NHL, NHLPA resume talks; no indication progress was made

NHL, NHLPA resume talks; no indication progress was made
October 5, 2012, 8:50 pm
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With the pain of the National Hockey League lockout finally arriving on Thursday via the cancellation of 82 regular-season games through Oct. 24, the NHL and NHLPA held secret discussions at a clandestine meeting in Toronto on Friday.
NHL commissioner Gary Bettman, deputy commissioner Bill Daly, NHLPA executive director Donald Fehr and NHLPA counsel Steve Fehr discussed how to get negotiations moving forward, and agreed to speak again over the weekend.
Theres also the possibility of further meetings in Toronto next week between the CBA heavy hitters in both offices.
Its good news that the power players for the two opposing groups are in communication, but there's no indication any progress was made.
The general discussion was about where we were and how to try to move the process forward from here, wrote Daly in an email to CSNPhilly.com. We talked about possibly scheduling some meetings for next week, but mostly to deal with the other non-core economic issues. We will touch base over the weekend.
Its a perplexing state. It appears neither side trusts the other, and theres little chance of an honest exchange of ideas when thats the working landscape. Both sides know the Hockey Related Revenue is eventually going to be a 5050 split between ownership and the players, but one side needs to be bold enough to make the first step toward that number.
Until that happens, egos will rule the day . . . as they have since the lockout began three weeks ago. Only five meetings have been held in that time span.
Bruins defenseman Andrew Ference, for one, is optimistic that the 30 owners, with different budgets and revenue-stream projections, will begin to argue a bit more behind closed doors and push Bettman into more progressive talks. While some players have taken to scorching Bettman with their heated comments as things have gone south in negotiations, Ference seems to clearly understand that hes simply representing a faction of NHL owners currently in control.
Im an optimist. I think the voices that want whats best for the sport will eventually be louder than the ones who want to beat the union, Ference said to CSNNE.com.
Thats likely to happen when the NHL owners who are actually making money start to lose out on revenue streams that have grown to record heights over the last few years. If it doesn't, there may be no hockey this season.