September 12, 2012; New York, NY, USA; NHLPA executive director Don Fehr speaks during a press conference at the 2012 NHLPA summer player meetings at the Marriott Marquis. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-US PRESSWIRE

NHL & NHLPA Scheduled To Meet Today -Separately

It sounds like both sides of the board are finally getting serious on their proposals. But is it too little too late? There are only two days remaining until the old CBA expires. Bettman has said that if a new deal is not reached by the 15th then there will in fact be a lockout. Now all of the sudden both sides are scrambling to get things done. I just hope that they don’t end up making a last-minute deal that doesn’t hold it’s weight and will just result in a lockout in a couple of years. It’s now or never. If you’re going to do this thing, then do it right. If not, take the time to make it right. Just think beyond yourselves, and think about all of the ‘little people’ (like fans, workers, etc…) you’ll be screwing by not playing or allowing the season to be played.

Yesterday the NHL and the NHLPA had a meeting. No happy pen signing and unicorns signing as they came to an agreement and walked out holding hands signing ‘Lean On Me’. But there might possibly have been some progress made. The union offered their new proposal at the beginning of the meeting. However the owners shot it down. Gary Bettman said that it wasn’t much different than the one given on August 14th that had already been turned down, and he didn’t feel it would provide the framework for a new deal. He is saying that he wants to get this done by the 15th, unlike before when it sure sounded (to me, anyway, and a heck of a lot of other people) that he was dead set on a lockout.

“We decided that in the hopes of moving these negotiations along before the weekend that we would make yet another proposal, which we did,” Commissioner Bettman said. “It had meaningful movement in it and it was an attempt to engage the Union finally in trying to make a deal on economic main issues.

“We made clear in presenting the proposal that this proposal was intended to lead to a deal before the weekend, before the expiration of the current Collective Bargaining Agreement, and that if in fact a deal was not achievable what we had proposed would be off the table. We were quite clear on that.”

In return, the owners put a proposal out there that addressed issues and concerns that a good number of the hockey clubs have raised. (Did it also address the player’s issues?) One different thing about this proposal as opposed to the previous, is that it does not reflect a change in hockey-related revenue. They moved another $250 Million to $300 Million, in addition to the $460 Million in the previous proposal, in the player’s direction. Bettman said the proposal suggests a reduction in the players’ share that will be less than 10% for the first year, and would go down in following years.

The players HRR was 57% in 2011-2012. Bettman says that it would be higher than 46%, which was offered in the previous proposal. (I thought they said this one had no change in HRR.) If this proposal is not accepted by the 15th, by Saturday, in TWO DAYS, then the offer’s off of the table. (Limp Bizkit is signing in my head: “It’s my way! It’s my way or the highway…”)

An estimated 275 players are said to be in New York for the NHLPA  Executive Board and Negotiating Committee meetings that happened last night and are happening this morning. The NHL has scheduled a meeting for this morning as well. No formal talks are scheduled between the two as of yet. It’s also being reported that only a small block of hours are set aside for the NHL Board Of Executive meetings, but that they could talk longer if needed. (Duh…. ya think?)

NHLPA representative Donald Fehr said that he expects the two sides to meet today. Just because nothing official is scheduled, that doesn’t mean that Romeo can’t meet Juliet. They know that the date is upon them. They know the money that will be lost if they go to another lockout, and dollar signs seems to be motivating this whole thing.

“There’s enough time if people want to make a deal,” Bettman said, “and it takes two sides to make a deal.”

I still don’t care for Bettman. But he’s right. It takes two to tango. Come on people, WAKE UP. BOTH sides have to give a little here. Do this thing! You can make it work. I want to have to have my son miss Tae Kwon Do and the children to be up way too late on a school night because they scheduled home games on Tuesdays and Thursdays. I want to overpay for parking. I want to freeze my butt off watching the Lightning practice. I want my neighbors to think I’m crazy when I’m yelling at the TV during away games. I want to be able to keep this position with Bolts By The Bay because there is some Lightning news to report on daily. I WANT HOCKEY.

Those who have been reading my writing for a while have come to love it or hate it. I’m opinionated, and that stirs up some controversy. I don’t care if you like me. (Ok, so I really do care. Just don’t tell anyone.) Everyone is entitled to their own opinions, and I would love to hear your opinions. Stop by our Facebook page and leave a comment there, or comment on here. You can sound off too! Let Bolts By The Bay be your voice.

Dolly Dolce



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