The NHL and NHLPA would appear to have the beginning framework for a deal in place that would save the full NHL regular season.
But appearances can sometimes be deceiving, and the actions from both parties are keeping them distant and silently unbending. The latest development was unearthed this week when NHLPA lead counsel Steve Fehr revealed that the NHL reached out to its players, and gave them a 48-hour amnesty window over the weekend to discuss the leagues latest offer with owners and GMs. Normally NHL owners and GMs have been barred from speaking with players during the lockout, and the owners have essentially been bound by a gag order not to discuss the lockout with the media.
The league reached out to the players without informing NHLPA execs that they were performing an end-around on the entire collective bargaining process. There was no rule in place stating they couldnt attempt to communicate with the locked out players, but it still begs the question of whether each side is practicing good faith in the bargaining sessions.
In other words: Thats pretty sneak, sis.
"Most owners are not allowed to attend bargaining meetings," NHLPA Special Counsel Steve Fehr said in a statement. "No owners are allowed to speak to the media about the bargaining. It is interesting that they are secretly unleashed to talk to the players about the meetings the players can attend, but the owners cannot."
Meanwhile no formal negotiation meetings have been set up for this week with Thursday as the NHL-mandated deadline for an agreement that would allow an 82-game regular season to begin on Nov. 2. So both sides engage in a PR battle to break the other side rather than actually hammering out an agreement when theyre now just a few hundred million dollars apart a small amount in the grand scheme of things for a league that raked in 3.3 billion in revenue last season.
The 48-hour discussion window with NHL GMs and owners was first brought to the attention of CSNNE.com in a report by RDS's Renaud Lavoie.