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Category: NHLPA

Call Me, Maybe

from Kevin McGran of the Toronto Star,

With pressure mounting to get a season-saving deal done, NHL commissioner Gary Bettman secretly allowed owners and general managers to be in contact with players for a 48-hour period last week.

Owners and GMs were afforded a chance to promote Bettman’s proposal of a 50-50 division of hockey related revenue. The window for conversations ended Friday.

The report initially came from Quebec-based TVA.

“Propaganda,” one NHL unidentified player told TVA Sports.

“Players were calling to ask about the offer,” NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly told the Star in an email. “We let clubs answer their questions. . . . We did authorize club executives to respond substantively to player inquiries.”

The union did not believe that players phoned owners and GMs, and was not impressed with the owners’ action.

“Most owners are not allowed to attend bargaining meetings. No owners are allowed to speak to the media about the bargaining,” Steve Fehr, Donald Fehr’s chief legal counsel, said in a statement.

“Interesting that they are secretly unleashed to talk to the players about the meetings the players can attend but the owners cannot.”

continued

added 12:13pm,

Even more on the memo at Puck Daddy.

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Start Negotiating Now

from David Shoalts of the Globe and Mail,

Since both sides acknowledge their latest offers show there is a deal to be made, that a 50-50 share of revenue is now the admitted goal, the solution is going to lie with the moderates among the owners and players. They have to start nudging, well, pushing really, the hard-liners among them to a deal.

At this point, the argument is about how fast the owners and players get to a 50-50 split and how much of the cost of going from the players’ previous share of 57 per cent to 50 will come out of their pockets. So far, the owners insist it has to happen today and most of the cost will come from the players in the form of escrow on existing contracts and the shrinking of their portion in the future. The players want their contracts to be paid in full right now and to hit 50 per cent three years from now, according to two of the three offers they made last week, or go to 50-50 right away but with a provision to ensure all existing contracts are paid in full.

At this point, the only contact between the NHL Players’ Association and the owners is by telephone. The old “We’re-still-here-but-not-bargaining” call. Maybe they’ll get together in New York this week and maybe not.

That is the frustrating part of the owners’ latest lockout. They have managed to get a deal in sight but somehow have spent so little time actually negotiating in a sense it remains as far away as one did in those hopeless days in 2004-05 when weeks would go by with no communication of any kind between the owners and the union.

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Report- No More Concessions From The NHL

from Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun,

While some media are speculating bargaining could resume Wednesday in New York, deputy commissioner Bill Daly told QMI Agency in an e-mail the NHL is willing to negotiate only on the offer it made the union last Tuesday.

"We have a proposal on the table," Daly wrote Monday. "If, and when, the (union wants) to bargain over it, we will be more than happy to do so."

NHL commissioner Gary Bettman, facing heat to get the season started, tabled a proposal that would have seen the sides settle their differences with a six-year CBA that included a 50-50 split in hockey-related revenues.

League sources say Bettman won't be allowed to offer up any more concessions to try to get a deal and, in fact, he has gone further than some owners expected he would.

There is concern in league circles the NHL won't be able to do anything to satisfy union executive director Donald Fehr and if Bettman continues to negotiate he is doing so against himself despite tremendous pressure to play.

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This Sure Doesn’t Sound Like Good News

from the CP at TSN,

"(I'm) not sure there is any reason to meet if there is nothing new to say," deputy commissioner Bill Daly told The Canadian Press in an email. "Our position was communicated to the union pretty clearly last Tuesday and then again on Thursday.

"If they have a desire to meet with regard to the proposal we have on the table, they know how to reach us."

The sides touched base by phone over the weekend following a busy few days that saw each of them table new offers. They had been expected to gather in New York at some point this week.

"They say they want a deal but then they say they only want to meet if it is on their terms," said Steve Fehr, the NHLPA's special counsel. "Strange. That is not the way to reach an agreement. Bargaining is give and take -- not just take."

more

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Report- Back At The Negotiating Table Later This Week?

from Katie Strang of ESPN New York,

 With Thursday's deadline looming and a full 82-game season hanging in the balance, the NHL and NHLPA have not made any plans to meet again following last week's proposal-swapping debacle.

Although one source with knowledge of negotiations told ESPNNewYork.com that talks are likely to resume at some point this week, no meeting had been scheduled as of late Monday afternoon.

Both NHLPA special counsel Steve Fehr and NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly spoke over the weekend, but did not mark the calendar for a formal bargaining session. According to a source briefed on the conversation, the league and the union had a conference call to seek clarification on hockey-related revenue issues, but did not resume negotiations.

When will the two sides meet next?

"Don't know," Daly told ESPNNewYork.com via email. "We will see what happens in the next couple of days."

continued

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Hockey Notes With Some Bite

via Damian Cox of The Spin,

- The bile directed towards Gary Bettman is ridiculous and misplaced. But I will say this. His number one priority every season should be to get the season started on time, every time. He has failed. And while working with that dysfunctional players union must be next to impossible, resorting to the lockout time after time shows a lack of creativity in problem-solving by a commish who should have other answers by now.

- Talk to people in some fragile markets down south. The lockout is having devastating results. But the players and owners seem blissfully unaware.

- Not sure marginal NHL agent Allan Walsh realizes what a fool he's making of himself on Twitter these days. He's gone from being outspoken to idiotic.

- One thing we know for sure; if the NHL just opened it's door for business and established new working parameters, and if the NHLPA then went on strike, players around the world would cross that picket line in a flash. NHLers have proven they have no respect for anyone else's job.

- That Craig Leipold was one of the NHL owners in the room last Thursday is nothing short of a bad joke.

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If They Really Love Our Game

from David Shoalts of the Globe and Mail,

This is the week we’ll discover if all those people on both sides of the NHL lockout love hockey as much as they promise while holding the game for ransom.

Thursday may be yet another deadline imposed only by NHL commissioner Gary Bettman and the owners as the final day to save a full 82-game season but unlike the Sept. 15 one when the previous collective agreement expired, it is one grounded in reality. Unless the players and owners make serious progress toward an agreement this week, there simply would not be enough time to shoehorn 82 games into the calendar and still finish the Stanley Cup final by the end of June, a outrageously late date to be sure, and still allow the players some semblance of rest between games.

Since both sides acknowledge their latest offers show there is a deal to be made, that a 50-50 share of revenue is now the admitted goal, the solution is going to lie with the moderates among the owners and players. They have to start nudging, well, pushing really, the hard-liners among them to a deal.

continued

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Some Wiggle Room When Talking Full NHL Schedule

from Elliotte Friedman of CBC,

The NHL badly wants an 82-game season starting on November 2. That would mean agreeing on the hockey-related revenue split, a formula for paying players what they are owed on their current contracts, and all the contract/salary arbitration/free agency issues. Both sides ratify the deal (unless they somehow decide to play while working on it), everyone overseas returns for a quick training camp, and teams make whatever moves they've been waiting on.

Do you see all that getting done in 11 days? Me neither. The only way it happens is if Bettman and Donald Fehr prove they've been wasting everyone's time by "suddenly" pulling proposals from their briefcases the other side might agree on.

So, how much time do they really have to play 82 games?

With the help of our baby's Fisher-Price counting toy, it looks like there is a tiny bit of wiggle room. 

read on plus 30 thoughts...

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Make The Right Deal

from Ken Campbell of The Hockey News,

What the league has to do is grow some and hold out for the deal it needs. It should not be concerned with saving the season. Its primary objective should be saving the business because this cycle of lockouts is getting rather old. If that means a shortened season or no season at all, so be it. Do not cave to the segment of fans whose only answer to this lockout is to lock the owners and players into a room until a deal is done, or just get a deal done already because we don’t care about these issues.

Just bloody well get it right this time.

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Agreement Needed This Week For A Full NHL Schedule

from Pierr LeBrun of ESPN,

The pressure is on. At this point, a whole season can be saved. Once games start to get cancelled past Nov. 2, both owners and players start to lose money they won’t get back. 

"If we end up missing and not rescheduling games through Nov. 2, we will have over $330 million in lost revenue," Daly told ESPN.com Monday morning. 

No question, the league and owners want to instill the fear of God into players this week with that notion. As one NHL team executive told ESPN.com Sunday, there’s either a deal this week or there’s no season at all because he believes the moderate owners who have pushed hard for a deal to be made will be so infuriated with players that they'll line up behind the hard-line owners and allow this thing to go nuclear if there’s no agreement this week. 

I'm not ready to go that far. Labor negotiations in pro sports tend to produce fictitious deadlines that are moved when it's convenient. So I suspect if enough traction and progress has moved both sides closer by the end of this week, Bettman's Thursday, Oct. 25, deadline can be pushed a little. 

But no matter how you look at it, if you’re an owner or a player who wants a full 82-game season, you want the leader on your side to deliver the goods this week. 

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About Kukla's Korner Hockey

Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.

Email Paul anytime at pk@kuklaskorner.com

 

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