It’s been two months since the lockout officially started and the end doesn’t appear to be anywhere in sight. Neither the NHL or NHLPA is making an attempt to contact the other side to try and rally any type of meeting that could somehow relinquish a breakthrough in the negotiations and lead towards a new CBA.
Up to this point there has been steady communication either by phone, lunch meetings or down right hard core negotiations with all the appropriate personnel involved. Now, neither side isn’t even picking up the phone to check in on their counterpart and any optimism that a deal might possibly be in the works is all but dead. The next thing to officially be written off is the entire regular season schedule.
After the two sides met for four straight days last week and then again on Sunday, there was a glimmer of hope that progress was being made. Even after both parties emerged last Friday showing clear signs of frustration, they still agreed to get back to the bargaining table on Sunday to try and get any sort of traction in gear. It was thought that both the NHL and NHLPA realized that a deal needs to be done quickly so that a shortened, but moderate schedule could still be played, but alas those too fell apart.
Then the Hockey Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony was held Monday night and there was chatter that both sides could possibly meet in Toronto at the start of this week, given Gary Bettman and his posse were going to be on hand to honor Joe Sakic, Pavel Bure, Mats Sundin and Adam Oates. But again we were extremely disappointed to learn that no talks had taken place and further distance appeared evident between playing again and the lockout dragging on.
The date of December 1 has been the next logical time frame as to when the regular season could start, which would still provide teams with a 64 game schedule along with a full slate of playoffs, for those fortunate enough to make the dance. In order to have game action by the beginning of the Christmas month it is figured that a new deal would need to be in place by early next week, leaving mere days for the two sides to come to an agreement. That is looking rather bleak with the latest news that the two sides aren’t even talking.
It’s not clear if or when the next round of talks may take place as a holding pattern has settled in which can only bring bad news. It’s going to take one side to step up and grab some testicular fortitude, make some bigger concessions than what they had planned on for the benefit of the game and get the ball rolling towards a new deal.
Otherwise we’ll be left wondering when we might ever see the NHL again.
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