Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Lindros to be inducted into Philadelphia Sports Hall of Fame

by Bob Herpen
Phanatic Hockey Editor 

While his enshrinement into the Hockey Hall of Fame might take some rhetoric to form a coherent argument supporting nomination, Eric Lindros will officially find his way into city lore next week.

That's when the 39-year-old Oshawa, Ontario native will be inducted into the Philadelphia Sports Hall of Fame, one of 15 people from across the sports world who have made an impact here. The ninth inducted class, to be feted on November 8, also includes Phoenixville native and catcher Mike Piazza as well as former Sixers player and current head coach Doug Collins.

A walking, talking news story ever since he spurned the Quebec Nordiques, who selected him first overall in the 1991 draft, Lindros was dealt to the Flyers for six players in late June of 1992, in a deal fraught with intrigue once found in James Bond movies.

Lindros returned from Canada in mid-December last year, along with former linemate John LeClair, to raise funds for Childrens Hospital of Philadelphia. He made his reappearance on Philadelphia ice for the Alumni Classic on December 31 at Citizens Bank Park, the first time fans were able to see the hulking forward suit up in Orange and Black since his acrimonious split from the club following the 1999-2000 season.

Perhaps an indicator of the split between past and present, Flyers GM Paul Holmgren and team president Peter Luukko attended the fund-raising luncheon in Center City, while former GM Bob Clarke and chairman Ed Snider did not. Despite reports by media outlets to the affirmative, Lindros and Clarke did not have a clearing of the air between them during the events surrounding the Winter Classic, both men meeting only briefly.

That doesn't diminish the accomplishments of a rare talent which put hockey back on the map in this town.

Named team captain in 1994 and voted the Hart Trophy as NHL MVP for the lockout-shortened 1995 season, Lindros participated in 536 total games over eight seasons here, racking up 290 goals and 659 points in 486 contests along with 24 goals and 57 points in 50 playoff tilts. A six-time All-Star, he ranks fifth in points, tied for fifth in assists, and eighth in goals, while standing 12th in total penalty minutes (946).

The focal point for a mid-90s Renaissance, Lindros helped the club reach three Eastern Conference Finals and one Stanley Cup Finals, primarily part of the "Legion of Doom" along with LeClair and Mikael Renberg. Largely due to a feud between Lindros, his father/agent and Clarke over concussion protocol, Lindros was stripped of his captaincy in March of 2000, days after suffering a concussion when hit by Boston's Hal Gill. He did not return to action until Game 6 of the conference finals, then was knocked out again in the first period of a Game 7 loss to New Jersey when hit by Devils defenseman Scott Stevens.

After sitting out the 2000-01 season while demanding a trade to his hometown Toronto Maple Leafs, Lindros was dealt to the Rangers in August of 2001, then spent time with the Leafs and Stars before retiring for good in 2007.

Lindros, now a resident of Toronto, will join Bernie Parent, Clarke, Bill Barber, Fred Shero, Ron Hextall, and Mark Howe as individually-recognized Philly hall members from the Flyers organization. In addition, the collective 1974-75 Stanley Cup teams as well as Princeton grad/college hockey trophy namesake Hobey Baker have been enshrined in the hockey category.

NCAA won't have D-I, D-III title games on same weekend

One potential boon for college hockey in the city of Philadelphia two years from now, was the possibility of having both the Division I "Frozen Four" as well as the Division III championship at the Wells Fargo Center on the same weekend.

So much for that.

The semifinal and final games of major men's college hockey will have to do by itself at Broad and Pattison from April 10-12, 2014.

Monday, October 29, 2012

College hockey round-up: Week 3

Week three of the Division I college hockey slate saw both a national powerhouse and a local squad post overwhelmingly positive weekends.

The No. 1 Boston College Eagles continued their early-season surge by winning on Friday night and Sunday afternoon against UMass-Lowell. In the former, at Tsongas Arena, Parker Milner notched his second straight shutout with a 38-save performance to give the defending champs a 1-0 victory. In the latter, Bill Arnold totaled a goal and three assists and Kevin Hayes scored twice for a 6-3 triumph which kept Jerry York's kids in the top spot nationally according to the latest poll.

Lowell somehow remained in the Top 20 despite falling to 1-3-1 on the year.

Gaining momentum and headlines are the Penn State Nittany Lions, who posted their first back-to-back victories of the season.

On Friday, the Nits ripped the United States Military Academy by a 5-0 score. P.J. Musico led the way and earned a spot in the school's history books by stopping all 34 Army shots and Casey Bailey totaled a goal and two assists. They followed up Saturday by dispatching Sacred Heart by a 6-3 count. Michael McDonagh picked up three helpers, with Michael Longo, Nate Jensen, Max Gardiner, Curtis Loik, Jonathan Milley and Mark Yanis lit the lamp in Connecticut.

Here's Penn State head coach Guy Gadowsky after Saturday's win:
PSU will not get a chance to prolong its momentum on Tuesday, as a scheduled match against Fredonia State has been postponed due to the impending wrath of Hurricane Sandy.

Princeton opened up its regular-season slate over the weekend, but struggled in a pair of losses in the Ivy League shootout at Providence, falling to Brown by a 2-1 score on Friday then taking a 3-2 loss to Yale.

Second-ranked Minnesota won its lone game of the weekend, a 1-0 decision at Mariucci Arena over Canisius which saw freshman goaltender Adam Wilcox record his first career whitewash thanks to 20 saves. No.3 Denver swept Michigan Tech with 5-1 and 5-2 victories on home ice, while fourth-ranked Miami-Ohio split with Michigan, losing 4-2 and winning 4-3.

No. 5 North Dakota used the comforts of the Ralph to beat (4-1) and tie (3-3) Alaska-Anchorage.

Nebraska-Omaha did not have a favorable outcome at home this weekend, losing (3-2) and tying (3-3) Bemidji State. Flyers goaltending prospect Anthony Stolarz left Saturday's loss after two periods having allowed three goals on 13 shots.

Friday, October 26, 2012

A November with nothing to remember

As expected, the National Hockey League announced the cancellation of all its regular-season games through the month of November on Friday afternoon.

"The National Hockey League deeply regrets having to take this action. By presenting a proposal to the NHLPA that contemplated a fair division of revenues and was responsive to Player concerns regarding the value of their contracts, we had hoped to be able to forge a long-term Collective Bargaining Agreement that would have preserved an 82-game Regular Season for our fans. Unfortunately, that did not occur, " said NHL second-in-command Bill Daly.

"We acknowledge and accept that there is joint responsibility in collective bargaining and, though we are profoundly disappointed that a new agreement has not been attained to this point, we remain committed to achieving an agreement that is fair for the Players and the Clubs -- one that will be good for the game and our fans."

The latest unkind cut came exactly one week after the league announced all games from October 25-November 1 would not be played. A total of 326 games (26.5 percent of the season) have been wiped out from an original planned start date of October 11.

That means the Philadelphia Flyers will have their first 22 games of the planned 2012-13 season cast aside. Key matchups that will not be contested are: Sunday, November 4 at Madison Square Garden vs. the Rangers, a home-and-home series with Buffalo on November 16-17 and the semi-traditional day-after-Thanksgiving matinee home game, this year featuring the Winnipeg Jets.

Should an agreement on a new Collective Bargaining Agreement be reached, the first game for the Orange and Black would take place on December 1 at the Florida Panthers.

Of course, NHLPA head Donald Fehr had to chime in, and did so quite verbosely: “The league officially informed us today that they have withdrawn its latest proposal and have cancelled another slate of regular season games. This is deeply disappointing for all hockey fans and everyone who makes their living from hockey, including the players. But it comes as no surprise.

"Last week the owners gave us what amounts to a "take-it-or-leave-it" proposal. We responded with the framework for three proposals on the players’ share, each of which moved significantly, towards their stated desire for a 50-50 split of HRR, with the only condition being that they honour contracts they have already signed. Honouring contracts signed between owners and players is a reasonable request. Unfortunately, after considering them for only 10 minutes they rejected all of our proposals," read Fehr's statement, issued from union HQ in Toronto.

"Since then, we have repeatedly advised the owners that the players are prepared to sit down and negotiate on any day, with no pre-conditions. The owners refused. They apparently are only interested in meeting if we first agree to everything in their last offer, except for perhaps a few minor tweaks and discussion of their 'make whole' provision.

"The message from the owners seems to be: if you don't give us exactly what we want, there is no point in talking. They have shown they are very good at delivering deadlines and demands, but we need a willing partner to negotiate. We hope they return to the table in order to get the players back on the ice soon.”

Extra Points: Newton doesn't need Moon's help |

Extra Points: Newton doesn't need Moon's help |

Four burning questions, Part I

by Bob Herpen
Phanatic Hockey Editor 

Searching for different ways to approach the issue of the current lockout, the brain trust at the Phanatic decided to canvas fellow colleagues for their thoughts on how the labor battles of 1994-95, 2004-05 and now 2012 have colored their perspective on the game of hockey from their time as fans to their status as credentialed professionals.

Joining us for the next four Fridays will be Dan DiSciullo, hockey editor at The Sports Network, Josh Janet from, and Matt Brigidi from The Checking Line and SB Nation.

Issue #1: At what age did you first experience your first NHL lockout and how big of a Flyers/NHL fan were you at the time? How has this experience changed your view of the sport or your love of the game?

DiSciullo: My first real memories of an NHL lockout are from 1994 when I was 17 years old and a senior in high school.  My hockey/Flyers fandom solidified in the years between those two labor stoppages and it had a lot to do with the arrival of Eric Lindros in Philadelphia. Don't get me wrong, I had always been a Flyers fan and grew up watching them on TV but the buzz surrounding Lindros and the Flyers in the early 1990s definitely made hockey a bigger part of my life.

In the years leading up to the 1994 lockout, I had joined a fantasy hockey league and that led to me thinking about the game in a more critical way. Every morning I'd rush into the kitchen to pick up the sports section and find out how my players fared the night before. Of course, that daily routine was interrupted by the labor strife that ultimately led to the cancellation of nearly half the season, a fact that probably annoyed me more than anything else. I don't recall taking a side in the labor battle or showing any interest in understanding the actual issues that the players and owners were fighting over.  Back then the lockout was just a nuisance that stopped me from enjoying a hobby, nothing more nothing less.

My perception of the NHL's work stoppages have changed dramatically over the years. Now it's part of my job to understand the labor issues that owners and players are fighting over, but I can't pretend that delving into those points of contention hasn't made more cynical about the NHL and sports in general. Perhaps it was the distraction of finishing high school and choosing a college that allowed me turn a blind eye to the greed back in 1994, but I've been forced to look that selfishness in the face during the last two NHL lockouts.

I guess what bothers me most now is how both the owners and players take for granted the loyalty of most hockey fans. How else could they go down this road again after wiping out an entire season only a few years ago? They know most hockey fans will eventually forgive the NHL for its transgressions and continue to support the league whenever it returns. Although the my thinking about the NHL has become more jaded as I've grown to realize that labor strife is a part of the game, I'm not cynical enough to pretend that I won't be right there with them when this lockout finally ends.

Janet: I did not begin following the NHL until the 2007-08 season, when a college friend introduced me to the Philadelphia Flyers. As a result, I don’t have any personal perspective on the previous lockouts. 

As an adult fan, the labor negotiations preventing the 2012-13 NHL season from taking place as usual are “annoying,” but they haven’t done anything to prevent my growing love for the game. I just started playing hockey for the first time in my life; no NHL means no conflicts with my weekly game schedule.

Brigidi: I was 16 during the last lockout and I was a dedicated fan of the NHL. Can't say that I followed the game the same way I do today, but I watched the sport and attended several games a year. I can't recall exactly what my feelings towards the lockout were, but I assume they weren't positive. There is no way that I fully understood what was going on. 

While it's unfortunate that the NHL and NHL Players' Association have failed to maintain consistent labor peace, I appreciate that this is their livelihood. Both sides want to earn as much money as they can. While it's a sizeable pool of money, it's a complicated situation that impacts a huge group of people. I believe the "billionaires vs. millionaires" tag line is an oversimplification of a negotiation that impacts individuals earning salaries across the spectrum, with career lengths ranging from a few months to many years. 

Moreso to that point, what is going on now impacts more than just current owners and players; it impacts the future of the NHL, which in turn impacts employees and consumers outside of the NHL and NHLPA. It's about solving the economic issues surrounding the game and potentially figuring out ways to strengthen the sport's viability in North America. 

In short, I believe the lockouts I have experiences have changed my view of the NHL in opening my eyes to the flaws of the business model as a whole. There are several problems with the way the NHL has been conducting business and it has become evident that it needs to find a more stable model under which to operate.

Herpen: I was a junior in high school, 16-17 years old, the first time the NHL decided to lock horns with the players. I was firmly in the players' corner at the time, since salaries league-wide hadn't approached the bloated masses found in baseball, football and basketball, so the owners' attempt to impose a salary cap seemed ridiculous. I was proven wrong about that not too much longer afterwards, but I did have allegiance to Ed Snider and what he built with the Flyers and how he was portrayed as a "dove" amongst the owners and called for an end to the lockout for the sake of the league.

I was a hopeless Flyers fan for over 10 years at that point, but despairing over the five straight years out of the playoffs plus the loss of half a season. Needless to say, the fires of my fandom were re-stoked and my interest in the Orange and Black peaked anew when they went on that memorable run once the NHL came back that January.

But things changed drastically in the 7 1/2 years between the first and second lockouts. I started to make my way through this business, from broadcasting college hockey at BC to the real world: going from high school, to covering the ECHL, AHL and then the NHL, shifting from broadcasting to writing, and traveling to small towns in the U.S. and Canada to see how the game was held in regard. I started to see more of how the nature of the "game" of hockey doesn't change, but the gap between that and the business of the NHL has become greater and a longer chasm to bridge. This third time may be one that ends up forcing me out of the biz altogether, since it might alter my ability to like the game and cover the sport for the worse. It is difficult for me to justify paying for a game in Philadelphia.

Ultimately, one thing hasn't changed for me: despite my love of the sport and all the experience I've gained following it, if it goes away, I can find other things to do. The first lockout, I ended up getting the best grades of my high school career without the added distraction. The second time, I was able to be more active socially, watched more basketball and football, and ended up doing some travelling and covering minor-league games. This time around, I'll pretty much do the same while filtering out the constant noise of non-update updates on social media.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

NHL will withdraw its proposal, more cancellations imminent

You've got to hand it to the National Hockey League, and its method of negotiating "my way or the highway."

With a hard "deadline" of today for the players' union to accept the current 50-50 split and no salary rollback in order to have a full 82-game season, the league has decided that if the NHLPA won't play ball, the offer will be withdrawn.

That means, we're back to square one, as the NHL will not bargain from any point except its own offers, and the NHLPA will refuse that mode of business, especially if its own proposals are shot down.

CSN Philly's Tim Panaccio revealed through his Twitter account this afternoon that one official familiar with the process of staging a Winter Classic believes there is no way it takes place as scheduled.

An announcement to cancel an untold number of November games across the board should be made some time on Friday.

Union fall to Sporting KC

KANSAS CITY, Kan. – Philadelphia Union came back from a 1-0 halftime deficit, but a goal in the 83rd minute from C.J. Sapong allowed Sporting Kansas City to take a 2-1 win in its regular season finale and capture the MLS Eastern Conference title.

A blistering goal by Kansas City midfielder Jacob Peterson in the 40th minute allowed Sporting KC to take a 1-0 advantage into halftime but the Union would not go quietly into the night.  Manager John Hackworth went with customary second half substitute, Antoine Hoppenot a little earlier than usual, as the rookie forward entered at halftime. It paid dividends seven minutes later as Hoppenot would score off a penalty kick miss by midfielder Michael Farfan in the 53rd minute. Farfan took the kick after fellow midfielder Danny Cruz was taken down inside the 18-yard-box. Hoppenot pounced on a rebound given up by Sporting goalkeeper Jimmy Nielsen.

The cliché is to say “a tale of two halves,” but it truly was in this affair, as the Union took it to Sporting KC in the second half after being dominated in the first. While the final stat sheet showed KC edged the Union in attempts on goal, 14-10, it was the Union at one point that held a 10-9 edge in shots.  Four of those attempts were on goal, including two that hit the lower left post in the 58th minute after a glancing header from forward Jack McInerney nicked the post. Seconds later, Keon Daniel hit the same post in the 59th.

Kansas City (18-7-9, 63 points) will open the Eastern Conference playoffs as the No. 1 seed against a team to be determined on Nov. 7 at LIVESTRONG.

On the flip side, the loss was the second consecutive in less than a week for the Union, who suffered a 1-0 road loss to Houston on Saturday. In addition, the Union (10-17-6, 36 points) fell to 0-2-1 overall at Sporting KC and are 2-2-3 all-time against the club.

The Union will look to end the season on a high note on Saturday when they host the New York Red Bulls at 1:30 p.m. on NBC.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Full NHL season not likely

Along with the news of the Islanders franchise signing a 25-year lease to play in the Barclays Center in Brooklyn starting in 2015 once their lease at the Nassau Coliseum expires, NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman once again went to his pocket pet phrases to reveal that a full 82-game schedule is all but dead.

"Obviously as you know we made an offer to the Union last week to share revenues 50-50 and to deal with the so-called 'make whole' provision that was contingent on playing an 82-game season, which would necessitate making a deal by [Thursday]," Bettman said at a Wednesday presser. "The Union has chosen not to engage on our proposal or to make a new proposal of their own, so unfortunately it looks like an 82-game season is not going to be a reality."

Never mind that the only negotiating the league will do is based off its own reconfigured proposal, and not on the three-pronged "menu" the union presented late last week in Toronto.

Never mind how ludicrous it is to ask more than 100 players currently skating in Europe to drop everything, rush home, have a week-long training camp, then wedge an 82-game slate in a time-frame suitable for under 70 games. Or to have lower-level players in the American Hockey League drop whatever they are doing in the minors and get back to their parent clubs.

"They have no inclination on doing either and so there really was no point in meeting at this point," Bettman added. "There are just some times where you need to take time off because it's clear that you can't do anything to move the process forward and we're at one of those points right now because we gave our very best offer."

There is speculation that the league will cancel games in another two-week block later this week, and further speculation that games will either be chucked up until the Winter Classic to provide more time for both sides to schedule further serious talks.

According to CBC Sports, the full season will be off the table if some kind of agreement isn't reached by tomorrow, which, let's be honest, has as much chance of happening as French Canadians agreeing to become monolingual in English.

In addition, TSN of Canada's Bob McKenzie reported that the All-Star Game has a better chance of being axed first, before the Winter Classic. He said on TSN Radio 1050 that the January 1 game at Michigan Stadium between Detroit and Toronto could be cancelled early next month.

And the useless volley continues: 

"The players made multiple core-economic proposals on Thursday that were a significant move in the owners' direction. We are and continue to be ready to meet to discuss how to resolve our remaining differences, with no preconditions," said NHLPA Executive Director Donald Fehr. "For whatever reason, the owners are not. At the same time they are refusing to meet, they are winding the clock down to yet another artificial deadline they created."

Extra Points: Too close for comfort | NFL (AP) | Latest news and video on the Dallas Cowboys ...

Extra Points: Too close for comfort | NFL (AP) | Latest news and video on the Dallas Cowboys ...

Villanova signs deal with WIP

VILLANOVA, Pa. – Villanova Athletics and IMG, the department’s University rights partner, today announced a multi-year agreement with 610 WIP to have the station carry its men’s basketball and football broadcasts. The agreement begins with the 2012-13 Villanova Men’s Basketball campaign, which begins on Nov. 9.

“We are pleased to partner with WIP, a recognized sports programming leader in the Delaware Valley,” stated Villanova Director of Athletics Vince Nicastro. “This new agreement ensures that the Nova Nation fans in our region will continue to have the opportunity to hear every Villanova men’s basketball and football game on one of the top sport destinations on the radio dial.”

In addition to the 2012-13 Villanova Basketball slate of games, 610 WIP will also carry “Talking Villanova Basketball with Jay Wright”, beginning in December. In 2013, the station will carry all Villanova Football games along with “Talking Villanova Football with Andy Talley”.

“SportsRadio 610 WIP is thrilled to be the new home of Villanova men’s basketball and football,” said Marc Rayfield, Senior Vice President/Market Manager CBS Radio Philadelphia.  “Both are premier programs in the Delaware Valley and across the country and we look forward to working with great coaches like Andy Talley and Jay Wright!”

“We are very excited to partner with WIP and the CBS Philly Radio family and look forward to working with them to deliver many hours of Villanova programming to the Wildcat fans,” added Craig Curtis, General Manager of the Villanova IMG Sports Network. “In addition we’re delighted to help our clients get their name and message out to millions of passionate fans who are potential customers throughout Philadelphia and Southeast Pennsylvania on the strength of WIP’s signal.”

“We’re so happy to welcome WIP to the Villanova Family,” stated Villanova head men’s basketball coach Jay Wright. “I have always appreciated the opportunities through the years to appear on the air with Angelo Cataldi and the crew in the morning and with Anthony Gargano in the afternoon. WIP is a big part of the sports scene in Philly and we’re excited to now be part of the team.”

Union 2012 season tix on sale

Chester, Pa. – With the 2012 season winding down,  Philadelphia Union 2013 full season ticket packages are now on sale.  To join the team in 2013, call 877-21-UNION (87-218-6466) or visit

The Union’s 2013 full season ticket packages are based on a 20 game home schedule, beginning in March.  Prices start at $350 in the Supporters Section ($17.50 per game) or $390 at the Endline price level ($19.50 per game).  Sign up before Nov. 1 to enroll in a five month payment plan.

To purchase seats in the Supporters Sections, all season ticket account holders must be a paying member of the Sons of Ben. Sign up at

Season ticket benefits include:

·         Guaranteed seats for 20 Union games at PPL Park (17 regular season matches, plus three bonus games)

·         Save up to 40% off of single game ticket prices!

·         Discounted merchandise and concessions (on purchases made using your season ticket card)

·         Option to purchase full season discounted parking pass ($12.50 per game)

·         Post-game access to the PPL Park Stadium Club (card carrying season ticket holders only)

·         One (1) season ticket holder scarf per seat

·         Personalized Full Season Ticket Membership Card

·         Access to an open practice, stadium tour, price level upgrades, “Meet the Team” events, and “Pick Up Game on the Field at PPL Park” through the Union Season Ticket Holder Loyalty Rewards Program

Paint the town blue with the Sixers

PHILADELPHIA, PA. – The Philadelphia 76ers will “Paint the Town Blue” in a full-team, whirlwind tour of Philadelphia on Wednesday, October 24 to help celebrate the start of the regular season and their new blue jerseys.

Members of the entire team, including coaches and players, will make eight total stops, detailed below. The first and fourth stops are not open to the public.

The Sixers’ “Paint the Town Blue” event will tip off Sixers Week, presented by Independence Blue Cross, a week's worth of events and activities to get Philadelphia excited for the start of the season. The Sixers, in conjunction with Independence Blue Cross, are truly changing the game this season.

All coach and player appearances subject to change.


Address: 51 Ralston Ave., Haverford, PA 19083

Time: 2:30 to 3:30 p.m.

Details: Sixers Forward Lavoy Allen, rookie Guard Maalik Wayns and Forward Devin Searcey will present a customized blue jersey to Matthew Frankel, the winner of the Sixers’ “Pin to Win” Pinterest contest.


Address: The Market & Shops at Comcast Center (1701 JFK Blvd., Philadelphia)

Time: 3:00 to 4:00 p.m.

Details: Sixers Forward/Center Spencer Hawes, Center Kwame Brown, and Assistant Coach Aaron McKie will present Comcast with a blue jersey and sign autographs for fans.


Address: Wells Fargo Bank (123 S. Broad St., Philadelphia)

Time: 3:30 to 4:30 p.m.

Details: Sixers Guards Evan Turner and Royal Ivey, along with Assistant Coach Jeff Capel and Assistant Coach/Video Coordinator Monte Shubik, will present a blue jersey to Wells Fargo and sign autographs for fans.


Address: Independence Blue Cross (1901 Market St., Philadelphia)

Time: 4:00 to 5:00 p.m.

Details: Sixers Head Coach Doug Collins, Forward Dorell Wright and Guard/Forward Damien Wilkins will visit the offices of the team’s Sixers Week and opening night sponsor, presenting a blue jersey to Independence Blue Cross Executive Vice President and CFO Alan Krigstein, meeting employees and passing out the blue “50 Seasons” and Independence Blue Cross logoed opening night T-shirts.


Address: MSB Building (1401 JFK Blvd., Lower Level, Philadelphia)

Time: 4:15 to 5:15 p.m.

Details: Sixers Forward Thaddeus Young, Associate Head Coach Michael Curry and 76ers Ambassador of Basketball World B. Free will present a blue Sixers jersey to Philadelphia Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey, followed by an autograph signing for city workers and the public in the concourse area of the MSB Building.


Address: McDonald’s (52nd and Jefferson Sts., Philadelphia)

Time: 5:00 to 6:00 p.m.

Details: Sixers Guard Jason Richardson, rookie Forward Arnett Moultrie and Assistant Coach Brian James will present a blue jersey to McDonald’s and sign autographs for customers. McDonald’s will also sell small French fries for just $0.76 during the hour.


Address: Fan Zone at the Wells Fargo Center (11th Street side, 3601 S. Broad St., Philadelphia)

Time: 5:30 to 6:30 p.m.

Details: Sixers Center Andrew Bynum will sign autographs at the Fan Zone store at the Wells Fargo Center. This will be the only chance fans will have to purchase the Sixers new blue road jerseys before the home opener.


Address: Cira Centre (2929 Market St., Philadelphia)

Time: 5:30 to 6:30 p.m.

Details: Sixers Guards Jrue Holiday and Nick Young will literally “paint the town” by turning the Cira Centre’s lights blue and then sign autographs there for fans.

The Sixers open the regular season at home when they host the Denver Nuggets on Wednesday, October 31 at the Wells Fargo Center at 7:00 p.m.

Raudabaugh returns to Soul

PHILADELPHIA  – The Philadelphia Soul have agreed to terms on a two-year deal with one of the Arena Football League’s top quarterbacks, Dan Raudabaugh. 

The Soul’s assignment of Raudabaugh by the League Office keeps the veteran signal caller in Philadelphia through the 2014 season.

“This is a significant first transaction for our organization,” said Soul general manager Tom Goodhines. “After a successful season in 2012, it is important to retain our core players and Dan is one of the centerpieces we targeted.  We are excited to have him lead us back to the ArenaBowl.”

Raudabaugh guided the Soul’s record-setting offense – highlighted by 1,228 points scored – with an outstanding season that earned the team an American Conference Championship and an ArenaBowl appearance.  He finished the 2012 regular season by completing 362-of-540 passes (67.0 percent) and establishing single-season franchise records for passing yards (4,790) and touchdowns (115).

“This is a quarterback-driven league, so it is extremely important to make sure you have a top quarterback locked in,” said Soul head coach Clint Dolezel.  “Dan is a proven leader on and off the field.  He has been familiar in our system for the past few seasons and continues to improve each year.”

Prior to coming to Philadelphia, Raudabaugh began his AFL career with the Dallas Vigilantes (2010-11).  In two seasons with the Vigilantes, Raudabaugh played in 20 games, including one playoff game, completing 391-of-557 (64.8 percent) passes, with 100 touchdowns and 18 interceptions.  He took over as the signal-caller duties in the final two games of the 2010 season and retained the job going into the 2011 season.

During his collegiate career (2005-09), the former RedHawk ranked No. 5 in all-time passing yards (5,352).  He was No. 3 in all-time career completions (511) and also No. 3 in the school’s all-time pass attempts (916).  Raudabaugh was the starting quarterback during each of his four letter-winning seasons, and was awarded the No. 1 spot on the depth chart as a red-shirt freshman.

Temple-Louisville to kick off at noon

PHILADELPHIA – The Temple BIG EAST football game at Louisville on Nov. 3 will kick off at Noon at Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium.

ABC will televise the game regionally.

Temple (3-3, 2-1 BIG EAST) travels to Pittsburgh (3-4, 0-3) on Oct. 27 for a Noon game at Heinz Field. The BIG EAST Network (shown locally on 6ABC) will televise the game nationally.

Worst 10 Flyers Games of the 1980s

by Bob Herpen
Phanatic Hockey Editor

The Phanatic presents the third in an occasional series recalling the best and worst games in Philadelphia Flyers history. It continues with a look at the perils and pitfalls for the Orange and Black during the Decade of Decadence.

Ahhhh, the 80s. When the Broad Street Bullies era came to an end but not before an NHL-record 35-game unbeaten streak and an ill-fated trip to the Stanley Cup Finals. When some fashion faux pas (see picture at left) framed some underperforming teams, and a franchise Renaissance occurred by merging the spirit of the 70s with the European influx of the 80s.
That doesn't mean there weren't some big missteps along the way, as growth and change always produces some painful moments.

10. November 6, 1986: Flyers 5, Devils 5 at the Meadowlands -- For most of Mike Keenan's tenure, losing a simple hockey game was met with the same negative reaction some generals feel when they've lost a war. Early in his third season at the helm, against a New Jersey team which hadn't finished higher than fifth in the Patrick Division, the visitors wasted a 5-1 lead with roughly nine minutes remaining. Claude Loiselle, Aaron Broten, Greg Adams and Doug Sulliman did the damage. The tie came two nights after a 7-1 demolition of these same Devils at the Spectrum, and marked the first time in Keenan's tenure the club blew a four-goal lead at any point and failed to win.

9.  February 13, 1988: Maple Leafs 7, Flyers 4 at Maple Leaf Gardens -- Nope, it's not the score that helped vault this game on the list -- though Toronto did only win 21 games out of 80 all year -- but it's the fact that a club-record 25 shots on goal in the second period produced a single goal against Ken Wregget. Ron Hextall, on the other hand, allowed four on nine shots in the middle frame, then two more in the third. In all, 53 Philadelphia shots weren't enough to secure a victory against a team competing for worst in the NHL.

8.  December 17, 1985: Devils 7, Flyers 4 at the Meadowlands -- Yeah, some freaky things happened to the Orange and Black up the Turnpike in the 80s. In this one, Jersey chased rookie goalie Darren Jensen early and coasted thanks to a five-goal first period. What was there left to do, but start pounding on the innocent? When defenseman Joe Cirella scored at the 10-minute mark of the second, it was 7-1 for the home team, and Philly, the best team in the league at that point, managed a weak comeback.

7.  December 30, 1987: Oilers 6, Flyers 0 at Northlands Coliseum -- Philly's first trip back to Edmonton since losing Game 7 of the previous Spring's Stanley Cup Finals went worse than they could have expected. Riding a league-high 14 game unbeaten streak (12-0-2) into the Canadian portion of their holiday road trip, Hextall was shelled for all six goals on 29 shots, and the game was sewn up in the first period thanks to strikes from Jari Kurri, Kevin Lowe and Esa Tikkanen. Wayne Gretzky, who assisted on all three scores, later added a third-period marker.

6.  December 3, 1985: Red Wings 4, Flyers 1 at Joe Louis Arena -- Never talented enough to be an NHL starter, Mark Laforest gained back some goalie cred with his winning performance in the Alumni Game before last year's Winter Classic. What people don't know is that he recorded his first NHL victory against the Flyers, in a year when Detroit won 17 games and was so desperate for help in the crease, the club recalled him from the AHL to face what was one of the top two offenses in the league. He stopped 35 shots on the night, including a half-dozen point-blank chances. Bob Froese, on the other hand, helped the Wings win by allowing two goals from 50 feet or more.

5.  November 27, 1988: Sabres 7, Flyers 3 at Memorial Auditorium -- Paul Holmgren's first year as head coach featured this game, the final piece to a 1-9-1 slide which pulled his club into the dregs of the Patrick Division. Ahead 3-2 after two periods, the game exploded in Philly's faces, as Buffalo scored five times in the final 20 minutes to steal a victory. Two days later, the first head to roll became Peter Zezel, who struggled for the better part of a year and a half, dealt to St. Louis for reclamation project Mike Bullard.

4.  March 19, 1988: Penguins 7, Flyers 0 at Capital Centre -- The first signs that Pittsburgh was about to break from its decade-long doldrums came early in this season, when it was able to swing a deal to bring Paul Coffey over from Edmonton. The second, was that Mario Lemieux started inflicting some serious damage on his tormentors from Southeastern PA. In the final Steel City contest of four between the teams in 1987-88, the Pens laid a hurting down on the visitors. The seven-goal margin marks the largest for Pitt against the Flyers in their 45-year rivalry, and this game still stands as the largest shutout loss by the club in Western PA.

3.  November 21, 1982: Capitals 10, Flyers 4 at Capital Centre -- In its eighth year of existence, Washington had yet to snag a playoff berth, and only snapped a long winless slide in Philadelphia the previous December. To this point, the Caps had only scored as many as six goals against the Orange and Black on one occasion in the previous 30 meetings, so this double-digit explosion came as quite a shock. But it wasn't when you consider Philly committed a whopping 22 penalties, and the Capitals pumped five power-play goals past Rick St. Croix, who stopped 29-of-39 shots in the blowout. Dennis Maruk totaled three goals and three assists, and AHL journeyman Tim Tookey also added a trifecta.

2.  January 2, 1981: Jets 4, Flyers 3 at Winnipeg Arena -- Only 10 days earlier, the second-year NHL entry from Winnipeg managed to halt a league-record 30-game winless streak (0-23-7) by beating the Colorado Rockies. After three more losses, Winnipeg managed to pick up its third win of the year against Pat Quinn's club -- one which went 11-0-2 earlier in the season and only lost three games from mid-October to mid-December. A four-goal first period was enough to hand the fearsome Flyers, who were tied for the second-best record in the NHL behind the Islanders, an embarrassing loss. Doug Smail, Willy Lindstrom, Dave Christian and Thomas Steen beat St. Croix, and Pierre Hamel stopped 36 pucks. It was the most glaring defeat in a season-worst 1-5-2 stretch.

1.  October 27, 1981: Canadiens 11, Flyers 2 at the Forum -- There are easier ways to see an unbeaten streak end than a nine-goal blowout loss on the road to one of your rivals from the previous decade. Still, the Flyers chose to do many things the hard way during the entire turbulent 1981-82 season. After setting a still-standing club record by going eight games without a loss (7-0-1) from the start of the year, it all exploded in a span of 20 minutes. The Habs chased starter Pete Peeters before the first period was over, jumping out to a 6-0 lead after one period and didn't take their foot off the accelerator. A grinder of the late 80's and early 90s for Philadelphia, Keith Acton was once a scoring winger and recorded a hat trick in the rout. Steve Shutt and Mario Tremblay added two goals each.

The game set several dubious records: most goals scored by Montreal against Philadelphia in one game, largest margin of victory for either side against the other, worst loss by the Flyers on the road against any other NHL club.

Be sure to stay tuned to the Phanatic for the next in the series, top Flyers goaltending performances (non-Parent division).


Tuesday, October 23, 2012

College hockey coming to Wells Fargo Center in January

The inaugural Philadelphia College Hockey Faceoff, to be contested at the Wells Fargo Center, will feature the University of Vermont and Penn State University on Saturday, January 19, 2013.

Vermont, a member of the Hockey East conference, started out its 2012-13 season by earning a 1-1 tie with No. 6 U-Mass Lowell on October 12.  Vermont’s roster includes defenseman Nick Luukko, a 2010 Flyers draft pick from West Chester, PA, and forward Kyle Mountain of Bryn Mawr, PA, who was invited to attend the Flyers’ 2012 summer prospect camp.  Other NHL draft picks playing for the Catamounts include forwards Connor Brickley (Florida, 2nd rd. 2010) and Brett Bruneteau (Washington, 4th rd. 2007) and defenseman Michael Paliotta (Chicago, 3rd rd. 2011).  Other Catamounts native to the greater Philadelpha region include forwards Colin Markison (Princeton, NJ/Pennington) and Chris McCarthy (Collegeville, PA/US National Development Program).  

Penn State is beginning its first season as an NCAA Division I hockey program after several decades as one of the country’s most successful club ice hockey programs.  The school last fielded a varsity ice hockey team in 1947.  The Nittany Lions picked up their first-ever Division I win on October 13 with a 4-3 overtime victory over American International College.  The team’s young roster includes sophomore forward Max Gardiner, a third-round draft pick of the St. Louis Blues in 2010, who becomes the first-ever NHL draft choice to play for the school.  Also toiling for the Nittany Lions are four players from the greater Philadelphia region: defensemen Rich O’Brien (Furlong, PA/Central Bucks East), Connor Varley (Lansdale, PA/La Salle) and Peter Sweetland (Newtown, PA/Pennsbury) along with forward Dominic Morrone (Sewell, NJ/St. Augustine Prep).  Penn State will play the 2012-13 season as an independent before joining the new Big 10 hockey conference next season, at which time it will also move in to the new 6,000-seat Pegula Ice Arena on the State College campus.

This marks the first-ever Division I college hockey game at the Wells Fargo Center ,which will host the 2014 Men’s NCAA Frozen Four. The Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) will serve as the host for the event on April 10 and 12, 2014.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Extra Points: Saints show some life but defense must improve |

Extra Points: Saints show some life but defense must improve |

College hockey round-up: Week 2

The second full weekend of Division I college hockey was completed over the weekend, with a milestone and a celebration framing some exciting action.

The top-ranked Minnesota Golden Gophers split a pair on Friday and Saturday night in a two-game set at Michigan Tech. Despite dropping Friday's opener by a 5-3 count, the national semifinalists claimed a 3-2 victory on Saturday which gave head coach Don Lucia his 600th career win. Lucia became just the 10th coach in college hockey to reach the milestone.

Minnesota, however, slid to second in this week's brand new poll.

Number two North Dakota also recorded a win and loss over the weekend. First, it claimed a 5-0 victory against Alaska-Anchorage at the Ralph, but couldn't maintain momentum on Saturday, falling by a 2-1 score to Alaska (formerly Alaska-Fairbanks). Nonetheless, the Sioux fell back to fourth spot.

Third-ranked Boston College overcame a shaky start to the regular season by winning both of its contests, one at home and one on the road. Friday night in Amherst, the Eagles fell behind 3-0 after two periods but rallied to win 5-4 in overtime thanks to a goal from sophomore Johnny Gaudreau (Carneys Point, NJ).

On Saturday, in front of a packed house at Conte Forum, the school raised its fifth championship banner in program history then blanked Northeastern, 3-0. Parker Milner shut the door with 26 saves against a Huskies team which beat BC 3-1 last week to open the Hockey East schedule.

Those victories put the program back on top nationally, as they were in the preseason rankings.

Flyers goaltending prospect Anthony Stolarz also enjoyed a productive weekend, leading the unranked Nebraska-Omaha Mavericks to a sizeable win and a narrow defeat.

Though not the sharpest as his teammates racked up a 41-13 shot edge over Northern Michigan, he made 11 stops in a 5-2 win on Friday at home. NMU struck back on Saturday, winning 2-1, but Stolarz playes slightly better, making 21 saves.

Penn State is now 2-2-0 on the young season, thanks to another weekend split.

Friday night saw Bengals goaltender Kevin Carr stopped all 35 shots he faced as Buffalo State handed the Nits a 3-0 setback. One night later, in upstate New York, PSU toppled RIT by a 3-2 count. P.J. Musico was the star of the game, stopping 40 shots, while Max Gardiner totaled a goal and assist including the deciding score less than seven minutes into the third period.

Princeton, which does not open up its regular season until this coming weekend, dropped a 6-5 decision to Guelph on Saturday at Baker Rink. Alec Rush scored twice, but the Canadian university visitors took a 3-1 lead after one period and didn't look back. 

Saturday, October 20, 2012

UFL may be over after all

If there's anything to be said for the fledgling UFL, it is this: the imminent collapse of the league is one badly-kept secret.

On Tuesday, Philly Sports Live, and one of its writers, Charlie Flowe, reported that the league was about to go under, having cancelled its remaining schedule.

That piece was later retracted by apology, but tweets on Saturday from a purported "insider" named "Mr. U" indicate that the initial report was correct.

That was backed up by the intrepid reporters from Deadspin, which reported this afternoon that the league is in dire financial straits.

Nonetheless, the UFL seems poised for things to exist as normal, with Week 5's slate set to kick off Tuesday when Sacramento visits Omaha and the remainder of the league schedule still accessible on the main site.

Friday, October 19, 2012

NHL makes another schedule cut

As would be expected with Gary Bettman's brusque shoot-down of a trio of NHLPA proposals during Thursday's truncated meetings in Toronto, the NHL has decided to excise yet another week of games from its master schedule.

"The National Hockey League announced today the cancellation of the 2012-13 regular-season schedule through November 1," stated a league release on Friday afternoon. "A total of 135 regular-season games were scheduled for Oct. 11 through Nov. 1. The cancellation was necessary because of the absence of a Collective Bargaining Agreement between the NHL Players' Association and the NHL."

However, in a bizarre twist, Darren Dreger from TSN of Canada reported that he believes the league is holding out hope for a November 2 start to the season, which may yet involve a full 82-game slate.

For the Flyers, that means five more matchups fall by the wayside: October 25 at Montreal, October 27 vs. Toronto, October 28 at Buffalo, October 30 vs. Dallas and November 1 vs. New Jersey.

But with no further discussions scheduled, and the original NHL offer still on the table, it doesn't take a genius to figure out that the season won't be starting by that early, pie-in-the-sky arbitrary date. For that to work, training camps would have to begin by the middle of next week, and that's an impossibility with only a week's lead time before games begin and well over 100 players stationed in Europe and dozens of others stashed in the AHL.

In addition, Ansar Khan from cited two sources close to the situation, saying that November 20 is the drop-dead date to save the Winter Classic.

It should be noted that, with the festivities scheduled for the Big House in front of a possible audience of 115,000 in Ann Arbor, the Winter Classic itself is the only scheduled event in danger of being cancelled. All college and high school action which would take place on the same ice sheet already has contingency plans in place.

Don Fehr sent a long letter to the players late on Friday, detailed here in its supposed unedited form by ESPN.

Extra Points: Norv finally running out of time in San Diego

Extra Points: Norv finally running out of time in San Diego

Sixers cut Dan Gadzuric

PHILADELPHIA, PA. –  The Philadelphia 76ers have waived veteran center Dan Gadzuric.

Gadzuric (6-foor-11, 240) did not appear in any of the Sixers preseason games thus far.  The 10-year veteran has played in 527 career games with 164 starts, averaging 4.7 points, 4.4 rebounds and 0.85 blocks in 14.8 minutes per game.

Galloway named Saint Joe's captain

Junior Langston Galloway has been named team captain for the Saint Joseph's basketball team in 2012-13, as voted on by his teammates.

The 6-2 guard was second on the squad in scoring last season with 15.5 points, and was the top three-point shooter in the Atlantic 10.  Galloway averaged 2.66 three-pointers per game and shot 46.6 percent from three-point range, which ranked as the fourth-best number in the nation.

Galloway, who was named the team's MVP for the second year in a row, tallied double figures in all but six games last season for the 20-14 Hawks.

The Hawks, who return all 12 players from last year, were picked as the favorite in the Atlantic 10 in the league's preseason poll. Saint Joseph's also received votes this week in the USA Today Coaches Preseason Poll.

Soul to hold open tryout

PHILADELPHIA  – The American Conference champion Philadelphia Soul will hold an open player tryout on Saturday, October 20 at the Philadelphia Eagles' NovaCare Complex located at One NovaCare Way, Philadelphia.  Soul head coach Clint Dolezel, general manager Tom Goodhines and staff will be evaluating all players in attendance.  No Kickers will be evaluated at this tryout.

“The journey back to the ArenaBowl begins here,” said Dolezel.  “The turnout for the previous tryouts was tremendous.  We were impressed by the amount of talent in this area last year and we look for more of the same this year.”

The Soul found three players – Nyere Aumaitre, Jerome Hayes and Keith Stokes – that became starters from previous open tryouts while Alfonso Hoggard and Phil Marfuggi made the team from some of last year’s tryouts.

All participants can pre-register before Thursday, October 18 at  The cost of the tryout is $60 for those who pre-register and $80 at the door by cash, money order or certified funds only.  A t-shirt will be included in the cost and all fees are non-refundable.

On the day of the tryout, registration will begin at 8 a.m., with stretching starting promptly at 9 a.m.

Players will be tested on their 40-yard time, broad jump and short shuttle with other position-specific drills and one-on-ones to follow.  Please bring appropriate workout gear and shoes/cleats.  Testing will take place on field turf – no metal cleats are permitted.  A trainer will be on hand for emergencies only – not for player taping.

Union - Sporting KC to be on NBC Sports Network

Chester, Pa. – Philadelphia Union’s match at Sporting Kansas City at LIVESTRONG Sporting Park on Oct. 24 at 8:30 p.m. ET will be broadcast nationally on the NBC Sports Network.

The match will be shown locally on The Comcast Network with JP Dellacamera and Bob Rigby providing commentary and the NBC Sports Network broadcast will be blacked out in the local viewing area.

Philadelphia Union will visit LSP for the first time in 2012 on Oct. 24. The teams have met twice this season at PPL Park, with the Union earning a 4-0 victory in the MLS regular season on June 23 and Sporting KC recording a 2-0 win in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup semifinals on July 11.

This will be the ninth Philadelphia Union match to be televised on the NBC Sports Network, and the 14th on national television overall.  The final three matches of the season will all be shown on national television, with this Saturday’s match at the Houston Dynamo and Oct. 24’s match at Sporting KC on NBC Sports and the Union’s Oct. 27 season finale against the New York Red Bulls on NBC.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

NHLPA presents "menu" to NHL, league turns cold shoulder

Talks centered around a new Collective Bargaining Agreement continued on players union turf on Thursday, with a wrinkle even more clever than the one presented by the National Hockey League on Tuesday.

As reported by multiple outlets, former NHLer Mathieu Dandendault revealed through his Twitter account that the NHLPA presented a proposal, based from Tuesday's league offering, of four separate options -- each of which contain some kind of provision for a 50/50 split of the contentious Hockey Related Revenues.

Discussion in Toronto was supposed to have taken place as early as 1 PM, but were eventually pushed back to 2:30 PM.

And there is no good news to report, as NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman has struck down three of those proposals after breaking off talks.

"The Players' Association came back and basically made three alternate proposals on the players' share, all variations, to some degree, of the one proposal that they made over the summer and really haven't deviated from since," Bettman said.

"And none of the three variations of players' share that they gave us even began to approach 50-50 (revenue split) either at all or for some long period of time and it's clear that we're not speaking the same language in terms of what they came back to us with. It is still my hope that we can accomplish my goal, the League's goal of getting an 82-game season, but I am concerned based on the proposal that was made today that things are not progressing. To the contrary, I think the proposal that was made by the Players' Association was in many ways a step backward."

Proposal #1 would give the players a fixed share of revenues in the first three years of the new CBA. That share would then be determined in the later years of the deal based on league growth. In Proposal #2, the players would take 25 percent of any growth, and under the league's five percent growth estimation each year, the players' share would reach 50 percent by Year 5 of the deal.

The third proposal aimed at making up the most ground in the quickest possible time frame: if the NHL agreed to honor all current contracts at their full value, the union would have accepted that touted 50/50 split immediately. NHLPA Executive Director Don Fehr stated that he does not support the idea of the NHL's "make whole" provision regarding escrow.

However, the union was ready to give in to the even split if all actual signed contracts would still be paid at 100 percent without escrow.

"The NHL told us they are ready to tweak the last offer," Fehr said. "Today is not a good day. It should have been but it wasn't."

Garrett Reid died of accidental overdose

Garrett Reid, the son of Eagles head coach Andy Reid, died of an accidental overdose of heroin.

Northampton County District Attorney John Morganelli along with county Coroner Zachary Lysek made the announcement at a Thursday afternoon press conference in Easton, PA. According to the Allentown Morning Call, an investigation into the matter revealed the death was directly related to a relapse by Reid's oldest, and most troubled, child.

"These results sadly confirmed what we had expected all along. We understood that Garrett’s long-standing battle with addiction was going to be difficult, the elder Reid said in a statement shortly after the ruling. "He will, however, always have our family’s love and respect for the courage he showed in trying to overcome it. In the end, we take comfort in our faith and know that he’s in a better place. We miss Garrett. We miss his smile, his laugh, and his energy and we will forever love him.

"There are many other individuals and families engaged in this struggle in their own lives, and they will always have our support, encouragement, and understanding. Never give up!”

Reid, 29, passed away suddenly on August 5 while the Birds were at Lehigh University for training camp, where he was working as an assistant to strength and conditioning coaches. The paper additionally reported that Reid was found with a defibrillator attached to his chest before medical crews were able to attend to him.

It was a tragic and sudden end to a life framed by addiction to powerful drugs. Reid had been arrested multiple times, including in January of 2007 when he drove while under the influence of heroin and injured a fellow driver.

Reid was also later caught sneaking pills into prison. Sentenced to two years in a state-prison treatment program, he completed his time in May of 2010, though not before relapsing during time spent at a halfway house.

Hundreds turned out for his funeral, including NFL luminaries such as Ron Jaworski, Patriots head coach Bill Belichick and NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell.

According to several sources, multiple syringes as well as vials of a liquid substance and other drug paraphernalia were found near Reid at the time of death. Morganelli added that the investigation would continue, in order to find individuals who could have supplied Reid with the illegal substances. 

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Extra Points: Arrogance turns to panic in Philly - Football Wires -

Extra Points: Arrogance turns to panic in Philly - Football Wires -

A brief history of Flyers' AHL affiliates

by Bob Herpen
Phanatic Hockey Editor

By now, we're all well aware how upset certain fans are that there will be no minor league hockey right across the street from the empty NHL arena, as it was when the Phantoms still played at the Spectrum during the lockout in 2004-05.

Home to the Adirondack hockey club, the Glens Falls Civic Center is 283 miles due north from the Philadelphia sports complex, and with the price of gas high and time of the journey (five hours at the least), the likelihood of more than one road trip this season for most of us is prohibitive.

Hockey fans in the Delaware Valley had been spoiled rotten that the organization was able to purchase an expansion franchise and plop it down right in their own backyard, but it wasn't always so accessible. Below is an account of all previous American Hockey League farm clubs from the Flyers' 1967 inception.

Quebec Aces (1967-71): Promoted from the Quebec Hockey League in 1959 into the AHL, the Aces were a feeder for French-Canadian talent in the early days of the franchise. Original players Andre Lacroix, Serge Bernier, Simon Nolet and Rosaire (older brother of Wilf) Paiement came through the capital city.

Playing in Le Colisee, the arena hosted Philly for five "home games" (3-1-1) at the end of the 1967-68 season after high winds blew a hole in the Spectrum roof. In later years, when the Nordiques came to the NHL from the WHA and called it home, the Flyers ended up 9-9-8 there in the regular season and went 2-3 in five playoff tilts until the Nords moved to Denver in 1995.

Coached first by Vic Stasiuk, then former Maple Leafs goaltender Walter "Turk" Broda once Stasiuk was called to the big club in 1969, their best season was their first with the Orange and Black, finishing second in the West Division with a 33-28-11 record in 1967-68. That year, the Aces fell in the Calder Cup Finals to champion Rochester. Under Eddie Bush, they were below .500 and lost in the first round as the four-year experiment came to an end. The Nordiques would take the Aces' place at what is now known as Colisee Pepsi starting in 1972.

Richmond Robins (1971-76): General Manager Keith Allen pulled the primary farm club of the nascent Bullies all the way out of Canada and put down stakes in the former Confederate capital.

Though never successful on the ice -- their best season was a 30-win campaign in 1972-73 -- or at the gate, where average attendance at the Coliseum never threatened to rise above the mid four digits, the Robins nonetheless were the training ground for NHL teams which appeared in three straight Stanley Cup Finals from 1974-76.

Among those developed were Rick MacLeish, Don Saleski, Bill Clement, Orest Kindrachuk, Bobby Taylor, Dave Schultz, Jack McIlhargey and Paul Holmgren. Bill Barber, a first-round pick in 1972, was originally sent to Virginia at the start of the '72-'73 season, but after compiling nine goals and 14 points in 11 games, was recalled to Philadelphia for good to begin a Hall-of-Fame career.

Journeyman forward and Flyers' broadcast "icon" Steve Coates turned in a 25-goal, 44-point season in 1975-76 before moving on to greener pastures with the Red Wings organization.

Springfield (1976-77; 1983-84): With attendance sagging in 1976, the Flyers cut ties with the Mid-Atlantic and cut costs and entered into a temporary agreement with the AHL's home city, which had Flyers, Capitals and Flames farmhands on the roster. The Indians finished fifth in a six-team league, out of the playoff picture.

Seven years later, having again cut costs in the short term, Flyers farmhands were back in Western Massachusetts. This time, a roster flush with refugees from Maine, with Blackhawks and Kings hopefuls sprinkled in, Springfield finished fourth in the Southern Division before losing in the first round to first-place Baltimore.

The most notable name to suit up during the second stint was Pelle Lindbergh. Stuck in the midst of a frustrating campaign and relegated to backup duty with Bob Froese the starter, the Swede was sent down for a four-game conditioning stint in February of 1984. He returned to the NHL for good until his tragic death in November of 1985.

Maine Mariners (1977-83): The most successful debut for an AHL expansion franchise occurred in the club's first two years in Portland, Maine. Playing out of the newly-constructed Cumberland County Civic Center, the Mariners set a league record by being the first team to win Calder Cups in their first two seasons of existence.

Under head coach Bob McCammon, the '78 M's won the Northern Division, boasted the best record in the league, and took down the New Haven Nighthawks for the title. With McCammon kicked up to the Flyers' head coaching job, Pat Quinn guided the '79 seafarers to another division title and best record, with a sweep of New Haven for a repeat.

Maine continued its romp through the AHL with Calder Cup Finals appearances in 1981 under McCammon and 1983 with Tom McVie at the controls. The Mariners never had anything close to a losing record in six seasons under Philadelphia's control. Future Flyers who comprised the roster for some ups and downs in the late 70s and early 80s included: Al Hill, Tom Gorence, Terry Murray, John Paddock, Pete Peeters and Ray Allison. Lindbergh, Froese, Lindsay Carson, Len Hachborn, Dave Poulin and Dave Brown all had impact on the Flyers' mid-80's Renaissance.

Lindbergh lit up the league in 1980-81, taking home the Les Cunningham Award as league MVP, the Dudley "Red" Garrett Award as top rookie and the Harry "Hap" Holmes trophy as best goaltender. McCammon was rewarded with the Louis A.R. Pieri Memorial Award in 1978 and '81 as the AHL's top head coach.

In addition, current Maple Leafs GM Brian Burke skated with the franchise in its initial campaign, and current Bruins broadcaster Andy Brickley -- a Flyers draft pick and University of New Hampshire
product -- began his pro career here.

A shake-up in the Flyers' front office following the disastrous 1982-83 season saw ownership of the Mariners shift from the Orange and Black to the Christmas-themed Devils. New team president Jay Snider sold the club to New Jersey president Bob Butera for $500,000. For the remaining four years of the original Mariners, the team kept its Flyers color scheme despite respresenting a totally new NHL team.

Hershey Bears (1984-96): Hooking their fortunes to the oldest continually-operated team in AHL history, the Mike Keenan era in Philadelphia coincided with the relocation of their farm team at a manageable distance from the parent club.

Playing out of the historic Hersheypark Arena, for the first season of the agreement, the Flyers split prospects with the Boston Bruins. When the B's moved to share Maine with the Devils before resurrecting the Mariners for their own, the Bears were all ours. New GM Clarke even sent former teammate Bill Barber, trying to rehab from a serious knee injury, down to Hershey to get some coaching chops.

In 1986, Paddock led the Bears to the Southern Division crown and a Calder title-round appearance before losing to Adirondack and future Flyers head coach Bill Dineen. The best result of that near-championship run was that Ron Hextall was apparently deemed NHL ready and his career took off once in Philadelphia the next season.

Two years later, Paddock led the Bears to a Calder Cup triumph, but Hershey teetered on the brink for years afterward, left with a talent deficit from the iffy drafts of the Clarke-Farwell years in Philly. Barber eventually got his crack at being a bench boss at the end of the 1995-96 season, an appetizer for the banquet to come.

Philadelphia Phantoms (1996-09): The Flyers were scheduled to leave the Spectrum for the new building across the parking lot for the 1996-97 season, and that left 17,380 empty red seats for 40 free days at the Spectrum to consider.

The organization purchased an expansion franchise and Clarke made the announcement six days before Christmas of 1995 that a new team would be handling prospects in a familiar location.

The franchise was a hit from the start, with Barber at the helm and colorful characters like Frank "The Animal" Bialowas, the high-scoring Peter White and Vinny Prospal cruising the old Spectrum ice. The club won four consecutive division titles out of the chute, embarked on a bitter rivalry with their former farm team in Hershey, and won a Calder Cup over Saint John in 1998, the first time the AHL title was claimed in the Quaker City.

John Stevens took over for Barber in 2000, and the Phantoms sunk to the middle for four straight years until the second lockout brought an infusion of NHL talent in 2004. A 17-game win streak, plus the addition of draft picks Jeff Carter and Mike Richards from their junior club stoked the fires of a second Calder triumph in June of 2005.

Once Stevens was summoned to the Show in 2006, the club went into a tailspin under Craig Berube, Kjell Samuelsson and Paddock,. winning just one playoff round until their relocation three years later. The impending demolition of their home arena caused a shift in location to upstate New York.

Adirondack Phantoms (2009-present): With the AHL now focusing on training players to be replacement parts for the big club once injuries or trades occur, the latest edition of the Phantoms have fallen on hard times. Three different head coaches in three seasons has failed to produce a playoff berth, as the impending relocation of the franchise to the Lehigh Valley area pervades team culture. Former Flyers head coach Terry Murray leads the youngsters this season.

One bright spot for the Purple and Orange was the 2012 Outdoor Classic, contested on January 6 against Hershey in front of a league-record crowd of 45,653 at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia.

This season, as the third lockout in 18 years robs fans of the NHL product, the A-Phantoms have center stage again. They will not appear in the Delaware Valley again until January 20, in Atlantic City facing the Albany Devils. One game in Philly, on February 22, will see the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins on the other side.

NHL releases full details of Tuesday proposal

Courtesy of NHL. com


We have reached a critical point in our collective bargaining negotiations. In an attempt to save an 82-game 2012/13 season (including the usual schedule of Playoff Games), the NHL is making a substantially revised proposal to the NHLPA regarding the critical issues on which the parties have been separated and which are essential to an agreement with the NHLPA on a new CBA moving forward. We believe that the proposal set forth below is fair to the Players and the teams, and good for the game and our fans.
This proposal is based on what we believe is a fair sharing of revenues as between the Players and the Clubs.

This proposal does not require any roll-back in the salaries of Players, and attempts to recognize and protect prior contractual commitments.

This proposal provides for increased revenue sharing, targeted to those teams that are most in need.
This proposal is our best attempt to save an 82-game 2012/13 season, and is, in fact, the best we can responsibly do.

Our negotiations with the NHLPA have failed to progress on the most critical economic and system-related issues. After considerable deliberation, we have decided to make this proposal because time is of the essence. Specifically, in order to save the full 82-game season, the Regular Season schedule will have to commence no later than November 2, with 7-day Club Training Camps that must open by October 26. As a practical matter, this means we must conclude a new written CBA by October 25. We believe the parties can achieve this and that by working together, we can jointly preserve an 82-game season for our Players, our Clubs, and most importantly, for our fans.

Delay (beyond October 25) will necessarily leave us with an abbreviated season and will require the cancellation of signature NHL events. Failure to reach a prompt agreement will also have other significant and detrimental impacts on our fans, the game, our Clubs, our business and the communities in which we play. All of this will obviously necessitate changes to this offer in the event we are unsuccessful in saving a full season.

Here are the elements of our proposal and a brief explanation:

The term of the CBA proposed by the League -- 6 years, plus a mutual option for a 7th year -- is consistent with the term of the expired CBA. It will allow for our fans, the Players and the Clubs to enjoy a reasonable and extended period of labor peace thereby enhancing the short to medium term business planning of the parties. During this time, the League and the Players can work together to continue to build on the momentum the NHL has experienced over the course of the past 7 years, both on and off the ice.

HRR Accounting
We agree to retain the CBA's current HRR definitions. Further, we propose to formalize the various agreements the NHLPA and the NHL have reached, and lived under, during the course of the expired CBA, and to clarify mutually identified ambiguities in the CBA. Importantly, we do not believe any of our proposed clarifications should have any impact either on the amount of the Players' Share or the amount that any individual Player is entitled to receive. None of these clarifications for instance, would have had a material impact on the 2011/12 Actual HRR number. This proposal is all about certainty, clarity and speeding up our complex, end-of-year accounting process.

Applicable Players' Share
We believe a 50-50 sharing of Actual HRR is a fair allocation and a reasonable compromise as between Players and Clubs. The simple fact of the matter is that it costs Clubs more money now to operate and to generate revenues than it used to. These increased costs include amounts dedicated to the health, safety and enhanced comfort of NHL Players, the increased costs associated with generating ticket and gameday revenues, and the significant capital investments that are regularly being made around the League to enhance the fan experience and to create new revenue streams. The proposed 50-50 sharing arrangement, comparable to the sharing arrangements in the NFL and the NBA, will enable the NHL to protect and promote the long-term future of the game, the financial health and stability of the Clubs and the long-term earning capacity of the Players.

Payroll Range
We propose to set the 2012/13 Payroll Range on the basis of last season's Actual HRR, using the same methodology as used in the recently expired CBA. While this will result in a reduced Upper Limit for 2012/13, we have also proposed to permit the Clubs to exceed the Payroll Range this year, to a maximum of $70.2 million – which was the Cap established prior to this past summer. This will allow a Club that chooses to do so to maintain or enhance its current roster during a full-year transition period.

Cap Accounting
We are proposing that a Club's Lower Limit obligation be satisfied without reference to (or inclusion of) performance bonuses. This will effectively increase the minimum commitment of actual compensation paid by the "Lower Limit Clubs" to Players. The proposal acknowledges the League's agreement to a request made by the NHLPA earlier in our negotiations.

We are proposing that all years of existing long-term contracts in excess of five (5) years be counted against a Club's Cap regardless of whether or where a Player is playing. While such contracts (and Cap charges) can be traded during their terms, in the event a Player subsequently retires or ceases to play, the effective Cap charge would revert to the Club that originally entered into the contract. This proposal is consistent with our other proposals intended to address the harmful effects of long-term, front-loaded, "back-diving" contracts.

We are proposing that the salaries of minor league Players on NHL contracts (above a threshold of $105,000) be counted against a Club's Cap. This provision is intended to prevent Clubs from "stashing" or assigning players to the minors (or any other professional league) for "Cap management" purposes. We are not proposing that any salary paid to minor league Players on NHL contracts be counted against the Players' Share.

Finally, we propose that to facilitate more trades and create increased flexibility in managing Cap Room, Clubs be allowed to allocate portions of a contract's Cap charge (and related salary obligations) in the context of a Player Trade. This will facilitate additional Player movement and trades between teams as they manage their respective Caps and Payroll Range obligations.

System Changes
We also propose making certain modest modifications to existing elements of the current system, none of which will affect the total dollars to which the Players are entitled; they will address instead the allocation of those dollars as among various categories of Players, and we believe should ensure and improve the competitive balance and quality of play around the League as a result.

In our opinion, and as we have expressed in prior bargaining sessions, certain elements of the current system have produced a dynamic that has led to a misallocation of Players' Share dollars in favor of those Players coming out of the Entry Level System at the expense of other, more proven and established Players. We are therefore proposing the following to hopefully address this dynamic:

(1) We have withdrawn our initial proposal that would have provided Clubs with an option to extend the terms of Entry Level contracts, and instead are proposing to reduce the duration of the Entry Level System from three years to two years, thereby allowing entering NHL Players an earlier opportunity to become Restricted Free Agents. This will free up more money currently committed to Entry Level Players in their third years who are no longer legitimate NHL prospects and will also allow talented NHL prospects an opportunity to negotiate non-ELS contracts earlier in their careers.

(2) We have withdrawn our initial proposal to eliminate Salary Arbitration. We are instead proposing to maintain the Salary Arbitration mechanism, and are further proposing that the rights of Players and Clubs to elect Salary Arbitration be made mutual. Moreover, we are proposing to revise the eligibility criteria for Salary Arbitration to five years of professional experience (instead of the current four years), the same criteria as existed under the 1994-2004 CBA.

(3) We have withdrawn our initial proposal to revise the eligibility requirements for Unrestricted Free Agency to 10 Accrued Seasons, and are instead proposing a modest single year adjustment to 28 years of age or 8 Accrued Seasons. This proposal still allows for the possibility of early UFA status for Players -- as early as age 26.

All three of these system proposals are designed to shift the current allocation of Players' Share dollars away from "second contracts" and toward "third and subsequent contracts" to ensure what we believe to be a more equitable and effective allocation of Players' Share dollars to more proven, established Players who are playing in the prime of their NHL careers.

We are also proposing two additional system modifications that are intended to address the recent phenomenon of long-term, front-loaded, "back-diving" Player contracts that we believe has proven harmful to the interests of our Clubs and has clearly had the purpose and effect of circumventing the letter and spirit of our existing system. In addition, these contracts have increased the Escrow obligation and reduced the effective salaries of Players playing under "normal" contracts. In order to mitigate the consequences of these contracts, we have proposed 5-year term limits for SPCs and tighter restrictions on the year-over-year salary variability of contracts.

Due to our proposed change in the Cap treatment of minor league Players on NHL SPCs, we are proposing the elimination of the Re-Entry Waivers provision. The elimination of this provision, coupled with the ability to allocate Cap charges and salary in trades, should lend themselves to fewer NHL-caliber Players being relegated to minor league service for prolonged periods of time.

Finally, in order to help preserve the vibrancy and stability of European professional leagues as a continued source of NHL talent, we are proposing to convert the typical four-year period of exclusive negotiating rights that attach to European Players from the current "two-plus-two" model (with each Player being subject to having to re-enter the Draft) to a straight "four-year" model (with no obligation to re-enter the Draft).

Revenue Sharing
The NHL has proposed to increase the Revenue Sharing pool for 2012/13 to $200 million (assuming League-wide revenues of $3.303 Billion), representing an approximately 33% increase over the amount that will be distributed on account of 2011/12. This enhanced amount is at least comparable to the levels of revenue sharing in the NBA and MLB, and will be adjusted proportionately upward or downward based on Actual HRR results in future seasons.

At least 50% of the Revenue Sharing pool will be funded by the Top 10 Revenue Grossing teams. The remainder of the Revenue Sharing pool will be funded from League- and Playoff-generated revenues.
The Revenue Sharing pool will be redistributed to those Clubs who are in the most need in order to enable those teams to have sufficient resources on hand to compete for and compensate Players within the Payroll Range, and otherwise to provide a basis for their continued financial stability. In this regard, we are proposing to commit for the next two years revenue sharing payments to recipient Clubs that are equivalent to or greater than what those Clubs will receive on account of the 2011/12 season. The effect should be to continue -- and even improve -- the historic and unprecedented quality of play and level of competitive balance we have jointly been able to achieve during the period of the recently expired CBA.

All Clubs in the NHL except the top 10 Revenue Grossing Clubs will now be eligible for Revenue Sharing, including Clubs in large media markets who were previously ineligible (such as Anaheim, New Jersey and the New York Islanders, among others). Further, our proposal eliminates some of the current "business performance" thresholds that had the effect of materially reducing the amounts a Club might otherwise qualify to receive in revenue sharing. Instead, under-performing Clubs will be expected to enhance their business planning capabilities, will be provided on-site assistance to meet enhanced business objectives and will be provided with much greater counseling as to "best practices" in business operations.

In addition, we have proposed the formation of a functioning and active Revenue Sharing Committee, on which the NHLPA will have representation and will have an opportunity to provide input, to determine the best and most effective distribution of revenue sharing funds.

Supplemental and Commissioner Discipline
We are proposing to amend current Player discipline provisions to introduce additional procedural safeguards to protect Player interests, including an ultimate appeal right to a "neutral" third-party arbitrator with a "clearly erroneous" standard of review

No Rollback; Players' Share "Make Whole" Provision
The NHL is not proposing that current SPCs be reduced, re-written or rolled back. Instead, the NHL's proposal retains all current Players' SPCs at their current face value for the duration of their terms, subject to the operation of the escrow mechanism in the same manner as it has worked under the expired CBA. (In other words, under the expired CBA, the compensation a Player received each year was either higher or lower than the face value of his contract depending upon Club-Player contracting levels and the level and growth rate of HRR.) Under the expired CBA, in two of the seven years Players were paid in excess of the face values of their SPCs and in five of those years they received less than their face values. That process would remain intact under the new CBA.

Under our "make whole" proposal, which is premised upon a 5% anticipated growth of HRR both this year and in future years, every Player will be paid compensation based on the full value of the Players' Share under which his current SPC was signed.

In order to effectively transition from a Players' Share of 57 percent to 50 percent, including importantly to protect Players' current SPCs against an absolute reduction in Players' Share dollars, the new Agreement contemplates, in its initial years, a "make whole" mechanism that will effectively pay each Player currently under contract the difference between 50% of Actual HRR in 2012/13 and 57% of HRR in 2011/12 -- which was $1.883 Billion.

Again, premised upon an assumed 5% growth rate between 2011/12 and 2012/13, the "make whole" amount is calculated to be a maximum of $149 million for the 2012/13 season ($1.883 Billion minus $1.734 Billion (57% multiplied by $3.303 Billion minus 50% multiplied by $3.468 Billion). Similarly, utilizing that formula and our 5% growth projections, the "make whole" amount is calculated to be a maximum of $62 million for the 2013/14 season.

To accomplish the "make whole," each Players' pro-rata "make whole" will be determined for the first two years of the Agreement and will be paid to each Player as a Deferred Compensation benefit over the life of the Player's existing SPC. For those Players whose contracts expire after the 2012/13 season, the benefit will be paid when final HRR is determined for this season (in October/November 2013). Player "make whole" payments will be accrued and paid for by the League, and will be chargeable against Players' Share amounts in future years as Preliminary Benefits.

The "make whole" obligation will be operational only through the 2013/14 season because, beginning in Year 3, the projected growth in League-wide revenues should have resulted in an increase in absolute Players' Share dollars (in excess of the Players' Share of $1.883 Billion in 2011/12). This will effectively restore "full value" to all existing SPCs without any continuing need for a "make whole."

We note in regard to this proposal, that while the NHLPA's August 14 proposal was premised upon a 7% annual growth rate in HRR, we instead used the more conservative growth rate of 5%, consistent with our prior proposals. If the NHLPA's estimate of revenue growth is more accurate, then the amount of money needed to effectuate a "make whole" would actually be less.

* * *

The parties have already reached agreement on many of the non-critical but necessary items needed to complete a new CBA. We hope the NHLPA and the Players will view this proposal in the manner in which it is intended -- an invitation to complete an Agreement in the necessary timeframe so that a full 82-game 2012/13 season can be saved.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Bettman speaks conciliation

Courtesy of

Good afternoon, everyone. Bill Daly and I just spent the last hour with Don and Steve Fehr, and I would like to briefly report to you on what was discussed. As I think all of you know we have been extremely disappointed, and that's an understatement, that we've been unable to get these negotiations on the essential elements moving forward. So, today, we began by discussing with Don and Steve that if we were to drop the puck on November 2nd for the start of the regular season, we could preserve an 82-game schedule for the regular season and play full playoffs as we normally do and be done before the end of June.

We very much want to preserve a full 82-game season, and in that light, we made a proposal, an offer, really that is our best shot at preserving an 82-game regular season and playoffs, and this offer that we made obviously was contingent upon having an 82-game regular season.

A lot of you know we don't negotiate publicly, and I'm not going to break that habit because I don't think it's constructive. The fact of the matter is, we offered a 50-50 share of HRR, hockey related revenues, and we believe we addressed the concern that players have about what happens to their salaries as a result in this year of reducing the percentage from 57 to 50%.

Beyond that, I don't want to get into the substance other than to say we believe that this was a fair offer for a long-term deal, and it's one that we hope gets a positive reaction so that we can drop the puck on November 2nd -- which backing up, entails at least a one-week training camp. So we have about nine or ten days to get this all put to bed, signed, sealed and delivered, in order for this offer to be effective and for us to move forward.

We hope that this effort that we've undertaken today would be successful because we know how difficult this all has been for everybody associated with the game, particularly our fans.

How confident are you that this is going to go forward?

Well, we certainly hope it will. We've given it our best shot.

What was the reaction?

The reaction was that they obviously need to study it, and so we told them that we're available to them. But they're going to need some time to review it, and I respect that portion of the process. Obviously, they've got to understand the offer and get comfortable with it.

Was it just the core economic issues in terms of the offer?

We had a number of significant elements that we believe can and should serve as the basis of a deal to get us playing hockey.

Why do this today?

Because if we want to have an 82-game regular season, if we want to preserve an 82-game regular season and you back up the timetable in terms of the schedule, we needed to do it.
By the way, in terms of the schedule, so everybody understands, the compression that would be involved is one additional game every five weeks. Beyond that, we don't think it would be good for the players or for the game. But if you look at what our ability would be to schedule 82 games and you work back from November 2nd, if we didn't do it now, if we didn't put an effort on the table that we thought was fair and could get us playing hockey, if we didn't do it now, then it probably wasn't going to happen for a while. Because, again, it's done in the spirit of getting a full season in.

Is it 50-50 across the board?

It's 50-50 across board.

How long of a contract will this be?

I'm not going to get into the specifics. We proposed a long-term contract. We think that's in everybody's interest. We think that's what our fans want.

Can you explain how you address the roll back or the escrow?

There is no roll back, and I'm not going to get into the specifics. It would not be constructive at this point in time. The union has some work to do, and we respect the process. I probably have gone further than I usually have in terms of discussing what we've proposed than at any other time. But I'm not comfortable going any further. I'm more concerned about the process right now and getting us back on the ice.

How worried are you they might say no and more of the season will be lost?

I don't even want to go there.

Is the league amenable to playing an abbreviated schedule?

We're focused on getting the puck dropped on November 2nd and playing a full 82-game regular season and full playoffs. That's what this offer is all about.

Have you made plans to meet later in the week?

We're going to be on-call to them. They have some work to do internally. Obviously, we didn't put this proposal, this offer, together overnight, and they're going to need a little time to review it. I'm hoping that review will get us to a positive and constructive place.