By Ken Peacock
The NHL and NHLPA are all set to resume talks today in Toronto. It is rumored that the NHLPA will present their counter offer to proposal presented by the NHL earlier this week. If an agreement is reached soon there is hope that the entire season can be saved.
The lockout was in a stalemate for a little over a month with both sides posturing, but not willing to sit down and deal with the CBA issue. The NHL finally made a move earlier this week and presented a new proposal to the NHLPA. The high points of the new proposal called for a 50 – 50 split of the Hockey Related Revenues (HRR) between the owners and players, a deferred salary plan for the players to ensure the integrity of their current contracts. There is also a plan to get the season up and running in its entirety by November 2. Now the ball is in Dondald Fehr and the NHLPA’s court. Over the last few days they have been reviewing the proposal and carefully drafting their response. Today they get their opportunity to present their counter offer.
The media around the lockout has been busy lately putting their spin on the new proposal. Early stories had fans thinking that this was a done, no brainer type of deal. The NHL has done it’s best to try to gain the popularity of the fans and bring them over to the owners side of the conflict. For those that are a bit more familiar with labor disputes know that this is far from a done deal. There are going to be some sticking points and some more bargaining to be done before anything is signed, sealed, and delivered. “In terms of the fine print there’s still a lot of things that need to be tweaked,” said Karl Alzner of the Washington Capitals.
So what do we have to look forward to? I would hope that both sides take a good hard look at what is going on in the hockey world today. The players have already missed a payday, and the owners have lost a weeks worth of revenue. They players are wanting to get back on the ice and have already shown that if they can’t skate here then Europe and the KHL are viable alternatives for the veterans and the AHL for the prospects. If this means that they need to burn the midnight oil to get things done, then get it done. Let’s get NHL hockey back up on its feet and skating again.