Yesterday was a whirwind for the NHL, so lets get a quick recap of everything that went down. To do this, I'm going to quote some paragraphs from this ABC News article on yesterday's meeting. We all know that Gary Bettman spent about 20-30 seconds on a statement he was an hour late for so there's really no need to dig into any of that stuff.
Negotiations resumed a little after 2 p.m. Wednesday and proceeded in fits and starts as the league and the players' association searched for an agreement. The talks again went through the night, breaking two hours for dinner before finishing shortly before 1 a.m.
Talks on Tuesday lasted about eight hours and wrapped up at midnight, with the promise that negotiations would continue Wednesday.
Obvious statement is about to be obvious: That's pretty awesome. It's good to see that after 80 days of not really giving a shit, day 81 brought us a meeting that lasted about 9 hours. I'm a little shocked they broke for 2 hours for dinner. It takes 30 seconds to heat up some hot pockets and scarf on the boiling hot outside and frozen center. All you need is a couple of ham and cheese or chicken and bacon hot pockets, a bottle of Pepto Bismol and a glimmer of hope to get this done.
Very little information leaked out of the meeting room, but it is believed that the sides exchanged proposals and spent much of the time apart discussing what had been offered. One point of contention is the length of a new contract, with owners looking for a 10-year pact, and players wanting a shorter term.
This leads to believe a few things happened:
- The players want a shorter term because the conceded on contracts, much like they did in 2005 with a promise to revisit it when the next CBA has reached it's term (much like they did last lockout and look what happened...)
- Owners are happy with whatever the players agreed upon money wise and that 50/50 split is probably out the window altogether (or for the first few years).
"We had a long day," Steve Fehr said Tuesday. "We thought it was a constructive day. We had a good dialogue. In some ways I'd say it might be the best day we've had, which isn't too overly optimistic of a picture. There is still a lot of work to do and a lot to be done."
Daly echoed Fehr's comments, and spoke well of the talks.
"I appreciate the efforts of the players," Daly said. "Everybody is working hard. I think everybody wants to get a deal done, so that's encouraging. We look forward to hopefully making more progress."
That was the extent of the details revealed by the two sides, which could be another good sign that neither group wanted to say anything that could throw the discussions off the rails.
The two sides will meet again today with Bettman hoping for some kind of resolution by Friday. The rumor out there is that the NHL/PA are looking for December 15th to be the target date to get a season going. Yesterday on the TSN stream, they mentioned something about a 60 game schedule which I tweeted:
60 games gets all of the sponsorship money back. #NHL— PezDOY (@PezDOY) December 5, 2012
Obviously the league still wants their sponsorship money. They are getting their NBC TV money no matter what happens with the lockout because its one of those deals like the NFL had with FOX. Plus, do you really think that the owners were going to allow Christmas to come and go without pushing tickets in your face?
Let's be honest here. These negotiations aren't about the game of hockey, they're still about the all mighty green backs. If the league launches on December 15th, those 4 and 10 game ticket packages with the free hat can still be peddled on NESN before Christmas comes and goes. It's still a way for the "man" to get his cash.
Hopefully tomorrow I can jump on here and post a trillion animated gifs with people hugging and crying and tell you that the NHL is on. With tomorrow being Bettman's deadline, here's hoping that the meetings continue to go as well as they have the last few days.
Also, rumor around DOY HQ (see: source [ZOMG]) has told me that the NHL Network's Director flew to NYC last night to talk to the NHL. Could they be talking about programming for a season? Who knows, but it's something to think about right?