According to Yahoo's Puck Daddy blog (and surely others), the NHLPA has released the names of the members of its negotiating committee for the CBA that succeeds the one set to expire Sept. 15, 2012.
Of interest to New York Islanders fans, it includes the yin and yang of the Islanders' future -- and their last two first-overall draft picks: John Tavares and Rick DiPietro.
Talk about a savior and a fan scapegoat in one pairing. These two come from opposite drafts of the last decade, but their stakes are rather similar: Both are on long-term deals with a low-revenue club that does not benefit from league revenue sharing. And it's been repeatedly cited that Tavares has wanted to get involved from the get-go [Sportsnet here, Fanshot thread here]
A look at the rest of the committee elicits a few other thoughts:
- Good to see a wide range of ages and teams (at least 19, no?).
- Wow, it's a large body.
- Wow, it's quite the cross-section of grunts (B.J. Crombeen, George Parros), guys on fumes (Jamal Mayers) and well-fed journeymen (Chris Campoli, Brad Boyes, Ruslan Fedotenko). And of course UFAs.
- Wow, is Tavares one of the biggest stars on it? You've got Henrik Zetterberg, Shea Weber...then Tavares?
Surely more may be added, or even step down, as duties and interests dictate. Considering how much front-loaded, long-term, cap-evading contracts help the guys who sign them and damage the guys stuck paying escrow on them, it will be interesting to see how they all find a united front.
Dear reader, we really hope this site doesn't become a CBA chat all summer long -- a lockout or strike is enough to make one wonder whether the NHL deserves any further coverage -- but the chatter is almost avoidable. It'll be in the news, so we'll pop up a thread now and then with updates. After all, the union is already talking the talk.
Speaking as a hockey fan who would really kind of like to see the preseason game in Brooklyn, I'm already sick to my stomach -- and they haven't even started grandstanding yet.