There has been a notable absence as the Buffalo Sabres players and prospects begin to gather in Western New York preparing for the 2012-2012 NHL season, and that is defense man Robyn Regehr. It seems that while Tyler Myers wants little do to with his role as alternate player rep; Regehr has picked up the slack.
He was one of three players that accompanied Donal Fehr as talks resumed between the NHL and the NHLPA on Friday. While no negotiations were done on Friday – the two sides met for several hours before and after lunch – learning from each other.
It is not clear yet if these educational meetings will result in more formal negotiations, or if both sides of will remain firm with their lines drawn in the ice.
Despite the fact that negotiations have seem to be no where closer to being resolved than when we started, many feel there is enough time between now and the September 15th date to get a deal done. Meeting for only a couple of hours per day every few days or once a week is not going to get this deal.
Like NHL players gathering around the United States and Canada, the NHL and NHLPA need to get down and dirty next week and get a deal done. With the eleventh hour approaching rapidly, the current CBA is only going to get the teams and the players through that fateful 15th.
Owners want more financial stability, and players are not willing to take a salary cut again – so I say – instead of rolling back the salary cap, you stop the floating cap and freeze it at the 2011-2012 season level. This keeps salaries from going up or down; and the owners don’t have to worry about a 120 million dollar salary cap in five years. Raising at the rate it has been, the salary cap floor will be at 70 million before you know it, and the only teams left will be the likes of the New York Rangers and Philadelphia Flyers, who seem to have either a printing press in their arena, or a direct route from the US Mint to their owners office.
There is still plenty of time to get a deal done, but there are also many hurdles that still need to be lept. Cautious optimism at this point if the sides continue to talk – but hope for the best and expect the worst. Get your self ready for the season, but don’t think its going to start on time.
Here’s a few of your Buffalo Sabres practicing an playing a little game of three on three to tide you over until the real puck drops.