Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Scott Burnside of ESPN,
Maybe it was the growing anger from the fan base.
Maybe it was the belief that the players weren't going to crack, at least not before another season was lost.
Maybe there was enough dissatisfaction within the ownership group as a second season in eight years seemed to be slipping away.
Or maybe it was just time for some common sense to enter a situation that had been entirely lacking in some from the outset.
The motivation is moot and so even the most cynical of observers have to credit the National Hockey League for taking what can only be viewed as a bold and potentially decisive step towards ending the month-old lockout of players and likely saving the 2012-13 season in its entirety.
The surprise offer delivered by the league to the players in Toronto Tuesday would see the players' share of hockey related revenues drop from 57 percent to the 50-50 split most observers have predicted would be the final settling place in a new labor deal.
That's not to say some information will be floating around.
Time for the real hockey insiders to earn their pay.
from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,
In the context of what many think could be a breakthrough in the NHL labour impasse, here is a short history lesson from the 10-day 1991-92 NHL players strike, designed to mute expectations - a little anyway.
The negotiators back then were Bob Goodenow for the players and John Ziegler for the owners. A couple of days in, Ziegler called a press conference and essentially said, ‘we capitulate, you win, here is our offer, it should be everything you want.” He talked about gold-plated dental plans, just bizarre stuff. But optimism swelled because it looked as if the league had surrendered. It was just assumed the strike was over. Hours later, Goodenow came back and rejected the NHL's proposal out of hand. The air leaked out of the balloon fast.
Mood swings like that happen all the time in NHL labour discussions, especially on the days when NHL labour discussions spill into the public eye. So on Tuesday, when the NHL made what appears to be a significant step towards resolving a lockout that has lasted a month and a day, my advice is: Wait.
Wait for now before getting your hopes too high.
The NHL put a new offer on the bargaining table for the NHL Players' Association on Tuesday morning, which includes a 50/50 split of hockey-related revenue across the board and contingent on an 82-game season beginning Nov. 2.
"We hope we've given our best shot," NHL commissioner Gary Bettman told reporters on Tuesday afternoon.
Bettman added that the offer calls for no salary rollback and the revised schedule - if implemented - would see one week of training camp and every team playing an extra regular season game every five weeks.
NHLPA executive director Donald Fehr said the offer - which is at least six years in length - is an "excellent start" and he would go over it with his membership in a 5pm et conference call.
added 1:19pm, also note the NHLPA has a 5:00pm conference call scheduled with their executive board.
Read more tweets from John Shannon....
Waiting for NHLPA response...
Today's CBA meeting between the NHL and NHLPA in Toronto may tell us what the future holds.
A simple question, will the two sides find some common ground today that will lead to a new CBA?
from David Shoalts of the Globe and Mail,
Well, sorry to throw cold water on any faintly glowing embers of optimism but there is no sign this round of talks is going to be any less lame than what’s happened so far in the month-long lockout.
First, the parties are strolling into the union offices at 11 a.m., not exactly the time of day that would indicate urgent business is at hand. Second, there are no talks formally scheduled beyond today. Finally, while the parties will discuss the major economic issues that separate them – the players’ desire for more revenue sharing and the owners’ desire to slash the players’ salaries – all they’re going to talk about, according to Daly, are “ideas for moving the process forward on the main issues.”
It’s all about the process, don’t you know.
The best both sides can do right now is suggest the other make an offer.
In the meantime, the NHL embarrassed itself when Deadspin found out the league dropped a wad of cash on notorious Republican spin doctor Frank Luntz. He convened a focus group in Washington, D.C., to explore ways to blame the lockout on the union and the whole thing blew up in the NHL’s face on social media.
from Craig Custance of ESPN,
Horcoff is now a veteran of multiple lockouts. The Oilers captain has been active in the NHLPA for years and even though he's not surprised that another round of regular season games are expected to be chopped this week, it doesn’t make it any easier.
"It’s the same thing every time with the owners. [Gary Bettman's] first defense is to cancel games and test the players. There’s been no effort to negotiate on his stance. Their negotiation is 'The players have to come down to us or we’re not moving at all,'" Horcoff told ESPN the Magazine on Monday. "Gary has forced the players' hand into this situation and frankly, he’s [ticked] us off. I think at the start, that first offer they gave out, that was a big, big mistake on Gary’s part."
But it’s not even the cancellation of games or the stalled negotiations that appear to irk Horcoff the most. He questioned the sincerity of the league when it comes to concern for hockey fans.
"I sit there and read Gary and Bill’s comments about, 'We feel sorry for the fans.' Well, I find that really hard to believe," Horcoff said. "I think it’s a blatant lie, personally. I don’t feel they feel sorry for the fans at all. Gary feels like no matter what, [the fans are] going to come back and couldn't care less if they're frustrated with this. He’s going to do what it takes to get the best deal and couldn't care less what they feel."
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 firstname.lastname@example.org