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Bettman on lockout: 'I feel terrible about it'

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Bettman on lockout: 'I feel terrible about it'

Drawing comparisons to the salary cap models of the NBA and NFL, NHL commissioner Gary Bettman made it clear again on Thursday that unless players are willing to take a reduction in salaries there will be a lockout at midnight on Saturday.

Given the fact the leagues players have stood firm on their stance of not participating in salary rollbacks, the NHL appears headed for its second work stoppage in eight years.

Listen, nobody wants to make a deal and play hockey more than I do, OK? Bettman told reporters after receiving unanimous support in a two-hour meeting with the NHLs Board of Governors.

This is what I do. This is what my life is about in terms of how I spend most of my waking hours. This is very hard and I feel terrible about it.

Saying the NHL can not afford a system in which players receive 57 percent of the leagues 3.3 billion in hockey-related revenues, Bettman said he is willing to meet NHLPA executive director Donald Fehr anytime, any place to hammer out a new Collective Bargaining Agreement.

But it wont come until the players agree to a reduction in salaries.

In the NFLs 10-year Collective Bargaining Agreement, the players share of revenue starts at 47 percent and increases to 48.5 percent in the final year of 2021. In the NBAs CBA, also 10 years, the players share begins at 49 percent and increases to 51 percent in 2021.

The players in those two other leagues recognized that it was not inappropriate or unfair to reduce what they were getting, Bettman said. And thats in a challenging and recent economic climate.

In his most recent six-year proposal, Bettman called for the players share of revenue to decrease from its current 57 percent to 49 percent this season and gradually decreasing to 47 percent in the final year.

The players most recent proposal based on a 7.1 percent annual growth in revenue -- calls for gradual increases to their share of revenue, from 2 percent next season, to 4 percent the following year and 6 percent in 2014-15.

Even a brief lockout will cost players more than what were proposing, Bettman countered.

So what happens next?

On Sunday players will begin heading back to their respective homes. Some will head to Europe to play in professional leagues in Russia, Finland, Sweden, Switzerland, the Czech Republic and Germany.

As for Bettman, he says his latest offer is not a take-it-or-leave-it proposal but made it clear the next offer may not be as sweet as the last.

I said the same offer would not be on the table because of the amount of damage that would take place with lockout, Bettman said.

We made the last offer. We havent gotten a formal response to our proposal and Im hoping we get one that recognizes we made yet another meaningful move.

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Capitals Faceoff Podcast: Previewing the prospects with Hershey Bears HC Troy Mann

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Capitals Faceoff Podcast: Previewing the prospects with Hershey Bears HC Troy Mann

We're officially in the dog days of summer.

But that doesn't mean there aren't Capitals topics to touch on.

The summer is the perfect time to take a look at the latest crop of Capitals stars and that begins in Hershey.

On the latest episode of the Capitals Faceoff Podcast, Jill Sorenson and Tarik El-Bashir are joined by Bears head coach Troy Mann, who has led the Bears to two division titles and trip to the Calder Cup Finals in his first three seasons at the helm.

With prospects like Jakub Vrana, Nathan Walker and Madison Bowey getting some much needed experience in Hershey, nobody knows the Capitals top prospects better than Mann.

PROSPECT PREVIEWS: Jakub Vrana | Nathan Walker

LAter in the podcast, Jill & Tarik touch on the offseason, and how they balance vacations with work life. 

The podcast wraps up with a very special shoutout to our Capitals digital producer JJ Regan and his wife, who welcomed their first child into the world last week.

Like what you hear? Be sure to subscribe on Apple podcastsAudioboom and Google Play and give us a good review!

For the latest Caps coverage be sure to follow @CSNCapitals@TarikCSN@JillCSN and @JJReganCSN on Twitter.

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Capitals 2017-18 Prospect Preview: Nathan Walker

Capitals 2017-18 Prospect Preview: Nathan Walker

As we skate toward the start of the 2017-18 NHL Regular Season, our CSN Capitals team of Jill Sorenson and Tarik El-Bashir detail and analyze the Capitals roster.

They will take a look at breakout candidates, prospects on the rise, players in need of improvement and a look at the rest of the Metropolitan Division, all leading up to the start of the NHL regular season.

It's time to take a look at which top prospects have the tools to become a full-time NHL player and what they have to do to get the call-up from Hershey.

Our first entry was Jakub Vrana.

Next up is Nathan Walker, who is on pace to become the first Australian to play in an NHL game.

PROSPECT PODCAST: Hershey Bears head coach Troy Mann

YOU CAN WATCH TARIK AND JILL'S FULL BREAKDOWN OF NATHAN WALKER IN THE VIDEO PLAYER ABOVE.

2017-18 CAPITALS PROSPECT PREVIEW: NATHAN WALKER

Position: Left Wing
Age: 23
Height: 5-8
Weight:186 pounds
Contract: Two-Way. Two-year, $1.3 Million (2017)
 

AHL Seasons: 4 (202 games)
2016-17 AHL Stats: 58 games, 11 goals, 12 assists
NHL Seasons: 0
2016-17 NHL Stats: None

PREVIEWING 2017-18 BREAKOUT CANDIDATES: Tom Wilson | Brett Connolly | Andre Burakovsky

Tarik El-Bashir's Prospect Preview:
After spending a few seasons in the minors, it looks like Nathan Walker’s time has finally arrived. 

Although nothing is set in stone, the 2014 third-round pick appears to be in good position to skate on the Caps’ fourth line in 2017-18, potentially in the spot previously occupied by Daniel Winnik.  

Walker is listed at 5 foot 8, 186-pounds, but he makes up for that lack of size by playing with a noticeable edge.

In fact, the Australian winger has on more than one occasion referred to himself as a bit of a “pest” on the ice. Indeed, Walker finishes his hits, stands up for his teammates and doesn’t back down. Last preseason, if you recall, he squared up with Andrew Shaw after Shaw plastered fellow prospect Connor Hobbs with a dangerous hit. That fight typified Walker’s game.  

Walker can put up stats, too. Two years ago in Hershey he amassed 17 goals and 24 assists in 73 games.

And it’s that mix of feistiness and offensive upside that makes him an intriguing player—and a solid candidate to lock down a spot on the opening night roster.

RELATED: TEN BEST CAPITALS PLAYERS OF ALL-TIME

Jill Sorenson's Prospect Analysis:
What He Has:
 "He plays with just a bit of an edge. I look at him and always think 'bulldog.' He's willing to make those sacrifices, go into the hard areas, and net-front pressence is something this team will absolutely need, especially with the loss of Marcus Johannson. He goes into the coach's office and asks about areas he can improve in. He gets it. It works well in that locker room."

What He Needs to Do: "He needs to pace himself. He's the type of guy who needs to be told when to turn the lights out at night."