Milan Lucic is still skating in the Boston area and waiting things out like so many rabid NHL fans. The Bruins power forward has front row seats given his status as one of the best young players in the NHL, of course, and has been involved with the conference calls and emails being sent back and forth by the NHLPA.
Lucic is still hopeful there will be a substantial NHL regular season to prepare for, but was rightfully disappointed along with the rest of NHL brothers when NHL commissioner Gary Bettman dismissed three NHLPA counter-proposals out of hand on Thursday. Bettman then went on to say he was thoroughly disappointed with the NHLPAs counter-offers and sounded off a perturbed tone.
According to those in the negotiating room the NHL basically shot down the trio of offers in 10 minutes, and didnt want to do much beyond tweaks and minor adjustments to their
5050 offer from earlier this week.
To Lucic that meant there wasnt much of a good faith negotiating session taking place between the NHL and NHLPA at the unions Toronto offices.
We proposed three different offers in relation to theirs, but when all get shut down in 10 minutes its discouraging and shows that they dont really want to negotiate, said Lucic to CSNNE.com. I never thought it would get to this point; especially because of the way this game has been going.
Its pretty clear where the battle lines have been drawn: the NHL wants a 5050 split that the NHLPA has agreed to meet at some point in the deal, and now it only remains a matter of when during the CBA it becomes an even split. Theres also the matter of what the players want: if the NHLPA agrees to drop down to an even 5050 split of Hockey Related Revenue then the players also want the 30 NHL owners to guarantee all previously signed contracts without an escrow component.
There are no future bargaining sessions scheduled as the NHL announced on Friday it was canceling all NHL games up to Nov. 1, but there are two very clearly defined positions for both the players and the league.
Its the hope of Lucic, along with all those that love the NHL, that a middle ground can be reached in the near future to save a substantial NHL regular season along with all of the hallmark NHL events including the Winter Classic and the NHL All-Star Game.