NHL Labor Talks Resume Today. Will Progress Be Made?

The NHL and the NHLPA are scheduled to resume labor discussions today, however the talks aren’t expected to touch on the items that are keeping the sides at bay.  Instead the two sides will discuss what the definition of hockey related revenue is.   HRR to you and me.  It was reported on Sportsnet.ca that there are no talks scheduled beyond Tuesday, once again giving the impression that there’s no sense of urgency to to get a deal completed by either side.

As the week progresses, we will certainly start coming dangerously close to seeing the cancellation of regular season games.  I personally would expect by the end of this week if not sooner we’ll see at least two weeks worth of games taken off the schedule.  While both sides have made some headway in discussing “secondary” issues, the major concerns still hang in the balance.  Frustration is mounting among fans, and certain players (Krys Barch) have begun voicing their opinions.  There’s even a We Love Hockey petition that’s been started.

I have read over the past few days that unless the players are willing to take a 15% pay cut, the league has no interest in discussion HRR.   I’ve also read the the two biggest drivers of that are Gary Bettman and Boston Bruins owner Jeremy Jacobs.  The hardball stance that is taken by the league seems to be agitating the players, as they’ve offered to have serious discussions, yet the league has apparently avoided them. 

Without a settlement soon, players will begin losing money.  Except as this article shows, not all players will.  However the vast majority of NHLers will not be drawing paychecks and hopefully have some money stashed away to survive this. Maybe that’s what the league wants, and by taking such a hard stance, they feel as though they may get it.  The anger and sentiment towards Gary Bettman is growing in many circles, leaving many to understand why he’s treated so harshly in public appearances such as when awarding the Stanley Cup.

Former NHL great, Wayne Gretzky feels that hockey will be played by January 1, 2013.  For most of us, while that is better than having an entire season cancelled, it’s still three more months of no hockey.  I’m trying to remain optimistic through this, and as hard as that is I still don’t feel that an entire season will be lost, but tend to agree with “The Great One” that the season won’t be a complete washout, only shortened.

Knowing what’s on tap for today’s discussions doesn’t give most a positive feeling.  I speak for a multitude of hockey lovers when I say that a long day coupled with another day or three of scheduled meetings is about the only thing we would care to hear about.  We want to know that both sides do want to find resolution, and both sides have the best interests of the game at heart and are working diligently at a settlement.  Most people can’t fathom how an agreement can be reached under the current scheme. Nor can they understand why each side needs to sent the other an invitation to meet.

For me a January start is too late.  Games need to begin no later than Thanksgiving, if not sooner.  There’s too many teams that have a fan base on the fence.  Fans in these cities may have just started to enjoy this great sport, but haven’t fully committed. A lengthened lockout not only causes these teams the inability to keep those fans, but causes them to leave for good.

Thanks for reading.  We welcome your comments and opinions.

Follow the Rat Pack on Twitter: me @TheRatTrick , David Lasseter @davidlasseter , Josh Luecht@joshluecht, Patrick McLaughlin @PatrickRattrick, Scott Mullin @GreatScottsman, David Rodriguez @davidbub_2, Paige Lewis @RatTrickLewiz Gabby Kiger @gabbykiger, Adam Reid@AdamReid Chrissy Parente @chrissaay44, Justen Rosenberg @justenrosenberg, Kris Eberwein @RatTrickKris, and Lori Carpenter @lmcangel13. Also, please join our FaceBook Fan Page and hit the like button, send us photos, and tell us what’s on your mind.

About Frank Rekas

Founder and owner of Panther Parkway, I'm originally from Chicago, and moved to Florida in 1993. Yes a Blackhawks & Panthers fan. I'm the original writer for The Rat Trick, and I'm also a credentialed media member for the Florida Panthers. Follow me on Twitter at @TheRatTrick.

Posted on October 2, 2012, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a Comment.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,576 other followers