Different Approach Sparks New Optimism

NHL commissioner Gary Bettman speaks to reporters after an NHL Board of Governors meeting, Wednesday, Dec. 5, 2012 in New York.
(Mary Altaffer /AP)

The hockey world has exploded between Tuesday night (12/4) and today (12/5) after a players and owners only conference yesterday. There was a little wrinkle placed in the meetings that took place yesterday in New York; neither Gary Bettman nor Donald Fehr took place in these meetings.  The meetings lasted 8 hours in total, ending around midnight this morning. Of course, there was much anticipation throughout the evening and into the night, as fans awaited the results of the meetings. Six owners and eighteen players participated in the meetings. Jeff Vinik and Martin St. Louis represented the Lightning on their respective sides of the meetings.

So now today, the players and owners are meeting once again. Fehr and Bettman are both still absent from the main meetings, so the format has stayed roughly the same. As I am typing, the owners and players are speaking to each other. The vibe surrounding the current situation is suddenly highly optimistic; it is safe to say that the word of the day is optimistic. Steve Fehr last night after the meetings, had this to say:

In some ways I’d say it might be the best day we’ve had, which isn’t to paint too overly optimistic of a picture. There’s still a lot of work to do and a lot to be done.- Steve Fehr

Gary Bettman addressed the media today, but did not have much to say. With negotiations suddenly up and running again, Bettman wanted to avoid a high amount of speaking in front of media. And avoid it he did.

We are pleased with the process that is ongoing and out of respect for the process, I’m not going to take any questions – Gary Bettman.

In under 30 seconds, Bettman’s media address was done and over with. With the lack of information being given to outsiders, and the little information that is retrieved being negative, the change from negative to positive within the last 24 hours is shocking to the hockey world, and has created an explosion of optimism throughout the media. However, we all must know that there is not a deal in place. There are rumors spurting throughout Twitter that players overseas have been contacted to be prepared to return to respective teams, and that a deal could be done this week. Obviously, I hope that this is true. But we must not get too far ahead of ourselves. Something this complicated is not an instant fix. Hopefully this all does not turn into false hope. If that is the case, we may see hockey as early as later this month.

Additional Information: The NHL board of governors met today as well, as they normally would. The outcome of that meeting was also highly positive. Just to reinforce the positivity surrounding the lockout suddenly, Larry Tanenbaum, minority owner of the Toronto Maple Leafs, was quoted when approached by a reporter with his baby daughter dressed in a Maple Leafs jersey (theglobeandmail.com):

Tell her to keep that jersey on and [we should] be back on the ice hopefully soon. – Larry Tanenbaum

Tanenbaum was one of the governors present in the NHL board of governors meeting. For a complete list of representatives from all 30 teams, click here. More additional information, as I type this: The NHLPA has made an offer to the owners.

Players Present

Sidney Crosby, Jonathan Toews, Jamal Mayers, Ryan Miller, Manny Malhotra, David Backes, George Parros, Brad Richards, Martin St. Louis B.J. Crombeen, Kevin Westgarth, Shane Doan, Craig Adams, Ron Hainsey, Shawn Horcoff, Michael Cammalleri, Daniel Winnik, Chris Campoli and Mathieu Darche.

List via TSN.com: BETTMAN MUM AS NHL LOOKS OVER LATEST NHLPA PROPOSAL

Owners Present

Boston’s Jeremy Jacobs, Pittsburgh’s Ron Burkle, Calgary’s Murray Edwards, Toronto’s Larry Tanenbaum, Winnipeg’s Mark Chipman, and Tampa’s Jeffrey Vinik.

List via thefourthperiod.com: OWNERS, PLAYERS MEET AGAIN

 

Follow me on Twitter for updates, as I will be regurgitating information as I see it: @Gabriel0430

Topics: Donald Fehr, Gary Bettman, Jeff Vinik, Lockout, Martin St Louis, NHL, NHL Lockout, NHLPA, Steve Fehr

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