Any amount of optimism that today brought as the day that either side would come back to the bargaining table and salvage a last minute deal to hammer out a new CBA so we could save all 82 games, well that’s now gone. Neither the NHL side nor the player’s side appear willing to even attempt to schedule a meeting and pick up negotiations, putting the latest lockout in a holding pattern. And it’s a holding pattern that could last a while.
It has now become a war of words with both sides slinging mud as fast and as much as they can in hopes of hitting the other party square in the face. For instance, Bill Daly, the NHL deputy commissioner took the opportunity to place blame squarely on the shoulders of the players, courtesy of TSN.ca.
“They have made it clear to us that they have very little interest in the proposal we made last Tuesday,” said Daly. “They also told us they have no intention of making a new proposal. I’m not sure what we would be meeting about.”
Sounds to me like the owners are playing by their own set of rules and if the players can’t buy into them, then there won’t be any hockey. Not exactly a compassionate bunch of owners when you consider the players counter offered three different proposals only to have them all shot down from the league in a matter of minutes.
When asked if this holding pattern could lead to a “deep freeze” meaning no negotiations for the foreseeable future, it sounds like our precious NHL is slowly being destroyed.
“I suspect so,” he said. “Back to the drawing board. Unfortunate.”
It’s hard not to blame the owners in this situation. The ball is essentially in their court given the players played the last hand and it’s now up to the league to counter offer to that. But they won’t and in fact they want nothing to do with what the players have in mind when it comes to honoring the previous contracts. The owners are trying to bully their way into a new CBA and the result of all this bully type antics? The NHL season will be ruined and it looks like it could be the owners fault.
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