At ESPN.com, Pierre LeBrun details the past few months of labor talks and summarizes where the two sides are and how they got there.
He starts with how the NHL wanted to negotiate as early as the All-Star break last year but the NHLPA wasn’t ready until the end of June.
Then the owners made their proposal that would shrink the players share to 43% and the players banded together behind Don Fehr and the battle started.
LeBrun also hit on some of the key moments:
- When the NHL tried to save the 82 game season, the NHLPA countered with three proposals and the NHL walked out.
- How the cancelling of the Winter Classic led to a private meeting between Steve Fehr and Bill Daly which sparked four days of talks in NY. Those talks broke up when Chris Campoli and Wild owner Craig Leipold had a “heated exchange.”
- The owners and players meeting that brought progress, hope and ultimately disappointment with Don Fehr saying the two sides were close and Gary Bettman saying the exact opposite.
The NHL then filed a lawsuit asking for the lockout to be declared legal while the players voted overwhelmingly to allow the executive board to file a disclaimer of interest and dissolve the union.
LeBrun writes “It’s clear the first seven to 10 days of January will likely decide whether or not there’s a season this winter. Either a deal finally gets done to salvage a 48- or 50-game season, or the NHL cancels an entire season for the second time in eight years.”
Adam Rotter: We are finally close to the end game with all of this (2-3 weeks) which is what I think most people want. Either have a season or cancel it. The two sides will meet, make progress on an issue or two, lock heads on another and then talks will break down again. How both sides respond to that breakdown will dictate the next move and whether there will be a season.