Saturday, January 20, 2018
Tampa Bay Lightning

Tampa Bay Lightning: Players union seeks "fair deal" from league

For Lightning star Steven Stamkos, negotiations between the league and the Players' Association come down to this:

"We just want a fair deal."

The union believes it delivered that Tuesday in Toronto, with executive director Donald Fehr calling the proposal to the owners an "alternate view" that could "stabilize the industry."

Twenty-three players, including Stamkos and fellow stars Sidney Crosby and Alex Ovechkin, attended the meeting.

"It just shows that we're in support of the union," Stamkos told the Tampa Bay Times.

"If you look at the last deal (after the 2004-05 lockout), a lot of people said the players took a big hit in their salary, which they did. We're trying to find a way we can minimize that from a player's perspective but also help the league. We're trying to be in partnership with the teams that are really doing well financially and trying to partner with them to help some of the teams that are maybe struggling."

The union's proposal apparently is for three years with an option for a fourth.

• Fehr told reporters players are willing to reduce their share of league revenues by $460 million to $800 million depending on how fast revenues grow.

• Canada's RDS Network said the union agreed to keep the hard salary cap the owners want but, despite a Canadian Press report, did not propose a luxury tax on teams that overspend.

• The Toronto Sun reported the union wants to keep current rules for player salaries, contract lengths and free-agent eligibility.

• The owners' proposal reportedly cuts the players' share of revenues from 57 to 46-43 percent, reduces salaries 22 percent, extends entry-level contracts from three to five years, caps all contracts at five years and awards unrestricted free agency after 10 years instead of seven.

The CBA expires Sept. 15. Commissioner Gary Bettman, who said the league needs "a little time" to respond to the union's proposal, has indicated players will be locked out if no agreement is reached. Talks continue today.

"The proposal the players made, once implemented, can produce a stable industry … that gives us a chance to move beyond the recurring labor strife that has plagued the NHL the last two decades," Fehr said.

"That was the message," Stamkos said, "trying to find a medium where we can help those higher-income teams and help some of the teams who are struggling and find a way we can do that where both parties will be happy. Both parties want to start the season on time. We saw what can happen with previous (work stoppages) and we don't want that. We just want a fair deal that can hopefully start the season on time."

Tuesday's meeting was the first attended by Stamkos, 22, who made the easy drive from his home in Unionville, a Toronto suburb.

"For the young players of the league this new agreement is going to affect us," the center said. "It's important for players to take an interest and learn as much as we can and be involved in this process."

Comments
Andrei Vasilevskiy: ‘I have to be better’

Andrei Vasilevskiy: ‘I have to be better’

The rest of the Lightning players had already left the ice Friday afternoon, heading into the dressing room for a quick change before the team's charter flight to Minnesota.But goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy, 23, stayed on late, facing about 15 minutes mo...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Fennelly: Lightning needs a reset on the road … pronto

Fennelly: Lightning needs a reset on the road … pronto

TAMPA — Vegas has left the building.Wasn't the Lightning just arranging place settings for next weekend's NHL All-Star Game party?With that in mind, I headed to the home dressing room at Amalie Arena late Thursday after the Lightning was manhan...
Published: 01/19/18
Updated: 01/20/18
Golden Knights move within one point of Lightning for top spot in NHL

Golden Knights move within one point of Lightning for top spot in NHL

SUNRISE — Aaron Ekblad scored 40 seconds into overtime to lift the Panthers to a 4-3 victory over the Golden Knights on Friday, spoiling Vegas coach Gerard Gallant’s return to Florida. By gaining a point, Vegas moved within one point of the Lightning...
Published: 01/19/18
Time for Lightning leaders to snap team out of funk

Time for Lightning leaders to snap team out of funk

ST. PAUL, Minn. — Steven Stamkos sat at his stall in a near-empty Lightning dressing room Thursday and did what captains often do:He shouldered some blame for the Lightning's listless 4-1 loss to Vegas."As a leader, I've got to be a lot better,...
Published: 01/19/18
Why I hate the NHL All-Star Game

Why I hate the NHL All-Star Game

TAMPA — The NHL All-Star Game is coming to town next weekend, reaffirming our community's ability to step into the breach when needed. We don't stop until we get the Winter Olympics. So, don't be surprised if those next Rays stadium plans ...
Published: 01/19/18
Steven Stamkos: ‘I have to be a lot better’

Steven Stamkos: ‘I have to be a lot better’

There was plenty of blame to go around after the Lightning's 4-1 loss to the Golden Knights Thursday night.This loss wasn't on one person, no question.But captain Steven Stamkos showed some leadership by shouldering some responsibility for the team's...
Published: 01/19/18
Lightning falls to Golden Knights

Lightning falls to Golden Knights

TAMPA — The door to the Lightning dressing room remained closed a little longer than usual Thursday night, and that wasn’t surprising. After the kind of performance displayed in its 4-1 loss to the expansion Golden Knights, this had team...
Published: 01/18/18
Updated: 01/19/18
Lightning journal: Cory Conacher ready to take advantage of J.T. Brown’s departure

Lightning journal: Cory Conacher ready to take advantage of J.T. Brown’s departure

TAMPA — The loss of wing J.T. Brown to Anaheim will be a gain for some Lightning forwards in terms of ice time. Whether those players are currently with the team or still at AHL Syracuse has yet to be determined.For now, C Cory Conacher will try to t...
Published: 01/18/18
Updated: 01/19/18

Joe Smith’s takeaways from Thursday’s Lightning-Golden Knights game

Thought the bye week was a much-needed break for Andrei Vasilevskiy. And though you can’t pin Thursday’s loss on the goalie, he still gave up at least four goals for the fourth straight start (19 overall). Tampa Bay is used to Vasilevskiy’s brillianc...
Published: 01/18/18
Jonathan Marchessault on Lightning: ‘It started here’

Jonathan Marchessault on Lightning: ‘It started here’

Life is good for Jonathan Marchessault.The former Lightning forward is thriving for the expansion Vegas Golden Knights, which recently signed the undrafted forward to a six-year, $30 million deal. Marchessault's wife is expecting their third child, a...
Published: 01/18/18