NHL and NHLPA to meet Thursday; counter-offer expected

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NHL and NHLPA to meet Thursday; counter-offer expected

There was genuine curiosity waiting on a reaction from NHLPA to the NHLs Tuesday offer that broke a month's worth of ice in negotiations.
Would NHLPA Executive Director Donald Fehr reject the 5050 offer out of hand and enrage hockey fans that have been lulled into a false sense of security that the NHL regular season is now going to start on Nov. 2?
Would the players put their collective minds together and counter the NHLs proposal with a thoughtful rebuttal built off the leagues offer while staying true to their own idea of fairness?
It appears it will be more of the latter than the former as sources inside the negotiations confirmed to CSNNE.com that the NHLPA and NHL will meet in Toronto at 1 p.m. on Thursday. The NHLPA is expected to have a counter-proposal for the league at that time, and it should set off a week of intense negotiations provided the NHL is receptive to Fehrs modest proposal.
While the public release of the NHLs entire CBA offer on Wednesday morning was rather unorthodox by professional sports league standards, it appears Bettman and Co. were attempting to accomplish a pair of goals.
First, they wanted to put a little pressure on Fehr and the NHLPA after the league has been more bug than windshield during the CBA negotiations. The notion of a 5050 split of revenues is the kind of proposal that seems inherently fair to the public at large, and is the current CBA arrangements in both the NBA and NFL.
Secondly, theres a suspicion on the players side that the offers very public release was an effort on the NHLs part to get the verbatim offer directly in the hands of the 700 plus members of the NHLPA. There may be some concern on the NHLs part that Fehr is filtering their message to the players above and beyond the reasoning given that there have been widespread reports attempting to describe and characterize the terms of the offer that understandably are incomplete.
Either way, its simply a positive development that both sides are actively negotiating, and there will certainly be ups, downs and all-arounds over the next week as the two sides gamely attempt to preserve an 82-game regular season.

Morning Skate: Former PC coach Army on Avs' rough year

Morning Skate: Former PC coach Army on Avs' rough year

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading, while celebrating the 40th Anniversary of Star Wars being released today. Amazing that the power and influence of the best movie franchise in cinematic history are just as strong today as it was four decades ago. I still remember my first time seeing it as a very little kid with my parents at the dearly departed Starlight Drive-In in North Reading.

*Good guy and recently fired Colorado Avalanche assistant coach Tim Army talks about a rough past season with the Avs, and some of the difficulties they faced in a truly terrible season. The former Providence College head coach and good hockey man shouldn’t have much trouble finding his next gig.

*A great move by the Arizona Coyotes, who have hired former Bruins forward Craig Cunningham as a pro scout after his awful medical situation last season that resulted in his leg getting amputated. Cunningham is a hard worker and a hockey lifer, and that’s exactly the kind of traits that the best scouts have in huge amounts.

*The New Jersey Devils have fired a number of employees after a rough season, including a groundbreaking radio analyst.

*With the ultra-competitive demand for an edge in NHL player development, teams are beginning to look to Europe for more and more diamonds in the rough. The Bruins tried that with Joonas Kemppainen, but it didn’t work out so well.

*One of the real big advantages of the Nashville Predators getting to the Stanley Cup Final for the first time is a national spotlight getting flashed on PK Subban, who shows off his personality in a rare ESPN interview of a hockey player featured on the network's magazine show.

*Ryan Johansen isn’t done talking smack to Ryan Kesler after the Predators prevailed over the Ducks, and it’s some delicious playoff hatred.

*Is the NHL ready to draft another goaltender with the last name DiPietro in the first round? Inquiring minds want to know, but I’d recommend the New York Islanders take a pass just in the name of avoiding a repeat of some bad history for them.

*Taylor Hall sounds pretty bitter about the whole “Edmonton Oilers getting into the playoff without him” thing, doesn’t he?

*For something completely different: As mentioned above, it’s a milestone birthday for the Star Wars franchise hitting 40 years old today. Boy, this Boston Globe movie review was right on the money back in 1977.