Crombeen on NHLPA’s “good” counter proposal: “We’ll be closer to getting that agreement done”

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Tampa Bay forward B.J. Crombeen — one of the 31 players on the NHLPA’s negotiating committee — is showing a strong sense of optimism in the face of CBA talks.

Yes, even after what NHL commissioner Gary Bettman said on Thursday.

Crombeen told the St. Petersburg Times he’s hopeful the NHLPA’s counter proposal, to be presented on Tuesday, will go a long way in getting a new CBA.

“Our proposal is a good proposal,” he said. “With our proposal we feel we’ll be closer to getting that agreement done.”

Yesterday, Bettman said owners wouldn’t play another year under the current collective bargaining agreement, eschewing NHLPA boss Donald Fehr”s remarks that play could continue under the existing CBA while the two parties worked on a new deal.

Translation: No deal by Sept. 15? Lockout.

Crombeen said Bettman’s comments were “something you don’t want to hear,” but was “confident there’s still a lot of time left to get a deal done.”

“With Gary’s comments, they feel strong enough that they don’t want to continue under this agreement and want further concessions from the players,” Crombeen explained. “We’re trying to make sense of what they need and what they want.”

Related

Bettman: “We need to be paying out less in player costs”

Fehr: NHLPA counteroffer expected on Tuesday

Hartnell on proposed revenue cut: “It’s very frustrating”

Fehr on CBA negotiations: “Sept. 15 is not a magic date unless someone wants to make it so”