Despite the NHL and NHLPA meeting for the fourth consecutive day in New York City on Friday, Donald Fehr still believes there is much work needed to be done before a deal can be reached. And he wasn’t afraid to tell the players that in a memo he sent them Thursday night after the day’s negotiations had concluded, courtesy of TSN.ca.
Fehr started the letter by explaining what issues had been discussed over the past three days and they included the union’s proposal for a new pension plan, revenue sharing, salary cap issues and of course the “make whole” provision that the owners had revised last week. He then mentioned the players the eleven players that were in attendance throughout the day and noticeably Sidney Crosby was absent. Crosby has been attending most negotiations up until now and to see his name absent from the list was surprising.
Fehr was then quick to point out that the league had offered a counter proposal to the revenue sharing, but followed it up with the statement that it still needs a considerable amount of work. He goes on to discuss the “make whole” proposal the union received, the one the league had been talking about for days and Fehr admits it’s a step forward but that a significant gap remains. This is not the good news we were all hoping for.
To make matters worse, Fehr explains to the players that the league is telling the union that more salaries need to be conceded, raising the eyebrows about how serious the owners are when they say they want to get a deal done.
Not to be the cloud to the silver lining that these four consecutive days of negotiations have brought to the fans, but it’s sounding like these two sides are still miles apart. In fact Fehr mentions that near the end of his letter:
“So, while we are meeting again, and while some steps are being taken, there is still a lot of work to be done and bridges to be crossed before an agreement can be made.”
The growing concern is that if the two sides cannot come to an agreement soon, the entire season will be lost yet again. As the meetings conclude and details emerge around the discussions that took place today, we’ll keep you posted right here at Gone Puck Wild.
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