Players: NHL owners' offer is more of the same


Players: NHL owners' offer is more of the same

The National Hockey League Players Association met with NHL owners and commissioner Gary Bettman on Wednesday in New York City, and the result was more of the same.

There's still no deal.

Both sides made proposals, with the players making theirs first. It was followed up with a counterproposal by the league. Needless to say, the players still aren't happy with what they league is coming back to them with.

According to a player who attended the early-afternoon meeting, the league's counterproposal isn't much different than its last one.

"Owners are going to say they changed a lot, but they did not, when you actually do the math," said the player.

"They like to shape it that they're giving us money. But all they're doing is slightly lessening how much they want to take."

Economic issues seem to be the only -- or at least the biggest -- barrier in the way of there being hockey this season. And the players, at least, feel like they're making the necessary concessions to make a deal.

"They came to us with problems, which we are trying to address," said a player involved in Wednesday's meeting. "And they just want a money grab in the form of escrow."

According to that player inside the meeting, the NHLPA made its proposal first. And once again, the players made more concessions that, according to the player, "significantly limit" their share growth over the next few years.

"We're willing to take less over the next few years to help the owners," said the player. "But they need to be willing to help each other as well."

With a Sept. 15 deadline looming, the player also re-iterated that that date doesn't mean much, other than the fact that Bettman has threatened a lockout.

"There's no reason that September 15 is important, other than the owners said they would lock us out," he said. "But not much changed from their side, so it gives us one less day to work."

The NHLPA will now have their own internal meetings in New York City the next two days, which will be "the most attended meeting so far," according to one player. The owners will also have their own internal meetings, on Thursday.

A player involved in Wednesday's meetings said he "doubts" the two sides will go back to the drawing board on Thursday, but also said that "talks are still open" and that both parties will "continually be in touch."

"We have to reassess after that, and see if the owners decide to start negotiating for real, to deal with their own issues," he said.

"We're still determined. We want to make sure that the league is healthier after this process. And we're just looking to get a fair deal."

Morning Skate: Larry Robinson parts ways with Sharks

Morning Skate: Larry Robinson parts ways with Sharks

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading, while refraining from shoving any world leaders today.

*Larry Robinson and the San Jose Sharks are parting after working together for five seasons, per FOH (Friend of Haggs) Kevin Kurz.

*Speaking of Kurz, he also has a Sharks mailbag on which players are most likely to be traded out of San Jose during the offseason. Somebody has got to go, and you’d think it would be somebody without much tread left on the tires.

*Moving on to other topics, Anaheim Ducks center Ryan Kesler said that losing a Game 6 in the Western Conference Finals to the Nashville Predators was the “toughest” loss of his career. I don’t see how this is possible. You see, Kesler is no slouch at falling short. In fact, he’s a tremendous loser, having dropped a Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final at home in 2011 as a member of the Vancouver Canucks, and also having lost a Gold Medal Game for Team USA at the hands of Sidney Crosby and Canada in 2010 in overtime that was also played in Vancouver. It took a simple Google search to find an actual postgame video of Kesler crying into his hockey glove on the bench in the aftermath of Game 7 vs. the Bruins. So, pardon me if I’m not buying Kesler talking about a conference finals loss as the worst of his career when he was one home win away from being a Stanley Cup champion in Game 7, and proceeded to lose like he’s done many, many times in the most important games of his career. Dude, you’ve been through tougher losses. Trust me on that one.  

*The idea of trading Alex Ovechkin might be gaining some traction with the Capitals fan base, but it doesn’t seem to be based on reality at this point.

*The pride of Melrose, Mass, Conor Sheary, delivered in Game 7 for the Penguins as they return to the Stanley Cup Final in back-to-back seasons.

*Bobby Ryan said his strategy for success in the playoffs, at least in part, was staying off the phone. Maybe he ought to try that a bit more during the regular season.

*Congrats to the folks at NBC for another successful Red Nose Day that featured a reunion of the “Love Actually” cast among other things.