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NHL owners try to salvage full season with 50-50 proposal

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NHL owners try to salvage full season with 50-50 proposal

Can a full NHL season be salvaged?

That’s what NHL commissioner Gary Bettman was thinking Tuesday morning when he pulled a surprise proposal from his pocket and offered it to the players.

NHL owners have offered players a 50-50 split in hockey-related revenue and no rollbacks on current salaries in exchange for the agreement to play a full 82-game season beginning Nov. 2.

“We hope we’ve given our best shot,” Bettman told reporters Tuesday afternoon. NHLPA executive director Donald Fehr called the offer an “excellent start” and said he would present the proposal to the union membership in a 5 p.m. conference call.

Bettman’s plan would call for a full 82-game season, with each team adding one game to its schedule every five weeks. Under the old CBA, NHL players received 57 percent of hockey-related revenue.

The players’ most recent proposal allowed for that percentage to fall to 52 percent, but it was based on a 7.1 percent annual growth in league revenue. Bettman’s offer does not account for that same growth and the 50-50 split would be across the board.

While the move by the NHL owners is a significant one, it likely will not result in an immediate agreement and an end to the month-long lockout. Most players have acknowledged privately that they expected to come to a 50-50- split with the owners, but that they want it to be over the course of a six-year agreement, falling to 50 percent in smaller increments.

Fehr is likely to spend the next few hours digesting the owners’ proposal and could craft the outlines of a counter-proposal to present to the union’s 700-plus members.

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After a dry spell, Caps' Daniel Winnik rediscovers his scoring touch

After a dry spell, Caps' Daniel Winnik rediscovers his scoring touch

Although Daniel Winnik's job description is that of a checking line winger and penalty kill specialist, the veteran has the ability to get hot offensively, too.

Case in point: the Capitals’ last three games.

Winnik has two goals, including a clutch tally in Detroit, and a primary assist during that span. Only Nicklas Backstrom has been more productive.

The reason for the sudden uptick? He’s gotten back to what was working for him earlier this season. 

“I looked back at my goals and they had all been around the net,” Winnik said after Tuesday’s practice. “So I just put more of a focus lately on getting to the net.”

“Sometimes,” he continued, “I have the habit of being the corner guy, digging out pucks and passing to the point. Sometimes I’m not getting to the net. So when I don’t have the puck and someone else does, I’m just focusing on getting to that blue paint, and hopefully pucks get there.”

RELATED: Caps 'reward' Boyd for hard work, improvement

Which is exactly how he helped the Caps rally to salvage a standings point against the Red Wings on Saturday afternoon. With five minutes remaining at The Joe and the visitors trailing by a goal, T.J. Oshie carried the puck into the offensive zone as Winnik made a beeline to the net. Petr Mrazek stopped Oshie’s shot, but Winnik outmuscled defenseman Brendan Smith and used his stick to bat the rebound out of midair and into the net to knot the game 2-2.

The goal was Winnik’s eighth of the season but his first away from Verizon Center. It was also his second strike in two games. Against the Ducks, Winnik scored his second shorthanded goal of the season thanks to a great individual effort that began in the Caps’ end. That also goal ended a 17-game drought for Winnik.

Earlier in Anaheim game, Winnik also had a highlight reel setup pass that left Tom Wilson with a layup.  

Coach Barry Trotz said he’s not surprised by Winnik’s recent offensive outburst. Trotz said he implored him to think more about producing more points.

“Winnie has a pretty good skill set,” Trotz said. “We’re using him in a defensive role. But the one thing that I told him…I trust you defensively and I think you can be a real reliable player in this year. But there’s more, you can bring some offense. He can keep people off the board and then get those important goals at important times because a lot of time he’s out against offensive lines that don’t think [defense first].”  

Although Winnik’s game is on the rise as the season enters the stretch run, this hasn’t been any smoothest campaign for the 10th-year veteran. From opening night until late December, he found himself scratched 10 times as Trotz searched for the right line combinations.

Winnik said he got through that difficult phase with the help of a sports psychologist that he began seeing over the summer and has continued to consult in-season.

“It was hard,” Winnik said of being scratched. “To be honest, if it weren’t for me seeing a sports psychiatrist this summer in San Francisco, I wouldn’t have been able to handle it so well. I give Dr. [Michael] Tompkins a lot of credit for how I handled the situation.”

With 24 games remaining and his role now well-defined, it’s possible Winnik will top his previous career-high of 11 goals in addition to being the Caps' second most important forward on the penalty kill. But as a veteran on a team with championship aspirations, he says he's focused on making sure the group is playing the right way down the stretch.

“I hope we’re not just looking at it as, ‘Hey let’s just get through these last 24 games,’” said Winnik, who turns 32 next month. “That’s what it was like last year when I got here [via trade]. There was such a big cushion that there weren’t many meaningful games. This year, it’s a lot tighter and more teams are in the playoff race, so we’re going have harder games to play in. Hopefully that—and learning from last year—will helps us.”

MORE HOCKEY: Brooks Laich placed on waivers after saying he wants to play for contender

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Game 59: Capitals at Flyers game time, how to watch, open thread

Game 59: Capitals at Flyers game time, how to watch, open thread

The Capitals lost both of games in their return from the bye week, but looked like they were starting to get back on track. They will look to get back into the win column on Wednesday against the Philadelphia Flyers.

Here is everything you need to know:

What: Washington Capitals vs. Philadelphia Flyers

Where: Wells Fargo Center, Philadelphia, Pa.

When: Wednesday, 8:00 p.m. ET.

How to Watch: Capitals at Flyers will be broadcast on NBCSN and available to live stream via NBC Sports.

When is the Capitals-Flyers game?

The Capitals (39-12-7) play the Philadelphia Flyers (28-24-7) Wednesday at 8:00 p.m.

What channel is the Capitals-Flyers game on?

The Capitals-Flyers game is broadcast on NBCSN. Caps GameTime will be on CSN at 7 p.m. to preview the game. For postgame coverage, tune in to CSN for Caps Extra following the game. (CSN channel Finder)

Where can I stream the Capitals-Flyers game?

The Capitals-Flyers game is available to stream live here on the NBC Sports app. The pre and postgame shows will be broadcast on CSN and available through CSN's live stream page.

What are the lines for the Capitals-Flyers game?

Based Tuesday's practice, here are the projected lines:

Forwards
Alex Ovechkin - Nicklas Backstrom - T.J. Oshie
Marcus Johansson - Evgeny Kuznetsov - Justin Williams
Brett Connolly - Lars Eller - Zach Sanford
Daniel Winnik - Jay Beagle - Tom Wilson

Defense
Karl Alzner - John Carlson
Dmitry Orlov - Matt Niskanen
Brooks Orpik - Nate Schmidt

Goalies
Braden Holtby starts with Philipp Grubauer as backup

Scratches
Travis Boyd, Taylor Chorney

Capitals-Flyers Open Thread

Use the comment section below to discuss the game action with other Capitals fans. 

For all the latest Caps coverage, follow Capitals Insider Tarik El-Bashir, Capitals Digital Producer JJ Regan and the CSN Capitals account on Twitter. Be sure check out our Capitals page and CSN's Facebook page.

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