Kukla's Korner

Kukla's Korner Hockey

Talks remain at a precarious point, with tempers tender

If you believe the concept that "leaks" are a bad thing, then this little origami paper crane flittering and fluttering over a bonfire is starting to smolder, as one might expect. Per the Toronto Star's Damien Cox:

The conversation went something like this.

"Let's leave," said Boston Bruins owner Jeremy Jacobs, turning to NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly.

"It's up to you," replied Daly.

At that point during the talks between the NHL and NHL Players Association on Wednesday, a day that began as a continuation of the momentum generated on Tuesday, both sides were at the precipice, and the 2012-13 season was in jeopardy. Earlier, Buffalo Sabres goalie Ryan Miller had angrily vented when the owners said they were disappointed with the players responses to an earlier offer and threatened to pull everything off the table.

But with Jacobs threatening to abandon the talks, other owners spoke up, and then both sides dramatically backed away from the precipice. When talks ended close to 1 a.m. Thursday morning after more than eight hours of talks without NHL commissioner Gary Bettman and union executive director Don Fehr, it certainly seemed from the outside they were getting closer and closer to a deal to end this ugly lockout.

Continued, and things are indeed fragile, folks. As a fellow fan, I desperately want things to work out and to see my Red Wings skating at the Joe in January, but I'm sticking with, "Hopeful but not optimistic" for a reason.

During the 04-05 talks, the NHLPA's December 9th, 2004 proposal was at least taken well enough to form the backbone of the CBA that Bill Daly wrote while Ted Saskin nodded along, but the PA wouldn't budge on a $42 million hard cap de-linked from revenues, and the NHL wouldn't budge from what I believe was something like a $36 million cap with an ironclad link to a percentage of Hockey-Related Revenues, and the season was canceled as a result.

Things could go either way very quickly. Try not to get taken on this emotional roller coaster, because I know how emotionally exhausting it can be. Hockey wasn't as easy to follow in real time back in 04-05, but those of us in the know could nearly pull it off as well as Twitter allows us to these days, and it was heartbreaking when things fell apart. I hope things turn out differently this time around--desperately--but emotional caution is essential.

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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