The NHL and NHLPA met today before the Board of Governors meeting. After the BOG adjourned the two sides met again for just 10 minutes. The NHLPA offered to the NHL a proposal in that ten minutes. The sides adjourned.
Sounds like we have had been down this road before. Except this time the two sides came back together and started talking more.
My take on that? First off – Gary Bettman must be bored if he had to call a press conference to tell us that the owners just came from an update and he won’t answer any questions.
The NHL can’t be too disappointed in the NHLPA’s proposal if they were interested in coming back to the table to talk more. Past proposals were met with disappointment and a lack of conversation.
I can’t say that I am any more optimistic that a deal will get done, however – I can say that we are closer to resolving Lockout 2012 and save a season. We could still go in the other direction on this one – talks could fall apart and the sides could fall apart with another chasm between the two.
Now I am reading that the sides want a deal done by Friday – and that the NHL has countered. Thanks to Eklund over at Hockeybuzz for the updates. It seems like a ten year deal is in the works, but the owners counter proposal gives them an out at the eight year mark. I had previously written on here that we need to brace ourselves for this to happen again in 2020 anyways when a deal expired.
I like a ten year deal, but don’t like the eight year out. The longer deal we can make – the more success the league will see (people will forget the lockout by year 9 and 10) and we won’t be knuckle dragging back to 1998 as quickly.
If the sides are serious – we could see training camps open towards the end of September, maybe a preseason game or two to knock the cobwebs out after Christmas, and then see the regular season start after the new year.