Sure, it’s somewhat comforting that NHLPA head Donald Fehr says a season can start without a CBA in place and that the Sept. 15 expiration date isn’t a “magic number.” Still, with a hopeful start to next season not all that far away in October, most hockey fans would prefer to see both sides as proactive as possible. There seems to be pretty good news in that regard, too; Louis Jean reports that the NHL and its players association will begin meeting on Friday.
Full-fledged free agent Shane Doan might have said it best, though; things have a way of happening with more urgency when the pressure is applied. Having a meeting is fine and well, but having productive ones requires both sides to be respectful and cooperative.
(Surely the NBA and NFL’s CBA tug-o-wars included a mind-numbing array of meetings, but only one league avoided missing a significant chunk of regular season games.)
Still, with the free agent frenzy nearly upon us, it’s nice to know that the powers on both sides will already commence talks to increase the chances that all that wild spending could actually be put to a prompt test.