Lockout Talks to Resume But Distance Remains

With the NHL lockout well into it’s 57th day, every passing day threatens the possibility of the regular season starting by December 1.  That is the day that has been pegged as the day that would see the league get in 64 regular season games, but with no new CBA in place and the two sides still a great deal apart, December is closing in fast and optimism is slowly fading.

But the two sides have agreed to talk on Sunday after taking Saturday off that followed four consecutive days of negotiations.  Both sides emerged late Friday afternoon and both were aggravated and frustrated with the lack of progress towards a new deal.  At least they’re talking though right?

Absolutely right.  As Bob McKenzie from TSN writes, the fact that the two sides are willing to quickly get over the angry feelings towards the other party may just prove that both the NHL and the NHLPA realize that getting a deal is far more important than losing yet another season.

McKenzie points out that when talks broke off Friday, given the high levels of dissatisfaction and frustration, that would have been the perfect time for either side to say “that’s it, we’re done” and surely the season would not only be in jeopardy, but likely lost.

The TSN’s hockey insider (McKenzie) also tries to make light of the confusing reaction to the four days of negotiations where the NHLPA feels they are close to a structure for a deal, yet the league disagreed as they feel they are no where close.

When we hear contrasting reports like that it’s hard to know what to believe.  But this much we do know; both the owners and players union will continue to meet, negotiate and attempt to come up with any sort of traction that they can build on towards agreeing on new CBA.  Without the meetings the outlook would be bleak, but at least we have something where we can await the results, even if it means another day of talks.  Let’s get this thing done and meeting on Sunday is a good start.

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