Representatives from the NHL and NHLPA got hot under their collars during another round of marathon meetings — but not hot enough to halt momentum.
That was the word out of New York on Wednesday, as multiple sources reported the testiest exchanges came from Boston Bruins owner Jeremy Jacobs and Buffalo Sabres goalie Ryan Miller.
The skinny, courtesy Sportsnet’s Michael Grange:
Some tension in room at times; Jacobs nearly walks out; Miller snaps. Moderates rule day #NHL
— Michael Grange (@michaelgrange) December 6, 2012
Here’s more, from Damien Cox of the Toronto Star:
The conversation went something like this.
“Let’s leave,” said Boston Bruins owner Jeremy Jacobs, turning to NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly.
“It’s up to you,” replied Daly.
At that point during the talks between the NHL and NHL Players Association on Wednesday, a day that began as a continuation of the momentum generated on Tuesday, both sides were at the precipice, and the 2012-13 season was in jeopardy.
Earlier, Buffalo Sabres goalie Ryan Miller had angrily vented when the owners said they were disappointed with the players responses to an earlier offer and threatened to pull everything off the table.
Couple things here:
1) The “Miller vs. Boston, Pt. II” narrative is a fun one, though it remains unclear exactly how much of Miller’s venom was directed at Jacobs personally (and let’s be real, Miller ain’t carrying an on-ice beef into the meeting room).
But it does make for good copy and hey, Jacobs did give Milan Lucic a three-year, $18 million contract extension just prior to the start of the lockout.
2) This isn’t the first player-owner spat in CBA negotiations.
Back on Nov. 9, a similar incident occurred — more, from the New York Times:
Reports emerged Friday of a shouting match between players and owners at the end of that day’s meeting. But the delegate said the exchange was “extremely brief” and stood out only because of its rarity.
The exchange was between the free-agent defenseman Chris Campoli and Winnipeg defenseman Ron Hainsey on one side, and the owners Murray Edwards of Calgary and Craig Leipold of Minnesota on the other.
This incident was followed by the infamous “two week moratorium” idea in which NHL commissioner Gary Bettman *reportedly* suggested both sides spend some time apart before trying to resume negotiations.
So yeah, see how far things have come?