylander, Mitch Marner and Tomas Plekanec, into an empty net, scored for the Leafs, who tr...
Published: 04/23/18
Updated: 04/24/18