It could be a sliver of hope or another false promise, but Bill Daly, NHL deputy commissioner told the Canadian Press that he expects negotiations around a new collective bargaining agreement to resume in the “relatively near future” according to TSN.ca.
For the eternal optimist this is again good news considering the two sides have been dormant since October 18 when the league rejected three counter-offers from the players. This is also an opportunity for fans to get their hopes that maybe, just maybe a deal will be reached sooner than later and we can salvage a NHL season.
To play devil’s advocate here, what does “relatively near future” exactly mean? That could be next week, that could be the end of November, that could be Christmas for argument’s sake.
This could be taken as another publicity stunt by the league and the owners to make it sound as though they’re willing and trying to at least make an attempt, further trying to throw dirt on the NHLPA. Let’s hope when the two sides do meet again that it lasts longer than an hour and that the league considers the player’s proposals for more than ten minutes.
While it’s easy to be optimistic with this news, it is worth noting that Donald Fehr recently addressed the players stating that the owners will not meet unless they set the agenda. Not exactly Negotiating 101 on the owners part, but maybe the players are starting to panic and want a deal done, albeit you don’t concede to a bad agreement because of it; something Fehr told the press when discussing his letter to the players.
The earliest the season would start would be December 1 given the league has cancelled all of the November games that were on the slate. We’ll keep you updated as these events happen.
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