NHL And NHLPA Potentially Close To A New CBA; Player Contracts The Latest Hiccup

NHLPA executive director Don Fehr (center). Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-US PRESSWIRE

Today is the 57th day of the current NHL lockout and the NHL and NHLPA have had very positive discussions for the past week or so, leading many to believe a new collective bargaining agreement is within reach.

Then this past Sunday happened. Both sides came together for another meeting and it didn’t last long at all apparently. That lead Yahoo’s Greg Wyshynski to write, “The latest round of CBA talks ended on Sunday with the expected doom, gloom, posturing and posing by the players and owners”. Wyshynski went on to quote NHLPA head Donald Fehr as saying, “The owners have made it clear that there is no give with respect to any of their proposals,” and NHL second-in-command Bill Daly saying, “They are not issues that can be traded off. They are all important issues to us. That doesn’t mean you can’t talk about them and shake them. There is flexibility around the issues we need to achieve but they are not issues that we can walk away from” (and the PR battle is back in full swing).

So, while progress has been made, the NHL and NHLPA can both apparently agree that they remain far apart on some key issue(s).

NHL commissioner Gary Bettman speaks during a press conference. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-US PRESSWIRE

That brings us to the NYTimes.com article today that said, “But the two sides have made far more progress toward ending the lockout than is widely believed, according to a member of the union delegation who has attended the talks. ‘We’re basically there’ in several areas, according to the union delegate, who was granted anonymity because he was not authorized to comment publicly.”

So, we have “doom and gloom” on one hand and “we’re basically there” in another. In my life I’ve found the truth is usually somewhere in the middle. Leads me to believe that yes, progress has been made but there is still plenty of work to be done.

The NHL lockout continues for now, the PR battle wages on between the NHL and NHLPA and all the while the game of hockey and its fans live on around the world, without the NHL.

Topics: Bill Daly, Donald Fehr, NHL, NHLPA

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