Another day of discussions between the NHL and NHL Players’ Association are in the books. Both sides met for approximately two and a half hours on friday to discuss “technical matters” before ending the session. NHLPA executive director Donald Fehr, the players’ association is still in the process of gathering information. Best guess is that they are getting very serious about the owners first offer. The players have not yet submitted a counterproposal, and it doesn’t look like they’re ready to offer one of their own.
“When we get to the point where we’re going to formally respond to the proposal they made — by description, by counterproposal, or by separate proposal of our own — everybody will know,” Fehr said. “We’re not there yet.” Following three straight days of meetings, the NHL and the players union are expected to get back together tuesday in Toronto to focus on secondary topics. Those issues include player safety, discipline, divisional re-alignment, and other areas covered under the current collective bargaining agreement, which is due to expire on September 15th.
Both Fehr and NHL commissioner Gary Bettman were hesitant to offer any label on the overall theme of the discussions. On the brightside both sides perceived them to be constructive. Bettman and Fehr have characterized the process thus far as civil and business-like.”I think this week has been a good dialogue,” Bettman said, “but there’s much more to be had.” My hat (2011 Bruins Stanley Cup Champions to be specific) is off to the pl