Cory Schneider isn’t exactly a veteran of CBA negotiations – he was in college during the lockout – but he’s involved with the NHLPA side nonetheless. There’s been some disturbing talk resulting from the owners’ rather brash offer, yet Schneider told Elliott Pap that it’s not time to panic.
“I think the only thing I can say is it’s a first offer,” Schneider said. “It’s a starting point. We’re going to consider it and figure out what our counter proposal is going to be. Yes, it is a little shocking when you first look at it but, again, that’s how negotiations work. You aim high and then try to move back from there.”
“There is going to have to be a lot of give and take for us to come to an agreement, so we’re not too worried and we’re not panicking right now. We’re just going to take it one meeting at a time.”
Ah, Schneider really knows how to soothe our nerves … he’s even adapting the “one game at a time” cliche for the CBA talks. It’s worthwhile to note that there were plenty of people talking Chicken Littles off the ledge when the information from the early meetings was leaked, yet it’s nice to hear such calming conversation from someone actually involved.
Of course, not everyone on the players’ side was quite as mild-mannered.
Denver-based agent Kurt Overhardt called the opening offer “embarrassing” and said “everything they proposed defies sports labor law history” before admitting that he expects “cooler heads to prevail.”*
Who knows how many more peeks we’ll get behind the curtain of this process. Twitter and other newer forms of media weren’t around during the last negotiations. That might not sound like much, yet some believe that recent strenuous talks for the NBA and NFL were intensified by the heat of public opinion, which was right there for executives to read like never before.
Such an unnerving process will make the occasional “relax” message that much more appealing.
* – Heavily-used cliche count: at least two.