So after yesterday’s great news that collective bargaining agreement talks have broken down between the NHL and NHLPA, we got hit with another right hook to the gut last night.
Apparently now the NHL thinks the best course of action would be for the two sides, the NHL and NHLPA, to take a break from talks and meetings for roughly two weeks. Yes, I typed that correctly and you read it correctly. The NHL wants to take a two week break from CBA talks and thinks it will help negotiations.
According to Jesse Spector of the Sporting News, “As deputy commissioner Bill Daly confirmed to The Associated Press on Thursday night, his boss, Gary Bettman, proposed two-week moratorium on labor negotiations to the NHLPA, a move clearly designed to get negotiations on track by, uh, ummm…OK, it doesn’t make any sense.”
I’d have to agree with Jesse on this one, a two week break doesn’t make sense. How can you negotiate and get a deal done if no one is talking? But alas, we are powerless as usual when it comes to the horrible handling of this current NHL lockout that should’ve probably never happened.
Spector was also kind enough to transcribe Bill Daly’s NHLPA counterpart, NHLPA special counselor Steve Fehr’s “retort” for Daly, “Of course everyone on the players’ side wants to reach an agreement. The players have offered the owners concessions worth about a billion dollars (off the last collective bargaining agreement). What exactly have the owners offered the players? We believe that it is more likely that we will make progress if we meet than if we don’t. So we are ready to meet. If indeed they do not want to meet, it will be at least the third time in the last three months that they have shut down the dialogue, saying they will not meet unless the players meet their preconditions. What does that tell you about their interest in resolving this?”.
As Spector himself states, this is the ultimate posturing by the NHLPA and they’re allowed to do it because the NHL teed it up for them. “That’s a posturing home run from Fehr, and a pretty effortless one thanks to the NHL’s hanging slider over the middle of the plate,” writes Spector, “at this point, the union is well aware (as the NHL should have been) that the only people who care about the contents of a new CBA are the owners and players themselves. Everyone else just wants hockey, and that’s not happening without negotiations.”
There you have it folks. The NHL is out of commission and out of ideas as well as new proposals. It’s their way or the highway now (as its obviously always been and the NHLPA hasn’t bent much either). People, business owners and players around North America and the world are losing money and some are without jobs or losing their businesses. And instead of negotiating and figuring this thing out with a dash of compromise, the NHL feels it would be best to take a two week break. Unbelievable if it wasn’t the NHL we were talking about who could clearly careless about their public appearance or support at this time.
This useless lockout is now not good for anyone and I’d say neither side has the chance of coming out looking like a “winner”. At this point its get a deal done or cancel the whole season. I’m tired of having my time wasted by greedy, stubborn people.