November 1, 2011; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Boston Bruins left wing Daniel Paille (20) is hugged by left wing Shawn Thornton (22) after he scored a goal against the Ottawa Senators during the third period at TD Banknorth Garden. Mandatory Credit: Greg M. Cooper-US PRESSWIRE

Merlot Men offer hope against a NHL lockout.


healthy reminder to everyone in Bruins Nation that the deadline for the expiration of the current collective bargaining agreement is but five weeks away. The talks are still bouncing back and forth from New York and Toronto. In fact, the talks have gone from international to inter-continental. NHLPA director Don Fehr has been meeting with the European contingent of the NHL players in Spain and in Russia.

The talks remain positive. Both sides say they can agree on a lot of the minor issues. Well, that’s good I suppose. What I am dying to see, and I’m willing to bet a lot of you want to see is how the players’ union is going to respond to the ‘hard-core’ economic issues. As of now, the union is still receiving vast quantities of financial information. This independently gathered material is giving the players a real look into the state of the finances of the NHL franchises.  No fear Bruins Nation, the B’s are financially sound. (It does makes me feel for the Phoenix Coyotes though.)

Some of you are probably dying to know what our Bruins are thinking. A month ago the press would be asking the players “How is your summer?” or “How are you preparing for the upcoming season?” Slowly, but surely the questions regarding the CBA talks are becoming more frequent. For example Shawn Thornton, merlot man and pugilist extraordinaire held his third annual “Punches and Putts for Parkinsons.” Among the Bruins attending this charity event was Daniel Paille, the current NHLPA rep for the Bruins.

Paille was questioned by the local media on the state of the talks and the fans concerns for a lockout. “For me, for us as players, I think we have a positive (feeling) on starting the season on time. That’s what we want to do.  After Sept. 15, we see what happens, until then, I don’t think there’s any reason to panic. For us, there’s definitely a line of communication right now, and I think that’s a positive for us to keep that going.”

Shawn Thornton, in between signing autographs and drives on the fairway also offered his two cents on the current state of the talks.” I put a lot of trust into the committee that was put together. “I have a lot of trust in  Don Fehr. They know what they’re doing. So I’m hoping we get things sorted out by the date it needs to be sorted out by. But you don’t want to rush into those things. There’s a lot of information that we really have to sort through.” Thornton plans on heading up to Toronto later this month to add his concerns and questions to the talks.

Thornton also mentioned that he’s still working out. He has every plan to report to training camp on September 21st. If these guys can help the CBA talks like they held up the Vancouver Canucks in the 2011 Stanley Cup Finals…. I’ll have good reason to stop panicking.


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Tags: Boston Bruins CBA Daniel Paille NHL Shawn Thornton

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