The NHL on Saturday fined Detroit Red Wings VP Jimmy Devellano a reported $250,000 for comments he made about the collective-bargaining agreement and the Flyers earlier this week.
In an interview with Island Sports News that was posted on Puck Daddy (yahoo!), Devellano ripped the Flyers for giving a 14-year, $110 million offer sheet to RFA Shea Weber this summer.
"The Detroit Red Wings’ organization and the league agree that the
comments made by Mr. Devellano are neither appropriate, nor authorized, nor
permissible under the league's bylaws," said Bill Daly, the NHL's deputy commissioner. "Such comments are neither constructive nor helpful to the
In the interview Devellano said, "There is a hard cap in place as we all know. You can't go over that....period. If Weber gets this much, then another player gets less. Now does that mean it's right for another team to do that? My answer is this: They (the Flyers) operated within the CBA and it's totally legit to do. Having said that, I will tell you there is an unwritten rule that you don't do that, but they did, and just like everything else in life, some people are great to deal with, some aren't. If you are asking me if it's right, I would say there is, again, an unwritten rule...we all know it in the NHL, but not everyone follows it."
Added Devellano: "Each owner / team has a decision as to how they want to pay their players, as long as they are under the cap. Now Donald Fehr (the NHLPA executive director) would have you believe by getting rid of the cap, the owners would make more money and that the sky is the limit, but trust me, the owners would lose their asses. We've tried that. It doesn't work. There is just too much cost involved in running and owning a team.
"It's very complicated and way too much for the average Joe to understand, but having said that, I will tell you this: The owners can basically be viewed as the Ranch, and the players, and me included, are the cattle. The owners own the Ranch and allow the players to eat there. That's the way its always been and that the way it will be forever. And the owners simply aren't going to let a union push them around. It's not going to happen."
Another day in the NHL lockout, another day without negotiations.
“It’s been pretty quiet, so there’s been nothing to communicate” to his teammates, defenseman Braydon Coburn, the Flyers’ player representative, said in a phone conversation from his home in Calgary on Friday.
Representatives for the league and the players are battling over many issues, including how to divide hockey-related revenue (HRR). The owners have proposed giving the players 49 percent of the HRR in the first year, 48 percent in the second year, and 47 percent in the third through sixth years.
The players are asking for about 53 or 54 percent of the pie; they got 57 percent in the last collective-bargaining agreement.
Coburn said he met Thursday in Calgary with former NHL player Steve Webb, who is the Atlantic Division representative for the players’ association. According to Coburn, Webb said the players’ association wants to talk with the league about other collective-bargaining agreement issues _ such as ice conditions, players’ safety, contract lengths and free-agency changes _ but the owners want to first solve the HRR dispute.
The league “isn’t interested in negotiating until we get the numbers down on” the HRR issue, Coburn said Webb told him.
Coburn has been working out in Calgary with several NHL players, including the Flames’ Jarome Iginla and Jay Bouwmeester.
“It’s a good group of guys, but it doesn’t replace playing,” Coburn said.
The Flyers’ training camp was scheduled to open Saturday at the Skate Zone in Voorhees. The start of NHL camps has been canceled, along with several exhibition games.
Players assigned to the Adirondack Phantoms, the Flyers’ AHL affiliate, will report to the Voorhees rink on Friday for the start of that camp. That group will include the Flyers’ Sean Couturier, Brayden Schenn, Zac Rinaldo, Erik Gustafsson and Eric Wellwood.
More labor pains. The NHL players’ union was in Edmonton on Friday, trying to get the Alberta Labor Relations Board to declare the lockout illegal for the Calgary Flames and Edmonton Oilers.
Last week, players from the Montreal Canadiens presented a similar case in Quebec, and the labor relations board there turned down their request for a temporary injunction against the lockout.
Another option. A judge ruled Friday that the Swedish Elite League cannot ban NHL players.
As of now, no Flyers are planning to play in Sweden, but that could change.
Three Flyers are playing in Russia’s KHL _ Ilya Bryzgalov, Jake Voracek and Ruslan Fedotenko.
Follow Sam Carchidi on Twitter @BroadStBull.