As promised NHL commissioner Gary Bettman held a press conference on Wednesday afternoon. The press conference came on the heels of a select group of NHL owners and players meeting for two days straight, as well as the NHL Board of Governors convening today.
Bettman’s press conference was highly anticipated after the positive vibes coming out of the last two days of talks between the select group of owners and players. Especially after both sides expressed how encouraged they were by the talks and that for the first time in a long time there was some cautious optimism about the two sides agreeing on a new collective bargaining agreement.
When Gary Bettman finally stepped to the podium I believe some were half expecting him to announce that the two sides have reached a new CBA but alas thats not what he did. In fact he did the exact opposite. He didn’t say much of anything and if you ask me thats a good thing
“We are pleased with the process that is ongoing,” said Bettman at his press conference. “And out of respect for that process, I don’t have anything else to say, and I’m not going to take any questions and we’ll see you later.” Then just like that, the commissioner was gone.
If you are wondering why I think a brief press conference is a good thing then allow me to explain. In my brief existence on this earth I’ve come to find that when a negotiation is talked about less publicly it generally means that an actual negotiation is going on.
Its my opinion that when the NHL or NHLPA is feeding the press little nuggets it’s usually in an attempt to sway the public’s opinion in their favor while posturing. When they’re not talking about it to the media I feel it means things are close to getting done and they don’t want to ruin it or jinx it.
According to Yahoo’s Puck Daddy, Toronto Maple Leafs’ Larry Tanenbaum (one of the owners involved in the owners and players meetings) had this to say, “We’re going to continue to talk up until we get a deal. That’s all I’m going to say,”.
At the very least we can take solace in the fast that the two sides are still meeting and meeting frequently with another round of talks planned for this afternoon and possibly tonight. Lets keep our fingers crossed that they can keep this momentum going and end this completely unnecessary NHL lockout.