NHL "Still Work to be Done"
The word of the day is progress. We’ve heard this before but this time it feels a little different. After meeting for several hours on Tuesday both sides exited yesterday’s session tired but cautiously optimistic.
Following the meeting twitter was filled with excitement as hockey media and fans celebrated the fact neither side was looking to cross-check the other in the chin. While some positive steps were taken NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly was quick to turn down the volume in an email he wrote late last night.
“Progress was made, still a long way to go.”
In other words there’s still work to be done.
The NHLPA was represented by several players including Blues forward Andy McDonald whose involvement in the CBA talks has picked up over the last two months. His response after the meeting last night echoed Daly’s.
“Progress but slow, hopefully we can keep the momentum,” said McDonald in a text.
McDonald went on to say he felt Tuesday was a good day but again a deal isn’t imminent. Could things change today after a highly anticipated Board of Governors meeting? Certainly could but both sides still have questions they need answered before anyone signs off on a new agreement.
Owners Make statement…
The NHL’s goal heading into to Tuesday was to help the players truly understand a correction in the system is needed. Players will and can accept this. What they won’t accept is a deal being shoved down their throat at $3.3 Billion. I’ve heard enough about $3.3 Billion, the bottom line more teams are bleeding than aren’t and the NHL has done a horrendous job of communicating this in a proper manner. When all you hear is $3.3 billion it’s becomes difficult to trust what the owners are trying to convey.
There’s a lot that comes into owning an NHL club that people hardly think about. Besides player costs there’s team costs, travel, employees, health care etc…
Again as I’ve said over and over, even with a 50/50 split everyone will continue to be filthy rich. Except for the fans but it’s clear they haven’t been considered throughout this entire lockout.
The NHL’s inability to be transparent in explaining why or how the system is broken has been one of the biggest downfalls throughout this mess. Players hearing it directly from the owners can only help. When you brag about record growth and rub $3.3 billion in the face of the players and fans, it’s hard to believe where the owners are coming from. The NHL has done a bad job from a PR standpoint and there’s plenty of repair needed over the next few years.
I think after this is over even some players will agree the market needs fixing. Then again the pressure is on the owners to control themselves, not to be hypocritical, and prevent us from heading down this path once again.
Before a deal is done the NHL is going to have to make some concessions. As I said in my last story I’m lead to believe the NHLPA will cave on the Make Whole money as long as the owners give in on some of the contract rights and proposed pension. This would allow the players to hang their hat on what they got and feel like it was worth sitting out while the owners save a ton of cash and come out looking like the hero.
Game, set, match.
When should Season Start?
If the NHL was smart they would roll out the season either on December 26th or January 1st. People are traditionally in a good mood around the holidays and there would be a sense of excitement knowing the NHL was returning on a day most people are home from work. Launching the season on a random day in January wouldn’t provide the same impact or punch. This is the time of year college kids are home and kids are off school which would serve as perfect opportunity to fill NHL buildings.
Gary and Don Not Involved?
Let’s not be naïve and think just because Gary Bettman and Donald Fehr didn’t participate in yesterday’s meeting that they weren’t heavily involved. Of course they were.
Listen I love Sidney Crosby the hockey player and have as much respect for him as any player in the game. But to think he’s responsible for getting both sides to speak the same language is a little much. Let the credit be fair. This is about reasonable owners standing up against hardliners and reasonable players standing up against hard-line owners. I don’t think Crosby intimidated the owners with his savvy business training or negotiation skills. He deserves credit just like every player for being involved and trying to get a deal done. None of these players should be overlooked.
Brian Elliott joins me tonight for Blues Buzz live from Johnny Macs on Watson Rd. the show starts at 6:00 and can be heard on am 590 the Fan.
In addition to Ty Rattie and Jordon Binnington both making strong cases to make Canda’s World Junior team, the Blues will be well represented elsewhere.
Dimitrij Jaskin will make the Czech club for the second straight year….This kid is on fire with Moncton in the QMJHL putting up ridiculous offensive numbers with 22 goals and 47 points in 29 games.
2012 6th round pick Petteri Lindbohm will make Finland’s roster as will Sweden’s goaltender Niklas Lundstrom who was taken in the 5th round back in 2011.
The 2011 draft is shaping up very nicely especially when you consider the Blues didn’t have a first round pick. Ty Rattie was the first player the Blues selected in 2011 and is as natural as any offensive player taken in the draft.
Jaskin, Joel Edmundson, Binnington, Lundstrom, Ryan Tesink, Yannick Veilleux, and Finland’s Teemu Eronen round out the class.
More to come,
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