With Sept. 15 rapidly approaching, one would hope that the NHLPA’s counter-proposal would be on the way soon. ESPN’s Katie Strang reports that owners still need to provide more financial details from their bold initial offer, though.
The Players’ Association still has not received all the financial documentation — primarily the independently audited information for the league’s clubs — requested from the NHL and has no intent to submit a proposal until that information is received and then analyzed.
NHLPA rep Mathieu Schneider (pictured left of Mark Recchi) explains why this is pertinent info.
“What we got was the first drop — I think it was 76,000 pages. They’re asking for huge concessions … $450 million from players,” Schneider said. “We certainly feel the audited statements are very important to what will eventually be our alternate proposal.”
NHL executives Gary Bettman and Bob Daly admitted frustration over the delay.
“I think the sooner we can get a negotiation over the main financial issues, the better,” Daly said. “And certainly we encourage the Players’ Association to get their arms around that and get back on those issues as quickly as they can, but I think it was more a frustration with the perception that somehow the information is different or new than what the Players’ Association has access to already and had access to for a long time. I don’t think there’s a real mystery, at least vis-a-vis the Players’ Association, with respect to the financial condition of our clubs.”
Los Angeles Kings tough guy Kevin Westgarth said it’s “not unreasonable” for the NHLPA to ask for such information, yet his most interesting quote was also the most chilling.
“I think everybody has a little post-traumatic stress from last time. It’s something that … they locked us out last time and it’s foreseeable for them to lock us out again,” Westgarth said. “Guys obviously want to play, but obviously we need to get the right deal together as well.”