A lot of positivity came out of the players-owners meeting last night. That was indicative of how long they stayed in the same room without the sound of machine gun fire being heard. Today, the two sides are meeting again, sans Donald Fehr and Gary Bettman. Funny how more progress is made without those two present, hey?
Here are some quotes out there from today.
-Gary Bettman met with the media today after the Board of Governors meeting and only had this to say:
"We are pleased with the process that is ongoing and out of respect for the process, I'm not going to take any questions."
I am glad he is pleased.
"I appreciate the efforts of the players, in particular we had 18 players in there and six of our owners. I think everybody is working hard. I think everybody wants to get a deal done, so I think that's encouraging."
-Leafs owner Larry Tanenbaum gave the best quote:
"We're going to continue to talk up until we get a deal. That's all I'm going to say."
I hope he is right. This is also a guy that thinks the Leafs will win a Stanley Cup some day. I jest.
-From Chris Johnston at the Globe and Mail:
The NHL and NHL Players’ Association have cleared their schedules with progress being made in collective bargaining talks.
The sides were granted an adjournment to a hearing with the Quebec Labour Board in Montreal concerning the legality of locking out members of the Canadiens. That meeting, originally scheduled for Thursday, now will be pushed back beyond Friday.
That issue was less pressing with the league and union making a push to end the work stoppage in New York.
The sides were expected to return to the bargaining table after a Board of Governors meeting wrapped up early Wednesday afternoon. The league owners gathered as a group for the first time since authorizing the lockout in September.
The NHL and NHLPA were looking to build on the progress made Tuesday, which NHLPA special counsel Steve Fehr described as the best day yet in more than five months of talks. He stood alongside deputy commissioner Bill Daly and spoke briefly following more than eight hours of meetings that ended just before midnight.
Daly and NHLPA special counsel Steve Fehr surprised the waiting media when they stood side-by-side after Tuesday's meeting while making their statements to the media.
Do not read anything into that, folks.
-TSN's Mike Johnson explains why he thinks a deal is close on this TSN video.
-From The Globe And Mail:
Money has been the biggest issue the sides needed to bridge.
Even though both the league and union proposed a 50-50 split of revenues over the last month, they remain separated on payments to be made outside the system to help ease the transition from the previous deal, which saw players receive 57 per cent. The NHL has offered $211- million in deferred compensation while the union has asked for $393-million.
There are also a number of rules governing player contracts that must be worked out before a new CBA is signed.
I wonder what kind of progress they are making on the issues of contracts, arbitration, entry level, etc.
@TSNBobMcKenzie: Negotiations between NHL-NHLPA are at such sensitive stage NHL govs weren't even given specifics from yesterday's session at today's BofG.
@Real_ESPNLeBrun: There was talk in BOG of possible NHL schedule IF there's a deal. One team exec said 60 games likely too much but 50-plus possible...
Reason for optimism, NHL plans to relent on player contracting issues.Player contract length still remains important to the league.
Feeling optimistic? I am. But this process could blow up at any point still. So call me cautiously optimistic like the majority of other peeps out there.