Monday, November 20, 2017
Tampa Bay Lightning

NHL union moves to keep dissolution as option

RECOMMENDED READING


NEW YORK — The NHL players association continued to talk softly in negotiations with the league Thursday but moved to retain its big stick: the threat to dissolve as a union and open the way for individual players to file antitrust suits against the league.

Thursday morning, the 110th day of the lockout, the union prepared for a two-day vote by its membership to authorize the executive board to disclaim interest and dissolve the union if negotiations bogged down. The measure was expected to be approved by a wide margin.

Players voted overwhelmingly last month to authorize a dissolution by midnight Wednesday, but union executive director Donald Fehr let the deadline to disclaim interest pass, a move seen as promoting continued dialogue with the league.

The threat to dissolve was seen by many as spurring commissioner Gary Bettman and the league to negotiate in earnest. The latest round of talks was kick-started by a league offer Dec. 27 and included a late-night session that ended at 1 a.m. Thursday.

The sides also brought in a federal mediator to assist this week, raising hopes a settlement was possible by Jan. 11, which would allow a 48-game schedule to start by Jan. 19. But despite the earnest tenor of the talks, the union does not want to relinquish what it believes is a strong, effective option.

A small group of players led by union special counsel Steve Fehr met Thursday afternoon for about an hour at the NHL office in Manhattan to discuss penalties for teams caught hiding hockey-related revenue. Among the players in New York for negotiations is the Lightning's Marty St. Louis.

Discussions continued into the evening on some outstanding issues. A small group of union staff members and players met with the NHL to continue working on pension issues.

That followed almost six hours of talks the previous day. The sides remained apart on several issues, but the league increased the number of buyouts each team would get for salary cap compliance from one to two, and the players agreed to drop demands for a cap on escrow.

Both moves were designed to help clubs make a transition to a lower salary cap for the 2013-14 season. The league wants to decrease the cap from $70.2 million this season to $60 million; the players have proposed a cap next season at $65 million to $67 million.

The sides were expected to get back together with the mediator this morning.

The union made one legal move Thursday, filing a memorandum of law in U.S. District Court in New York. The memorandum sought dismissal of an earlier league filing, made Dec. 14, that sought to declare unlawful any disclaimer of interest by the union.

Comments
Lightning’s rare loss produces reality check

Lightning’s rare loss produces reality check

TAMPA — Jon Cooper stood at the podium late Saturday night to address the media after a regulation loss for only the third time this season."Let’s be honest," he said, "we’ve had one hell of a start."The loss, he added, was frustrating, even when you...
Updated: 7 hours ago
Lightning finds its game too late, loses to Islanders

Lightning finds its game too late, loses to Islanders

TAMPA — The firepower showed up in the third period.Yanni Gourde and Ondrej Palat scored 13 seconds apart. Gourde scored again.Suddenly it was a one-goal game, and the Lightning appeared on its way to one of those comeback wins that would be remember...
Published: 11/18/17
Lightning journal: Jon Cooper thrilled with stellar start

Lightning journal: Jon Cooper thrilled with stellar start

TAMPA — If you told coach Jon Cooper his team would open the season with wins in 15 of the first 19 games, well, "I’m not sure I can sit here and say I would have predicted that," he said Saturday morning.But the Lightning did just that to lead the N...
Published: 11/18/17
Roger Mooney’s takeaways from Lightning-Islanders

Roger Mooney’s takeaways from Lightning-Islanders

This is what happens when you have the best record in the league: You get the best from the other team. The Islanders came out strong and the Lightning couldn’t match it, falling behind 4-0 early in the third. For the most part, the Lightning has bee...
Published: 11/18/17
Early Lightning awards: Tough call on MVP

Early Lightning awards: Tough call on MVP

TAMPA — It’s still way early, but if the Lightning’s record start continues, there will be a lot of hardware up for grabs. And we’re not just talking about the Stanley Cup. Nikita Kucherov has league MVP written all over him. Andrei Vasilevskiy coul...
Published: 11/18/17

Red-hot Lightning leading NHL in more than wins

Nikita Kucherov, top left, celebrates with teammate Steven Stamkos (91) after scoring against Florida Panthers goalie James Reimer. [AP photo]The Lightning (15-2-2) enters tonight’s game against the visiting Islanders (10-6-2) leading the leagu...
Published: 11/18/17
Brayden Point becomes ‘the heartbeat’ of the Lightning

Brayden Point becomes ‘the heartbeat’ of the Lightning

TAMPA — A local TV crew set up shop in front of Brayden Point’s locker stall the other day, waiting for the Lightning forward to be ready.Then, captain Steven Stamkos walked into the room for his scrum. It didn’t take long for the TV crew to change c...
Published: 11/17/17
Lightning pummels Stars for fifth straight win

Lightning pummels Stars for fifth straight win

TAMPA — The Lightning welcomed Ben Bishop back with a classy, fitting video tribute in Thursday’s first period. The sellout crowd of 19,092 at Amalie Arena gave Bishop, the greatest goalie in franchise history, a standing ovation. It was an emotional...
Published: 11/16/17
Updated: 11/17/17
Lightning journal: Specials teams in the spotlight vs. Stars

Lightning journal: Specials teams in the spotlight vs. Stars

TAMPA — C Braydon Point’s shorthanded goal tipped the game in the Lightning’s favor and the three penalties it killed during the second period kept it that way in Thursday’s 6-1 victory against the Stars.Dallas entered the game with an NHL-best 30.2 ...
Published: 11/16/17

Joe Smith’s takeaways from Thursday’s Lightning-Stars game

There was a classy, fitting video tribute to former Lightning goalie Ben Bishop in the first period. Think of all the moments in his five seasons in Tampa Bay. It had to be emotional for Bishop, who calls Tampa his second home. He touched his heart a...
Published: 11/16/17