The More Things Change….

With federal mediators presiding over CBA talks for a second straight day yesterday, progress had to have been made…right?…

The three main issues are "make whole," free agency and arbitration rights.

…i'm sorry folks, unless Bettman and Fehr have the greatest poker faces of all time this ain't happening.

Meanwhile, one person who has been watching these negotiations intensely is Michael Del Zotto's agent says Craig Custance at

"The coming transition rules debate between the league and NHLPA may impact the Del Zotto negotiations more than any of the five big RFAs. According to, the Rangers are at $59 million in cap payroll, which gives them plenty of cap space if there's a temporary $70 million salary cap coming out of the lockout.

But the league has been resistant to the idea of amnesty buyouts and is fighting to count large AHL salaries against the cap, which means the Rangers will have to do something with Wade Redden who still has two more seasons that come with a cap hit of $6.5 million. After this season, both Derek Stepan and Ryan McDonagh are restricted free agents, and the team can start talking to goalie Henrik Lundqvist about a contract extension on July 1. If the cap drops to $60 million next season, things get tight in New York."

…how is this Redden contract still killing the Rangers? Easily the worst contract in professional sports history.

…for all the crap I give Del Zotto on the blog, I do hope the Rangers can get a deal done with him. The skill is there and I'd hate to see the Rangers give-up on a player who could potentially be their power play point man for the next decade.

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