NHL News and Notes: CBA, Seguin, Seattle Arena, Byfuglien
(9/11/12) Emotions are starting to boil over between the NHL and the player's association, as the NHLPA has appealed to the labor boards of Alberta and Quebec in hopes of blocking a lockout in those provinces. More than anything, this move feels like a publicity stunt, and a bit of a spiteful one, at that. If the labor boards stepped in and blocked a lockout, all it would mean is that players from teams based in those provinces would continue to have access to team facilities and that they'd continue to get paid in the event of a league-wide lockout. In the grand scheme, it's a small sub-plot worth following, but it won't affect the situation overall and it brings us no closer to a deal. In fact, all it seems to have done is anger the league; NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly said Tuesday that the tactic "is a joke."
Elsewhere around the league, Tyler Seguin signed a six-year, $34.5 million contract extension with the Bruins ($5.75 million per season). It's a small discount compared to the contracts recently signed by Jordan Eberle and Taylor Hall, who each inked deals worth $6 million per season, but the market for up-and-coming stars has clearly been established.
In another interesting development, the city of Seattle has arrived at a tentative agreement to build a new hockey and basketball arena, meaning the door could be about to swing open for a possible franchise in the Pacific Northwest. Could Wayne Gretzky be a possible ownership candidate? He was in Seattle last month, and there was a great deal of speculation that he was there to discuss the possibility of the NHL in Washington State.
And finally, it's good to see that players are maintaining their offseason conditioning, even in the face of a possible lockout. Case in point: Dustin Byfuglien. The picture below was taken at the wedding of teammate Dave Bolland in July...