The NHL and NHLPA met tonight in New York (at the NHLPA's request) and what came out of it? The NHL wants the union to put together all of its proposals into one complete written offer.
"It's our position that we've made a couple comprehensive proposals in a row," Bill Daly said tonight. "We'd like to know where they are on all of the issues. We asked them to think about putting together a comprehensive proposal for us to consider. ...
"We've never heard a full proposal from them."
Donald Fehr said the union would take this request into consideration, and that a meeting on Tuesday was more likely than unlikely.
A source close to the negotiations says there now seems to be a sense of urgency coming from the players and indications are the NHLPA is preparing a series of "give and take" proposals. If the NHLPA's series of proposals materializes and addresses some concerns, talks on contract issues will pick up.
Behind the scenes, there seems to be a seismic shift going on among the NHL's Board of Governors, also known as the group that Bettman answers to collectively.
And Flyers chairman Ed Snider may be the big mover-and-shaker behind it all.
Multiple sources confirmed to the Daily News on Friday that Snider, once seen as a supporter of the Bettman's push to rein in the players' share of revenue, has soured on the process after it became apparent that a deal would not be brokered in time for a Dec. 1 puck drop.
Put simply: Snider and the rest of the NHL's owners were promised a big win by Bettman, with player concessions on revenue division and contracting rights. The best they'll get now is a small win in revenue split - coupled with a demoralized fan base and all-important corporate sponsors that are ready to quit.
A source familiar with Snider's thinking characterized it as: "If this is the deal we are going to get, what's the point of dragging this out?"
If there is truth to that then we can be a tad more optimistic. Gary Bettman of course dismissed it as rubbish.
Of less importance, the players continue to voice their frustrations to the media with Ian White calling Bettman an "idiot", and Kris Versteeg insinuating that Bill Daly and Gary Bettman are cancers that need to be removed. The players can run their mouths all they want to. It matters not. This is why I like Bettman's gag order with the owners and such.
On To More Important News
Jim Vandermeer wants to be a Canuck., according to the Province. The 6'1", 214 pound defenceman from Caroline Alberta has played for 6 different NHL teams over 9 NHL seasons. He is a tough guy who loves to drop the gloves. More of a gritty stay at home defenceman. Much like Aaron Rome. Just not as good.
"I like to think I can play all aspects of the game. I can be a little offensive and be good defensively and stand up for the guys.
I try to make it harder on the other team’s top-end guys and whoever needs a guy like that, I’ll be ready."
Here's Vandermeer dropping the gloves with Derek Boogaard:
That took stones, Jimmy boy.
Here's Vandermeer going the distance with Cam Janssen:
Do the Canucks need this type of player? In some sense, yes. More grit is good. A guy willing to defend his teammates is always a good thing. But there is a reason he has been moved so often and why he was not claimed as a free agent this past summer.