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The most important people in the hockey insider world were on hand in Toronto to hear the latest news on the CBA negotiations. If you didn’t have the day to sit in front of your Twitter feed and study the important tidbits as they rolled out, I’ve got you covered. My analysis at the bottom.


More from Bettman…



The news from the NHL and NHLPA meetings today was never likely to be “Boom, we totally agree.” If there is indeed a deadline – and it appears that somewhere around next Friday would be it – both sides will likely push for all they can until the 11th hour.

My take on the NHLPA’s three offers that Bettman apparently deems to be crappy is that the NHLPA liked the owners latest offer. They know that they can work off it, and in the worst case scenario, accept something close to it.

But with there still being time on the clock, Fehr is obligated to get the very best deal he can for the players. He might as well make a borderline offensive offer, and as they move closer to the deadline, they can move closer to the NHL’s numbers. Look like they’re finally caving a little, y’know? And just in time!

A week to negotiate isn’t exactly a ton of time, but I feel like we’re just seeing more of what could be expected – the NHL has to act offended (as do the players) until it’s time to put pen to paper. I remain optimistic, as ridiculous as that may be.

Comments (33)

  1. Thank you for not being so reactionary. Bettman said the drop dead date was the 25th, not October 18th at 4pm Eastern. I’m curious to see the actual proposals, not Bettman’s reaction to them.

  2. amen brother…lets see what they countered wit

  3. Is the NHLPA going to make it’s proposals public?

  4. You are an irrational optimist.

    If that’s how Bettman felt, he would have said that “There was some distance between us, but it was a positive step. The league is willing to work to a solution, but large challenges remain.” Saying that they are speaking different languages, and that he doesn’t know how to proceed likely means that the NHLPA has not moved in a real way.

    Gary is picking up his puck and going home. I don’t blame him – it was the players turn to move.

  5. Fuck the players. I’m really pissed off. Been a hockey fan my whole life, but this is getting to be a bit much to stomach.

  6. Not surprising, given that little bit about the repayment in escrow risk that was in the NHL’s last proposal. I for one think that their offering of 50/50 was due to the leaked PR papers stating that 50/50 was what they were aiming for; so let’s face it, the NHL was dragged kicking and screaming to their last proposal. Fehr is only rubbing salt in their wounds by not agreeing.

    Not saying the season is as sunk as the Titanic, yet. Still time to at least have a partial season if not a full season packed in a sardine can.

  7. The NHL is the only professional league where the players not only get but think that they deserve more then the owners. Now that the owners come forward and say let’s make it an even split the players basically spit in their face.
    The owners should walk away and start the league with out them. It will be terrible for a couple of years but it will break the union and get them back to relizing that they are not entitled a pay check they actually need to work for it.

    • I would fully support this idea. I say break contract with all the greedy fucks, and start signing new guys. It would be interesting to see who would come back scratching at the back door wanting a piece. In these union situations, I always tend to think that it is maybe 30-50 guys really driving this, and then the rest, who really just want to get back to work and earning a solid paycheck.

    • i totally agree. at least the score lets us comment on the subject,unlike the censors at those bastards have been censoring me for a while now.

    • You guys obviously didn’t watch the NFL when the scabs were playing. Although it did have comedic value if nothing else, like a live NFL FIlms blooper reel.

      Hate to break it to ya boys but the players can just get paid to play pro hockey elsewhere, as they’ve clearly demonstrated. Fans by and large will not support the NHL if the players on the ice aren’t the best in the world. They’ll watch where the talent is.

      • I disagree. I’m totally disinterested in the KHL, or any other euro league, because they don’t offer the team I grew up loving and watching. It’s just not the same. Let them go, imo.

        • i would much rather watch the best players in the world start a new league than watch the owners put a bunch of scabs out there

    • You’re an idiot.

  8. The expired CBA was for 57% and the NHLPA doesn’t want to see an immediate drop to 50%, I get it. The NHL says they want 50/50 and to fans that seems more than reasonable, I get that too. However every other clause in the proposal was a reduction in players contract rights, some to the ridiculous. ie. maximum 5 yr player contract, hello! Didn’t we just see several players signed for longer terms this summer? Is this how Bettman gets his owners to tow the line? No more burying a player’s salary in the minors so it doesn’t count against the Cap? Did that ever make any sense. Are the owners so worried about anti-trust that they need to correct it by way of the new CBA? With this kind of rhetoric from Gary today, it just means Sid and others will head to Europe. Myself, I’m going to watch the Erie/London gm tomorrow.

    • who gives a flying f**k what the cry baby crosby, or the rest of those over payed primadonnas are doing. i agree with the post above that says “the owners should walk away and start a league without them”. i say let those greedy pricks play in europe. let’s see how long they last in those crappy flights, hotels and are not catered to like they are royalty. i say they’d be back with their tails between their legs before the season ends. i’m sooooo tired of these over payed under worked pricks trying to hold the hockey world hostage for their so called”fair deal”.

      • LOL, and Sid’s the whiner huh? You’re having a full blown tantrum there buddy. Pot meet Kettle.

  9. As a further note let’s not forget that it was the owners that signed Alexandre Daigle and Rick Dipietro to long term deals with minimal to no pro experience. Obviously not all of the GMs listened to Gary at the last CBA owners meetings. Correcting your mistake by writing it into the new CBA probably won’t work this time either.

    • If the owners listened to Bettman on contract terms, it would be collusion. Ask baseball how that turned out.

  10. I’m with you Justin. More posturing, on both sides, and it ain’t over (unless the league and the players want to watch their beloved profits and livelihood respectively burn).

    I’m keeping the faith. Of course I have been thru an emotional tug of war like this before when Mario “threatened” to take the Pens out of the Burgh. They stayed, the Kid arrived, they prospered, dark days were over. I refuse to believe that, at such a critical juncture for hockey’s future in No America, it will all get pissed away over egos and millions.

  11. And by millions, I meant “mere” millions – to those who at least have more than a few of them to throw around.

  12. I see Bettman got exactly the effect he wanted out of the last proposal. It was very obviously put out with the “50/50 split” headline so that most hockey fans wouldn’t bother exploring anything in the proposal beyond that and saying “Wow! 50/50 split what a deal! If the players don’t jump at this and sign it tomorrow they’re GREEDY!”. I’d feel pretty safe betting my house that 99% of fans didn’t bother to even read the NHL’s proposal. Do any of you guys blasting the players even know what their 3 proposals today entailed?

    Gary’s got you guys eating right out of his hand. if i’d known it was so easy to sway the public at large i’d have gone into PR. So many gullible sheep out there.

    • Fehr said that one of the three proposals had a 50 / 50 split. So why not just table that?

      Oh, right, because the players’ whole game has been to smokescreen this thing. If they actually wanted a deal at 50 / 50, they’d had just tabled that offer. Instead, they just send out idiots like David Steckel on the radio to whine about how they put out three offers without going into the substance of those offers.

  13. I agree David, League’s “concession” was mostly spin. I REALLY want hockey back (fer godssakes I’d get to see a, finally, healthy and very motivated Sid, crimeny!). But I REALLY can’t abide the crap the owners are pulling and I’m willing to see a whole season (or two) go down in order to set those greedy fucks straight.

    I know there are two sides to it and it’s very complex, but I am solidly in the players camp here – League hasn’t been negotiating in good faith. A pox on them!

    • Your opinions make me gag. You think Fehr and the union isn’t hand feeding you large portions of shit? When your job description starts with “play” you have no right to bitch about your millions, and how you go about earning them. The NHL owners have literally invested hundreds of millions of dollars into their teams; I think that earns them the right to determine how they wish to pay their employees, just like any other job. Only difference is the minimum you make for being an NHL player is 650k; you’ll have to pardon me if I have a tough time shedding any tears for them.

      Unions are destroying Canada from the inside out, if you want to talk about a pox. They were originally formed to protect workers at the dawn of the industrial era, for steel workers and miners getting paid nothing to do incredibly dangerous jobs. This hardly compares in any way, and I’ve completely lost respect for the people that were heroes to me as a youth.

      Anyways, I’ve had enough of the issue, and I hope they all go rot in Switzerland or Russia or wherever they choose to ignore their contractual obligations. I’m washing my hands of it.

      • nhl owners have literally invested hundreds of millions of dollars of a bank’s money into their teams. they have enough cash to get them that credit, but really it’s just a lucrative long term investment with almost no risk. even if they take year to year million dollar losses, its almost assured that they will sell the team for a profit.

        you can’t compare nhl owners to other entrepreneuring initiatives, the guys don’t do anything. they just have money. they didn’t invent the game, or a product to make it better, or anything. they hire people to organize a team better than anyone else. if the players refuse to cooperate, they can find other rich people to fund another league, because there is certainly profit to be made out there. if the owners try to replace the players, they’ll go down in no time flat. it isn’t the players’ fault that the owners are incapable of making absurd profits, the opportunity is certainly there.

      • Got news for you. The NHL needs the players union more than the players need the union. If there was no Union all the NHL’s contracting practice’s would be illegal and the players would make a lot more money than they are now because it would be a truly free market.

  14. Go tell that to guys like Marc Savard, Steve Moore, Bob Probert, Derek Boogard, Max Paccioretty. Or any of the guys who had their brains blasted out by the likes of Scott Stevens. What have these guys invested with regard to their quality of life not only now but 20 years down the road? Non-contact beer league or pond hockey is “playing”. Pro hockey is serious business, as are its consequences. The owners aren’t going to be drooling all over themselves or fighting addiction to painkillers in 10 years. Oh, and they made over 3 billion in profits last year so it’s funny that you would sympathize with the guys making MORE money than the guys making less money when its the guys making less money that putting their lives on the line out there.

    Try naming another industry where the “employees” are the product. Good luck. If the NHL were selling toothpaste or oil filters you’d have a point. But they’re not, they’re selling what few people on earth possess…..NHL level hockey talent. Without the players there is no NHL. But the players can go play elsewhere. The “cattle” have found new ranchers to care for them.

    Oh, and since the OWNERS have locked them out, they are under no contractual obligation. I’ll let you get back to watching Fox News now.

    • I was going to respond to your points, but you insist on denigration of character as a debate tactic, which points to your level of discourse. You couldn’t make me watch Fox News with thumbscrews and water boarding.

      Just remember they chose to play hockey, not to become suits.

    • Look at the NFL. Those guy’s have to go through the same physical abuse as any of the players in the NHL and they can get cut a drop of a hat if they don’t perform. The players are employee’s not a product. The product is the game or the team. Golf or any single player sport is the only place where the players are the product

      The NHL and the players are on the same page regarding safety. In fact the NHL is the best in pro sport regarding player addictions and recovery. It’s sad about what happened last summer but people need to want help sometimes. It didn’t happen in the middle of the season under the riggers of travel, and game conditions. The help was there for them if they truley wanted it.

      If you think it’s the NHL owners actually fuelling this, I challenge you to go to your boss and demand for 57% of the companies profit. You let me know how that works out. The owners finally said lets make this fair for both sides and share this pie, the players came back with “hey this is our pie and your lucky your allowed to have the 43% we gave you last time.” And between the agents,players, GM’s they found a way to circumvent the last CBA with the 15 year contract now the owners are trying to dial it back.

      • The key difference with your challenge is that my boss would say “sorry, I can find somebody else to do your job as well as you can”. This is not true with the NHL. Oh sure they can always find good hockey players to wear their laundry. But those replacements wouldn’t be the best, and the NHL could no longer claim to ice the best hockey product on Earth without the best. If all the best players are in the KHL, then the KHL suddenly becomes the premier hockey league. So yeah, the players ARE the product.

        Speaking of the NFL, they tried using replacements once. It backfired horribly for them. And it would backfire even more horribly for the NHL, since they don’t even come close to being the draw that the NFL is.

  15. “Ignore their contractual obligations”? The GMs of these owners signed the contracts with these players, albeit under a CBA. Was it always their intention to renege on the terms in excess of 5 yrs ? No, contracts are signed in good faith. So which party is not honouring their agreement? The over paid spoiled hockey player who on average has less than a 3 yr career or the multi-millionaire owner who pays the game’s talent to perform for him in order to profit from those like us who pay the tickets, etc. You should research your sport before you bitch. Players in the old 6 team league earned far less than the owners who expolited the game. Their current pensions are a pittance for helping the NHL get to it’s present state. I personally would be insulted if my employer decided to ask for 30% reduction in salary, reduce my pension and rights to future contract priviledges.All that after they finally realized that they lost the last CBA battle after having left that table shaking hands on how they had beaten the NHLPA.

  16. Guys, guys! I’ve just thought of something. Two words that’ll solve all our housing problems. Time share!

  17. Ignore the public posturing. As long as they keep meeting we are closer to a deal. Bitching about the players offers, especially after all the fans got all excited, is just a leverage position to get a better deal for the owners. From what has been leaked on the 3 proposals I think the biggest issue, money share, has moved significantly enough to get a deal done soon.

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