It’s day eleven of the NHL lockout and although it feels like its been eleven months of no hockey, there could be that little ray of light at the end of the tunnel. The NHL owners and NHLPA will meet on Friday in New York to bargain for the first time since September 12 which is sure to bring much hope and positives from the hockey fan. Or is it just false hope?
According to the Associated Press, the two sides will discuss secondary issues that need to be resolved as part of the new CBA. Steve Fehr, the NHLPA’s special counsel, said the topics that will be discussed and negotiated will be pensions and medical plans, schedule rules, drug testing and the grievance procedure. Sounds like those are major items when it comes to any collective bargaining agreement but considering that the two sides are so far apart on the big rock, money, these details are pushed down a rung or two.
According to the AP, the NHL’s annual revenue is over $3.3 billion. The league appears willing to compensate some of it’s original demands as they first wanted to reduce the player’s share of hockey related revenue from 57 percent all the way down to 43 percent. They have changed that number to a range between 49 and 47 percent.
After reading this it does sound promising that the two sides are trying to save the season. It’s been wide spread speculation that a 50/50 split is what both sides should settle on and seeing that the league is willing to go to 49 percent is a step in the right direction.
Also, consider that the last lockout that took place only eight short years ago and that both sides did not officially meet to bargain until three months into the stoppage, thirteen days isn’t so bad. In fact you could say it’s promising and not false hope.