Perhaps it was the inevitable decision that Gary Bettman had to make when he cancelled the Winter Classic last week and now he and the owners realize there is much more to lose than just an outdoor game with no new CBA in place. Or maybe it is the players who are starting to panic, feeling the financial pinch of lost paychecks to date and they realize they could be without many more future paychecks without a new deal worked out.
Either way, the NHL and NHLPA have agreed to meet on Tuesday in New York in what is sure to be an intense round of negotiations. The scheduled talks come two days after Bill Daly and Steve Fehr met on Saturday at an undisclosed location where they continued to discuss the biggest hurdles that continue to hold the two sides at bay, but managed to make progress according to TSN.ca:
“We had a series of meetings over the course of the day and had a good, frank discussion on the most important issues separating us,” Daly said.
The two sides have not met to formally try and negotiate a new deal since October 18 when the league was presented with three counter proposals by the player’s union, only to shoot them all down in ten minutes. The largest stumbling block is reportedly over the hockey generated revenue sharing with the owners wanting a 50-50 split. The player’s were said to agree to that concession providing the owners did not roll back previously committed contracts.
Recently the owners revised their “make whole” provision and while it’s not yet known if the players are warming up to this, it is said to be perceived as a major concession on the owners behalf.
Here we sit again with the potential for progress and with many fans still holding out hope that the season can be saved, albeit a shortened schedule, there is still that lingering sliver of doubt that reminds us not to get our hopes up too much. We’ve been burnt before and this could be another false hope moment that crushes the fan’s dreams of watching NHL hockey this year.
We will keep you updated right here at Gone Puck Wild throughout the day as reports break on the talks.
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