Friday, April 20, 2018
Tampa Bay Lightning

NHL labor talks go late for second straight day

Negotiations to end the 82-day NHL lockout took some unexpected turns Wednesday.

There was the podium set up for a news conference that did not happen. The podium even had its own Twitter feed. There was talk the league for the first time since 1971 could play games on Christmas.

And there was the unexpected sight of players association senior counsel Steve Fehr sharing pizza with reporters assembled at a New York hotel while the league and union tried to forge a new collective bargaining agreement that would save the threatened season.

Neither side was forthcoming as to what was discussed, though there were sketchy media reports that a 10-year deal was being examined with an out clause that either side could exercise after eight years.

One thing was sure: The second consecutive day of face-to-face talks between six owners, including the Lightning's Jeff Vinik, and a group of 17 players, down one from Tuesday's discussions but including Tampa Bay's Marty St. Louis and B.J. Crombeen, was intense.

It included offers, counteroffers and players scurrying between rooms during internal discussions. The talks broke up around 12:45 a.m. The Jets' Ron Hainsey, speaking for the union, said the sides had "very candid discussions" and would resume talking later today.

The NHL also held a board of governors meeting Wednesday.

For the second consecutive day, neither commissioner Gary Bettman nor players association executive director Donald Fehr attended the negotiating sessions, though they were at the hotel and believed part of the discussions within their constituencies.

At issue is the players' demand that all current contracts be honored even as their share of revenue is expected to plunge to 50 percent from 57 percent.

Owners also want contracts subsequent to entry-level deals capped at five years and unrestricted free agency at age 28 or after eight years in the league. The old labor deal allowed it at age 27 or seven years in the league. Revenue sharing between the teams also is an issue.

The day began around 10 a.m. with the board of governors meeting. That lasted about two hours and was followed by Bettman saying he was "pleased" with the latest negotiating process.

Bettman declined to take questions at a news conference.

"We are pleased with the process that is ongoing, and out of respect for that process, I don't have anything else to say," he said.

Some executives spoke briefly as they scurried on New York streets and hopped into cars. No details emerged, but the mood seemed positive.

"We feel good about the information we got," new Blue Jackets president John Davidson said.

The Maple Leafs' Larry Tanenbaum, also one of the owners participating in the negotiations, also painted an optimistic picture as he walked the few blocks to the hotel hosting the meetings.

"We're going to continue to talk up until we get a deal," he said. "All I can say is as long as we're talking, we're hopeful."

Information from Times wires was used in this report.

Comments
Lightning feels Ryan McDonagh’s impact

Lightning feels Ryan McDonagh’s impact

BRANDON — Ryan McDonagh blocks shots. He competes for pucks in the corners and wins those battles. He moves the puck up the ice well. He can join the rush. He can shoot from the blue line. He kills penalties."It was a great pickup by (Lightning...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Sami Vatanen a big loss for Devils if he doesn’t play in Game 5

Sami Vatanen a big loss for Devils if he doesn’t play in Game 5

BRANDON – Devils top defenseman Sami Vatanen had not traveled to Tampa as of Friday afternoon, according to coach John Hynes, and his availability for Game 5 Saturday against the Lightning is in doubt.Hynes, however, did not rule out Vatan...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Why Game 5 is crucial to the Lightning

Why Game 5 is crucial to the Lightning

BRANDON — Three things that popped into my head as the Lightning and Devils get ready to play Game 5 Saturday afternoon at Amalie Arena.1. I'm going to do something that a hockey team in the playoffs would never do, not in a million years....
Updated: 8 hours ago
NHL makes right call in not suspending Lightning’s Nikita Kucherov

NHL makes right call in not suspending Lightning’s Nikita Kucherov

The NHL got it right.Nikita Kucherov, the Lightning's top scorer and best player so far in these playoffs, will play Saturday's Game 5 against New Jersey. He's not going to be suspended for his vicious hit on a Devils player in Tampa Bay's Game 4 vic...
Published: 04/19/18
Updated: 04/20/18
Lightning’s Hedman a Norris finalist again

Lightning’s Hedman a Norris finalist again

The Lightning's Victor Hedman is a finalist for the second consecutive year for the Norris Trophy, given to the top defenseman in the league. The other two finalists are Drew Doughty of the Kings and P.K. Subban of the Predators, it was announced Thu...
Published: 04/19/18
Turns out, Lightning’s Andrei Vasilevskiy is ready for the playoffs

Turns out, Lightning’s Andrei Vasilevskiy is ready for the playoffs

TAMPA — The second period was not even four minutes old Wednesday night when Devils right wing Patrick Maroon skated all alone toward Andrei Vasilevskiy. It was a moment that could turn a game and even a series.A goal and the score would be tie...
Published: 04/19/18
Shaquem Griffin: ‘Lightning is going to win the Stanley Cup’

Shaquem Griffin: ‘Lightning is going to win the Stanley Cup’

Former UCF and Lakewood High standout Shaquem Griffin understandably has been focused on the NFL draft next week in Arlington, Tex., where he is projected as a potential second-day pick.But the Lightning's playoff run  hasn't escaped his attenti...
Published: 04/19/18
Sports Day Tampa Bay podcast: Nikita Kucherov drives Lightning past Devils

Sports Day Tampa Bay podcast: Nikita Kucherov drives Lightning past Devils

Nikita Kucherov scores two goals and delivers some big hits as the Lightning beats the Devils, 3-1, in a physical Game 4 that pushes Tampa Bay to within one win of clinching the series.Meanwhile, the Rays beat the Rangers to as Jake Faria pitche...
Published: 04/19/18
Lightning holds off Devils and David Puddy

Lightning holds off Devils and David Puddy

NEWARK, N.J. — The Devils pulled out all the stops for Wednesday's Game 4 of their Stanley Cup quarter final series with the Lightning by inviting David Puddy at the Prudential Center.For those who do not know who he is, Puddy was Elaine's...
Published: 04/19/18
Lightning stands up to Devils, pushes its way to 3-1 series lead

Lightning stands up to Devils, pushes its way to 3-1 series lead

NEWARK, N.J. — Bachman-Turner Overdrive's Taking Care of Business shook the walls of the Lightning locker room not long after it dispatched the Devils in Wednesday's Game 4 of their first-round playoff series.The 3-1 win was sparked by Nikita K...
Published: 04/18/18