World’s oldest hockey stick; Backstrom to Dynamo; NHLPA proposal anticipation (Puck Headlines)

18 Oct

Here are your Puck Headlines: a glorious collection of news and views collected from the greatest blogosphere in sports and the few, the proud, the mainstream hockey media.

• Tired of these new one-piece sticks that shatter the second you release a one-timer? Fear not because the world's oldest is up for auction! This yellow birch stick from circa 1650 is available via Classic Auctions. Bidding is currently over $3,000. [Classic Auctions]

Probably not a good sign that Nicklas Backstrom is on his way to Dynamo as the NHLPA prepares to submit their counterproposal. [Washington Post]

• The NHLPA is expected to offer their take on the NHL's proposal from Tuesday. Mirtle believes escrow will be the biggest factor in the players not accepting the offer. [Globe and Mail]

• Chris Stevenson on why the players need to negotiate instead of countering with their own proposal yet again: "The league got criticized for putting its offer out there in the public domain, but at least the NHL has crafted something the players and others can tear down. And didn't NHLPA executive director Donald Fehr once say he'd like to see negotiations televised?" [QMI via Ottawa Sun]

• Elliotte Friedman agrees: "No one's saying the players have to take the league's proposal as is. But, it is in their own best interests to sit at the table and make a serious effort at seeing where the next week or two will take them. This must be business, not personal." [CBC]

• Goal No. 1 for the Dallas Stars once the CBA gets resolved: sign Jamie Benn. [Heika]

• Things got pretty wild in the crowd at a Cape Breton high school game: "She pulled down her pants in front of the crowd and everyone. So I guess she got kicked out or something, I'm not sure." [CTV]

Don Cherry: "The lockout is just a sad thing." Like Charlie Brown or something. [Montreal Gazette]

• Reebok will have some competition for NHL jersey rights in 2016 as Bauer has stated they're prepared to get involved in the negotiations. [The Star]

• The draft pick the Washington Capitals received for Scott Stevens from the St. Louis Blues is still paying off for them. [Japers' Rink]

• Real nice story on junior hockey player Adam Restoule who's battled back from a serious kidney ailment. [Buzzing the Net]

• Kevin Bieksa's charity game last night raised $200,000 for Canuck Place, the Canucks Autism Network, and the Canucks Family Education Centre. Singer Michael Buble "wimped" out, but matched the $100,000 the game raised through ticket sales. [Pass It To Bulis]

• Speaking of charity, next Friday, members of the 2010 Stanley Cup winning Chicago Blackhawks will reunite for a game to help benefit Ronald McDonald House. [ESPN Chicago]

• While the lockout sorts itself out, Barry Trotz and David Poile of the Nashville Predators are keeping their normal schedules, except for one major thing. [Tennessean]

• Just how did Gary Bettman get so good at the lockout negotiating business? [Slew Footers]

• Peyton Manning isn't just a quarterback in Denver, he's also an 8th grade bantam hockey player. [Denver Post]

• It's Week 1 of news from a world where the NHL is actually playing. [Sports Pickle]

• Finally, here's the hit Tommy Wingels, now playing for KooKoo in Finland, laid out that earned him a 3-game suspension (per Matias Strozyk):

Tags: , , , , , NHLPA, Nicklas Backstrom, stick,
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Create-a-Caption: Jayson Werth’s landing

12 Oct

Should the Washington Nationals go on to win the World Series, we might be looking at the iconic image of the 2012 postseason. As it is, it's already leading the overall album. Rob Carr's great shot for Getty Images already made the front page of the Washington Post, has inspired some great photoshops and probably serves as the screensaver in just a few D.C. offices.

So have at it, amateur Internet copy editors of the world. How should this caption read?

Follow the jump for winners from our last C-a-C featuring A-Rod's best efforts to improve:

A-Rod conditions his bat

1st — Denis. "1 for 9 ... yeah, I should probably get used to this equipment manager gig."

2nd — Bubb Rubb. "Eat your heart out George Brett."

3rd — Paul C. "A few more ounces of pine tar and this bat will officially weigh more than my postseason averages."

HM — AndrewScott48. "A-Rod having fun at Arts and Crafts Day in Baltimore."

Make sure all your bases are covered this postseason ...
Follow @bigleaguestew, @KevinKaduk and the BLS Facebook page!

Tags: album, Bubb Rubb, , , Getty, , , , , Werth
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While Alex Ovechkin signed his contract with Dynamo Moscow of the KHL on Wednesday, he used his other hand to toss a bomb back at the feet of the National Hockey League.

If the owners cut the players' salaries severely in the next collective bargaining agreement, the Washington Capitals star said he would consider remaining in Russia.

"If our contracts get slashed, I will have to think whether to return there or not. I won't rule out staying in the KHL, even past this season," he told RIA Novosti, as translated by Capitals Insider.

He reiterated the threat in a conference call with the Washington Post and the Washington Times on Wednesday, adding that other NHL players might join him in staying overseas:

"I said it before, before I sign contract, if the league decide to cut our salaries and cut our contracts for what they want, I don't know how many guys will be coming back," Ovechkin said on conference call with The Washington Times and Washington Post on Wednesday.

"We signed contracts before and why they have to cut our salaries and our contracts right now? They sign us. [Now they] want to cut it, I think it's a stupid idea and a stupid decision by the NHL, [commissioner Gary] Bettman and the guys who work there."

A few reactions:

• While I'm sure his comments are hyperbole, let's take them at face for a second. I find it impossible to reconcile the NHLPA's message of "the people that suffer the most are the fans" (S. Crosby, 2012) and "they're the ones that suffer from [a lockout] (J. Reimer, 2012) with Ovechkin pondering if he'd turn his back on those very fans if his $9 million base salary is reduced under a new CBA.

At this point in the lockout, it's completely counterproductive to the NHLPA's messaging.

• Why This Is An Empty Threat, Part I: The KHL shouldn't, in theory, allow it. As Pierre LeBrun noted:

KHL and NHL have a memo of understanding respecting each league's player contracts. So in theory, Ovechkin would not be allowed to stay and play in KHL post an NHL lockout. Then again, it's the KHL. So you never know.

• Why This Is An Empty Threat, Part II: Just a hunch, but IMG isn't pimping out Ovechkin to sponsors as "KHL MVP" and Nike didn't sign him to model their gear in KHL anonymity. Again, just a hunch.

The NHLPA has masterfully controlled its message during the summer; one wonders how that possibly continues now that players are spreading to across Europe.

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