Lost in the shuffle of the NHL CBA negotiations is where the referee’s and linesman fit into the deal. Everyone is figuring the players are losing, the owners are losing, whose at fault, fans are on the out, but NHL referee’s sit idly by waiting for their livlihood to come back to them.
An aside from that, the NHL is willing to talk and negotiate with the NHLPA on resolving the CBA issue, but they don’t just want to get together to talk about things – they want hard negotiations.
What has been missing from this process the whole time was negotiations – none have really taken place. There is a difference between negotiating where you think you need to be at, and offering a proposal. Several proposals have changed hands, and have been reviewed and dismissed by the recieving side because they don’t agree with how to get to the basic issue of 50/50.
At some point, someone has to dust off a copy of an NHL proposal, open more than the cover page on the NHLPA proposal, and start to work the two documents together into a CBA that can and will bring an NHL season to the shores of North America for the 2012-2013 season.
Today has been the unofficial deadline from the NHL to compete in an entire 82 game schedule this year. There are some saying that there is still time to get a deal done and save a complete season – but at what costs? Games will be played closer together, guys will hit the ice more tired than normal, and injuries could increase because of that. There will be less time for practices – and less time for teams to gel with one another.
At this point, I’d rather see a 60 game schedule that brings compete to every games of the season, instead of seeing teams play safe hockey like they are on the tail end of three games in four nights everynight.
Ego’s and pride have to be set aside, and the deal has to get done. Fans are losing interest in the PR battles which seem to be happening more than actual negotiations. Time is ticking on the season, and things have to get accomplished sooner rather than later.