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Nashville, TN – It was an amazing night to be at the Bridgestone Arena tonight as the Nashville Predators defeated the Anaheim Ducks, 6-3, to win the Western Conference Championship. The Predators now await the winner of the Pittsburgh/Ottawa series to see who they will play.
THIS IS FOR LORD STANLEY’S CUP! THE MOST REVERED TROPHY IN ALL OF SPORTS!
The arena was sold out. The grounds surrounding the Bridgestone Arena were packed with, by some estimates, 5,000-10,000 fans watching the game on the big screens that were placed all around the arena.
The Nashville Predators celebrate after defeating the Anaheim Ducks in game six of the Western Conference Final of the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Bridgestone Arena. (Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports)
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Clarksville, TN – They say the Stanley Cup is the hardest trophy to hoist. Well, if you’re a Predators fan, you know this all too well. We’re not there yet, but what a battle it’s been.
This amazing team has rolled through Chicago and St. Louis and has taken the best shots that Anaheim has thrown at them. Anaheim has turned this series into a gutter brawl. Cheap shots, low blows and hits AFTER the whistle, but, WE’RE STILL STANDING! In fact, we lead the series, 3-2.
Nashville Predators celebrate the victory against the Anaheim Ducks followng game five of the Western Conference Final of the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Honda Center. (Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports)
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Nashville, TN – Well, now they’ve gone and done it. Those Nashville Predators have won their second round playoff series against the St. Louis Blues. They’ve done forged themselves into the record books, and will play for the Western Conference Championship against a yet to be determined opponent.
I don’t know if Predators fans can take it up another notch, but if there was a fan base that’s willing to say, “hey, hold my beer, and watch this” it’s Nashville.
I’ve said all along that being at the Bridgestone Arena during a hockey game is the most earth shattering experience and I’ve seen AC/DC, Ted Nugent, and Cheap Trick in concert and by God, those were LOUD!
Nashville Predators fans celebrate as they leave Bridgestone Arena following a 3-1 win against the St. Louis Blues in game six of the second round of the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs. (Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports)
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Nashville, TN – The Nashville Predators have done something that nobody could have ever predicted. The eighth seeded Preds have won four games in a row over the Stanley Cup Champions, and #1 seed, Chicago Blackhawks. It’s called a SWEEP!
Not one single hockey writer, broadcaster, play-by-play guy, producer, coach, player or even the equipment guy could have ever predicted that the Nashville Predators would sweep their series against Chicago.
Nashville Predators players celebrate in the closing seconds of a win against the Chicago Blackhawks in game four of the first round of the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Bridgestone Arena. The Predators won 4-1 to eliminate the Blackhawks. (Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports)
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Nashville, TN – It’s a pretty well-known fact that South Nashville and the Antioch region have fallen on hard times in recent years. One just has to look at the vacated Global Crossing Mall to witness the proof.
But, in the past year local housing prices have increased dramatically and there’s more evidence on the ground to help you see that this community is on the rise with a little help from ice hockey stars and spicy hot chicken.
The coolest destination in Antioch – the Ford Ice Center.
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Nashville, TN – The National Hockey League brought their Fan Fair and All-Star Weekend to Nashville, Tennessee during the last four days of January. This city and league had been preparing for this much anticipated event for over fifteen months and expectations were high as the greatest show on ice descended on Music City.
“What an incredible setup, what an incredible beginning to All-Star Weekend,” gushed NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman at the opening ceremonies on Thursday, January 28th, 2016. “The planning that the city of Nashville with the Predators and the local organizing committee and Bridgestone have done is nothing short of phenomenal. People are going to be thrilled to be part of this weekend.”
NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman at the NHL All-Star opening ceremonies. (Rich Lynch)
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Clarksville, TN – My brain has done itâ€™s weightlifting by figuring out my taxes. Now, it is time for some cardio. Here are my Fourthoughts for this week.
Lady Coyotes Hang Tough
The Tennessee Softball Coaches Association Tournament concluded Saturday, April 12th. The fields at the Heritage Sports Complex were filled with 26 competing softball teams, including eight local teams.
West Creek Softball (Michael Rios Clarksville Sports Network)
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The National Hockey League issued the following release Wednesday:
Following is the full text of the NHL’s offer for a new Collective Bargaining Agreement in order to preserve a full, 82-game season that the National Hockey League presented Tuesday to the NHL Players’ Association (along with the accompanying commentary and descriptions also provided to the NHLPA). While the original intention was not to release the details of the offer publicly, not surprisingly there have been widespread reports attempting to describe and characterize the terms of the offer that understandably are incomplete. As a result, we believe that full public disclosure at this stage is both necessary and appropriate.
See a detailed explanation of the proposal
NHL PROPOSAL TO SAVE 82-GAME SEASON
• Six-year Agreement with mutual option for a seventh year.
2. HRR Accounting:
• Current HRR Accounting subject to mutual clarification of existing interpretations and settlements.
3. Applicable Players’ Share:
• For each of the six (6) years of the CBA (and any additional one-year option) the Players’ Share shall be Fifty (50) percent of Actual HRR.
4. Payroll Range:
• Payroll Range will be computed using existing methodology. For the 2012/13 season, the Payroll Range will be computed assuming HRR will remain flat year-over-year (2011/12 to 2012/13) at $3.303 Billion (assuming Preliminary Benefits of $95 Million).
• 2012/13 Payroll Range
Lower Limit = $43.9 Million
Midpoint = $51.9 Million
Upper Limit = $59.9 Million
• Appropriate “Transition Rules” to allow Clubs to exceed Upper Limit for the 2012/13 season only (but in no event will Club’s Averaged Club Salary be permitted to exceed the pre-CBA Upper Limit of $70.2 Million).
5. Cap Accounting:
• Payroll Lower Limit must be satisfied without performance bonuses.
• All years of existing SPCs with terms in excess of five (5) years will be accounted for and charged against a team’s Cap (at full AAV) regardless of whether or where the Player is playing. In the event any such contract is traded during its term, the related Cap charge will travel with the Player, but only for the year(s) in which the Player remains active and is being paid under his NHL SPC. If, at some subsequent point in time the Player retires or ceases to play and/or receive pay under his NHL SPC, the Cap charge will automatically revert (at full AAV) to the Club that initially entered into the contract for the balance of its term.
• Money paid to Players on NHL SPCs (one-ways and two-ways) in another professional league will not be counted against the Players’ Share, but all dollars paid in excess of $105,000 will be counted against the NHL Club’s Averaged Club Salary for the period during which such Player is being paid under his SPC while playing in another professional league.
• In the context of Player Trades, participating Clubs will be permitted to allocate Cap charges and related salary payment obligations between them, subject to specified parameters. Specifically, Clubs may agree to retain, for each of the remaining years of the Player’s SPC, no more than the lesser of: (i) $3 million of a particular SPC’s Cap charge or (ii) 50 percent of the SPC’s AAV (“Retained Salary Transaction”). In any Retained Salary Transaction, salary obligations as between Clubs would be allocated on the same percentage basis as Cap charges are being allocated. So, for instance, if an assigning Club agrees to retain 30% of an SPC’s Cap charge over the balance of its term, it will also retain an obligation to reimburse the acquiring Club 30% of the Player’s contractual compensation in each of the remaining years of the contract. A Club may not have more than two (2) contracts as to which Cap charges have been allocated between Clubs in a Player Trade, and no more than $5 million in allocated Cap charges in the aggregate in any one season.
6. System Changes:
• Entry Level System commitment will be limited to two (2) years (covering two full seasons) for all Players who sign their first SPC between the ages of 18 and 24 (i.e., where the first year of the SPC only covers a partial season, SPC must be for three (3) years).
• Maintenance of existing Salary Arbitration System subject to: (i) total mutuality of rights with regard to election as between Player and Club, and (ii) eligibility for election moved to five years of professional experience (from the current four years).
• Group 3 UFA eligibility for Players who are 28 or who have eight (8) Accrued Seasons (continues to allow for early UFA eligibility — age 26).
• Maximum contract length of five (5) years.
• Limit on year-to-year salary variability on multi-year SPCs — i.e., maximum increase or decrease in total compensation (salary and bonuses) year-over-year limited to 5% of the value of the first year of the contract. (For example, if a Player earns $10 million in total compensation in Year 1 of his SPC, his compensation (salary and bonuses) cannot increase or decrease by more than $500,000 in any subsequent year of his SPC.)
• Re-Entry waivers will be eliminated, consistent with the Cap Accounting proposal relating to the treatment of Players on NHL SPCs playing in another professional league.
• NHL Clubs who draft European Players obtain four (4) years of exclusive negotiating rights following selection in the Draft. If the four-year period expires, Player will be eligible to enter the League as a Free Agent and will not be subject to re-entering the Draft.
7. Revenue Sharing:
• NHL commits to Revenue Sharing Pool of $200 million for 2012/13 season (based on assumption of $3.303 Billion in actual HRR). Amount will be adjusted upward or downward in proportion to Actual HRR results for 2012/13. Revenue Sharing Pools in future years will be calculated proportionately.
• At least one-half of the total Revenue Sharing Pool (50%) will be raised from the Top 10 Revenue Grossing Clubs in a manner to be determined by the NHL.
• The distribution of the Revenue Sharing Pool will be determined on an annual basis by a Revenue Sharing Committee on which the NHLPA will have representation and input.
• For each of the first two years of the CBA, no Club will receive less in total Revenue Sharing than it received in 2011/12.
• Current “Disqualification” criteria in CBA (for Clubs in Top Half of League revenues and Clubs in large media markets) will be removed.
• Existing performance and “reduction” standards and provisions relating to “non-performers” (i.e., CBA 49.3(d)(i) and 49.3(d)(ii)) will be eliminated and will be adjusted as per the NHL’s 7/31 Proposal.
8. Supplemental and Commissioner Discipline:
• Introduction of additional procedural safeguards, including ultimate appeal right to a “neutral” third-party arbitrator with a “clearly erroneous” standard of review.
9. No “Rollback”:
• 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 worked under the expired CBA.
10. Players’ Share “Make Whole” Provision:
• The League proposes to make Players “whole” for the absolute reduction in Players’ Share dollars (when compared to 2011/12) that is attributable to the economic terms of the new CBA (the “Share Reduction”). Using an assumed year-over-year growth rate of 5% for League-wide revenues, the new CBA could result in shortfalls from the current level of Players’ Share dollars ($1.883 Billion in 2011/12) of up to $149 million in Year 1 and up to $62 million in Year 2, for which Players will be “made whole.” (By Year 3 of the new CBA, Players’ Share dollars should exceed the current level ($1.883 Billion for 2011/12) and no “make whole” will be required.) Any such “shortfalls” in Years 1 and 2 of the new CBA will be computed as a percentage reduction off of the Player’s stated contractual compensation, and will be repaid to the Player as a Deferred Compensation benefit spread over the remaining future years of the Player’s SPC (or if he has no remaining years, in the year following the expiration of his SPC). Player reimbursement for the Share Reduction will be accrued and paid for by the League, and will be chargeable against Players’ Share amounts in future years as Preliminary Benefits. The objective would be to honor all existing SPCs by restoring their “value” on the basis of the now existing level of Players’ Share dollars.
TORONTO — The NHL made a proposal for a new Collective Bargaining Agreement on Tuesday, one designed to allow an 82-game schedule for 2012-13 NHL season to take place.
“We very much want to preserve a full 82-game season and in that light we made a proposal, an offer really,” Commissioner Gary Bettman said. “It is our best shot at preserving an 82-game regular season and [Stanley Cup] Playoffs.”
Commissioner Bettman announced the proposal after he and Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly held an hour-long meeting with the National Hockey League Players’ Association Executive Director Don Fehr and Special Counsel Steve Fehr at the Union office.
Bettman said that the offer, which splits hockey-related revenue at 50-50, is contingent upon a full season being played and suggested that the season could begin Nov. 2. He also said the League is not asking for salary rollbacks from the players.
“We’re focused on getting the season started on Nov. 2. That’s what this offer was about.”
“Gary indicated to me and I assume he indicated to you that they would like to get a full 82-game season in,” Don Fehr said. “We, of course, share that view and would like to get a full 82-game season in. And, so, what our hope is that after we review this that there will be a feeling on the players’ side that this is a proposal from which we can negotiate and try to reach a conclusion. But, we are not in a position to make any comments about it beyond that at this point.”
By Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer
NEW YORK — After a full day of negotiations toward a new Collective Bargaining Agreement, National Hockey League Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly expressed his disappointment in the lack of progress being made between the NHL and National Hockey League Players’ Association.
“I’d have to say overall today we didn’t really move the ball forward that much,” Daly said Wednesday night outside the League office.
In hopes of moving the process forward, Daly said the League is urging the Union to make a proposal on the fundamental economic issues dividing the two sides.
He said those issues were not discussed Wednesday.
“We hear, we understand that they’ve been working on some concepts, some ideas — we’ve suggested to them just make the proposal,” Daly said. “Any movement is better than no movement at all. Hopefully we’ve moved it forward, but even if we move backwards it might be better than where we are now. That was our message to them.”
The NHL has already cancelled the first two weeks of the 2012-13 regular-season schedule and Daly estimated the result is a shared revenue loss between the League and the Players’ Association of approximately $140 million. He previously estimated a shared loss of $100 million as a result of not playing the preseason schedule.
“So, we’re up to $240 or $250 million in jeopardy. It’s unfortunate for both of us,” Daly said. “It’s a significant amount of money that the players share in on a significant basis. Whatever percentage that basis ends up being, it’s a significant basis. Even more disappointing from our perspective — and should be from our collective perspective — is obviously we felt like over the last seven years we’ve built up a lot of momentum in the business, had a lot of growth, and who knows what a work stoppage like this will do to that momentum.”
Prior to a late-afternoon bargaining session focused on health and safety issues as well as various legal issues, NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman and Daly met privately with NHLPA Executive Director Donald Fehr and Special Counsel Steve Fehr for approximately 50 minutes Wednesday afternoon. Commissioner Bettman, Daly and the Fehr brothers also met in Toronto on Friday.
Daly said the purpose of those meetings was to attempt to generate some ideas to move the process forward.
Steve Fehr said it was “hard to tell” if any progress was made in the private meeting Wednesday.
“Having done this for a number of disputes over a number of years you often don’t know whether you’re making progress until you look back on it,” Steve Fehr added. “I don’t want to get too much into detail of that discussion, but we were just sort of discussing the overall status of the bargaining, where the parties are.”
The two sides are currently meeting again Thursday at the League office.
Daly said Donald Fehr was expected to be in touch with Commissioner Bettman either Wednesday night or Thursday morning to discuss the possibility of another meeting.
“I won’t suggest or say what Don said to us, but I can tell you our proposal for moving the process forward is ‘we understand you’re working on a proposal, make it to us,'” Daly said. “‘Let’s not stand on formalities; if you have a proposal, make it.'”
Daly said the sides are also having some disagreements on the health and safety and various legal issues that were discussed in the late-afternoon session Wednesday. He said these are some of the same issues upon which they hadn’t previously reached agreement.
“I suppose when you get to this point in the discussion on some of those areas that’s to be expected, so we’re kind of refining some of the things we continue to have disagreements on,” Daly said. “But we had no discussion of the major economic issues or system issues, so that continues to be a disappointment from our perspective. Hopefully we can get to that at some point.”