The optimism surrounding the current CBA talks I wrote about yesterday has quickly vanished. Less than 24 hours after Donald Fehr and the players submitted what fans thought was their counter offer to the league, which ignited hope that the season would start on time, Gary Bettman stuck another dagger through the hearts of fans. Well played Bettman, well played.
When Bettman told the media and the NHLPA on Tuesday that he needed “time to evaluate” their proposal, he clearly meant he “needed time to reject it”. He addressed the media on Wednesday after himself and the owners had a chance to read over the counter-proposal and to the shock of many, they NHLPA had only submitted half of their proposal.
“The sides are far apart and have different views of the world. There is still a wide gap between us with not much time to go.” ~ Gary Bettman
With one simple quote the optimism that surrounded the NHL is gone and now it is even more likely we will see a lockout. Bettman played his game perfectly. He let the dust settle from the meetings on Tuesday, and allowed the fans to get excited before slamming the door in their face.
With his statement today he reiterated the fact there isn’t a lot of time to get a deal done before September 15th, exactly one month. The two sides will not meet again until next Wednesday, which will likely be the second half of the NHLPA’s proposal. Remember when I said the slightest snag would mean missing the start of the season?
Bettman was “disappointed” that the players took a month to present half of a proposal back to the league, and now it looks like that little stunt will prove costly. But if the two sides are as far apart as Bettman is leading us to believe, why wait a week between meetings?
The players feel like they compromised back in 2004 and as a result got the “raw” end of the deal. They lost in the last labour agreements and don’t want to lose this time, which is why they hired Donald Fehr. Fehr doesn’t like to lose and won’t go down without a fight, the players were tired of being bullied around by Bettman and the owners so they decided to fight fire with fire. Unfortunately when you combine fire with fire the result is a bigger fire.
Since the players refuse to get the raw end of the deal this time around, they have nothing over the owners and the owner know that. The ball is squarely in the owners corner. If they negotiate there is hope to salvage some of the season, if they chose to continue playing hardball we will see a lockout.
As of right now the two sides are “far apart” and with roughly one month till the deadline things are looking rather bleak. Want further proof we’re heading for a lockout?
“You hope for the best but prepare for the worst.” ~ Fehr
In preparing for the worst Fehr has told the players to start preparing/expecting a lockout. When the side trying to salvage a deal is now preparing for a lockout, you know things have gone south.
The CBA negotiations are further proof that when millionaires fight over money the only people lose out are the fans, good luck getting them back Bettman!
[author] [author_info]Caitlin has spent her whole life around hockey rinks. From the time she started skating to the time she picked up her first stick she fell in love. She played 12.5 years of competitive hockey and received a scholarship. Her career was cut short as a result of concussions. When she hung up her skates she picked up a pen and turned her love for the game into a love of writing about the game. She has been writing for roughly 1 year and is finishing up grade 12.[/author_info] [/author]
Filed under: NHL