One Step Up, Two Steps Back

After two days of what appeared to be heightened optimism that included pizza being brought into the meetings by Steve Fehr, many felt that the NHL lockout was finally coming to an end.  However faster than a Patrick Sharp one timer, the tailspin that developed on Thursday changed all that.  Possibly for a very long time.  The glow, the optimism, and the hope that games would begin as early as Christmas day were all shot down yesterday evening.  By voicemail.  Hah! Modern technology.  What a glorious world we live in where we can avoid confrontation by leaving a voicemail with a decision.  Although it’s 2012, the memo could also have been delivered via text message.

This relationship between the NHL and the NHLPA is getting more sour by the minute, and it seems as though the two sides are behaving like immature high schoolers.  Yesterday’s response which came from Bill Daly stated that the PA’s offer was unacceptable, could have, and should have been delivered in person.  The situation, which is partly laughable, and partly embarrassing, reminds me of when I was a 20 year goofball and I broke up with my girlfriend over the phone! For some reason I thought that it would be easier doing it that way than face to face.  I was wrong for taking the path of least resistance, and after the fact I knew it.  But I was a kid who really didn’t know better.  In the current situation we’re talking about adults.  Professionals who have a signifcant amount of experience in negotiations. 

While both sides still share blame in this, Michael Grange referred to Gary Bettman yesterday as the “bad boyfriend” of the NHLPA.  Snicker.  Bettman however is not the only villan here, as it was noted that NHLPA rep Donald Fehr had made remarks that “we’re close to a deal”, which apparently they weren’t.  And told his players to” hold out for more”.  This has turned into a mess of epic proportions and it wouldn’t surprise me in the least if more games are cancelled today (by the time this story posts they may already have). [Read more...]

Gary Bettman’s Transcript With The Media Following Today’s Proposal

As we all know, the NHL made a proposal to the players association Tuesday which appears to be a very positive step in the right direction in getting the lockout settled.  There are number of items that still must be worked out, but the expectations are that both sides will begin talking, and everyone is hoping a settlement is reached soon.

The largest part of the offer by the league is the concession to have the revenue sharing split 50/50.  This has been the main point of discussion that has kept the two sides apart.  There are other issues that need to be ironed out, but for the first time in a few weeks, there is an air of positivity that the lockout could be ending soon.  After the jump is the transcript of Gary Bettman’s media discussion after the Tuesday’s meeting [Read more...]

NHL Cancels First Set Of Games

The inevitable has begun.  This afternoon the NHL announced that a total of 82 games have been cancelled from opening night through October 24th.  Your plans for seeing the Florida Panthers raise their first ever championship banner have been put on hold.  The announcement shouldn’t have come as a shock, however I question the date that was chosen.  Maybe I should be impressed that the 82 games actually symbolizes that an entire season could be cancelled.

Here’s a statement from NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly:

“We were extremely disappointed to have to make today’s announcement.
The game deserves better, the fans deserve better and the people who derive
income from their connection to the NHL deserve better.

“We remain committed to doing everything in our power to forge an
agreement that is fair to the players, fair to the teams and good for our
fans.

“This is not about ‘winning’ or ‘losing’ a negotiation. This is about
finding a solution that preserves the long-term health and stability of the
League and the game.

“We are committed to getting this done.”

Yes, Bill I’m sure you are.  (Insert sarcasm).

[Read more...]

REDlines: No Progress! None Of This Makes Any Sense.

The NHL and NHLPA met today without anything positive indicating that a settlement to the lockout was even remotely close.  Rather than me write about it, you can read about it, as well as some other off the wall happenings of the day.  Here’s your Redlines for Tuesday night:

* Talks broke off quickly and none are scheduled.  Oh, and the league lost $100 million by cancelling the pre season.  TSN.ca.

* Bill Daly says the two sides are communicating but can’t agree on what the CBA should look like. USAToday.

* CBC Sports looks at this (not so) great debate.

[Read more...]

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