After today’s breaking news about the NHL making a new offer to the players in an attempt to end the lockout, the next question to follow was: When will they meet?
Gary Lawless of the Winnipeg Free Press reports the two sides will have a conference call tomorrow and aim to meet in New York City on Sunday in an effort to negotiate a new CBA.
The NHLPA held an internal conference call today to discuss the league’s latest offer and there’s clearly a lot to chew on with it. Getting the two sides back in the room to potentially put an end to this mess is the next step. Here’s to hoping things stay civil this time around.
Fans, owners, and players alike all got nothing but bad news ahead of Christmas. With games canceled up through January 14 and the NHLPA voting overwhelmingly to disclaim interest if need be, that’s a lot of doomsday talk. Business may be about to pick up, however.
Larry Brooks of the New York Post reports today the two sides are aiming to get back together to talk just after the holiday. In his weekly column he says the two sides are looking at either Wednesday or Thursday to reconvene talks.
Brooks, for all his pro-union leanings, suggests that one thing the players could do to spark negotiations is to give in on the owners’ desire for a 10-year CBA with an out after eight. That seems like a logical bargaining chip to work with, but asking for logic now is like asking for a Porsche for Christmas.
NHLPA special counsel Steve Fehr briefly addressed the media following a second day of federally mediated bargaining, this time with NHL counsel Bob Batterman.
Unsurprisingly, Fehr had little to say.
“There has been contact between the parties today, principally at the mediator’s office,” Fehr said. “I’ve met with the mediator, Bob Batterman — outside counsel for the league — has been there. We’ve met separately through the mediator at times, we’ve met together, Don was over there very briefly.
“I think we’re done with contact for tonight.”
What else we learned:
— FCMS mediator Scot L. Beckenbaugh was once again involved in talks, but little was accomplished. It sounds as though neither side showed any change in position.
— The two sides will speak again tomorrow, though it’s unclear if they’ll meet in person or via telephone. Fehr said he didn’t know where a potential face-to-face meeting would be held.
— Sportsnet’s John Shannon has been “led to believe” that federal mediators are now “out of the picture.”
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