Greeting Caniacs! The meetings in New York between the NHLPA and the NHL owners appear to be moving, maybe at a snail’s pace but they are moving. The question is “Are both parties moving in the same direction?” The NHL has submitted a proposal to the NHLPA. Donald Fehr and the NHLPA are reviewing the proposal, hoping to have a response or a counter proposal by Thursday afternoon.
At this point we do know the league submitted a proposal consisting of a six-year offer that would see the players’ share in revenue reduced from 57 percent to 46 percent next season. It is still unclear on other issues concerning Unrestricted Free Agency (UFA), player contract lengths, and salary cap issues.
It is difficult to predict how the NHLPA will respond to the most recent offer but I feel it is safe to say that they will submit a counter proposal Thursday afternoon or sometime on Friday. On a positive note, at least both parties are talking and there is a starting point in this whole complex mess. A potential lockout is not the most desirable thing to follow but if you are a hockey fan planning on watching hockey this fall, it is important that we all understand the logistics behind the game that we love. The last thing any of us want to see is an empty parking lot at the PNC Arena this fall.
It will be interesting to see what happens when the NHLPA responds to the latest proposal. If the two parties find common ground they can work with, fewer interviews might be granted and you will not hear much from Commissioner Gary Bettman or NHLPA representative Donald Fehr. If progress is being made, neither party will want to do anything to dig their respective party into a hole that they cannot get out of.
So as the negotiations slowly move along the days on the calendar quickly fade away. With just 16 days left until the current CBA expires, the question many Caniacs want to know is “Will the deal get done by Septembers 15th?” One thing is for sure according to Donald Fehr, the players aren’t afraid of a lockout. After all, the players did lose an entire year of pay checks during the 2004-05 season. All I can say is continue to check back with us for updates on the CBA process and your latest Carolina Hurricanes news.