If there was ever any doubt about the owners willingness to reach middle ground and agree to a new CBA, that has now been flushed down the toilet. According to Kevin McGran, reporter for thestar.com, the NHL owners turned down a request from the players union to get together on Wednesday and attempt to negotiate a new CBA.
Donald Fehr had this to say about the request:
“We informed the NHL we are willing to meet (Wednesday) or any other date, without preconditions, to try to reach an agreement,” the union said in a statement. “We hope to hear from them soon.”
The league answered briefly and swiftly by replying with a simple “no.” The reason, according to Bill Daly, the NHL deputy commissioner is simply because the owners won’t budge off of their proposal from last week and they expect the players to negotiate from that offer.
This doesn’t sound like the owners care about saving the season and would rather humiliate the players union in the process. Little do they know, the league and the owners are the ones who look foolish based on their demoralizing behavior.
Here we have the NHLPA at least asking to meet and try and work out a new deal and the owners are saying, “unless you’re willing to take our offer and start negotiating from there, we’re not interested.” Talk about a bunch of pompous, ego maniacs who don’t care about the game, the fans or the reputation of the league. Rather, the owners care about money and they clearly don’t care how long this lockout lasts, as long as they get their way.
This is difficult to stomach given the slight glimmer of optimism that prevailed from last week’s offers and counter proposals. It now appears as though a complete 82-game schedule won’t happen given Gary Bettman had pegged this Thursday as the drop dead date to make that happen with the season starting November 2.
The only hope we have left is that this is a cruel strategic move by the league in an attempt to make the players panic and surrender to the league’s demands. Time will tell.
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