Negotiations between the National Hockey League and National Hockey League Players’ Association that will hopefully end this freakin’ lockout have resumed today. All I can say is that they are being held somewhere in New York City. (I just say we keep looking around till we find the bar or restaurant that has run out of Molson.) There was a short Q-and-A for the media before the parties darted off to the Batcave, er negotiation location. This latest series of talks were put together by the NHL and NHLPA’s #2 men, NHL’s Bill Daly and the player’s union Steve Fehr.
So, now that both sides agree that 50/50 is probably where the HRR is going to end up, and that hockey is in fact played on ice, what will the talks entail? NHLPA Executive Director Donald Fehr said the agenda will focus on the “issues which divide us.” The players view has always been that we ought to keep negotiating until we find a way to get an agreement and you sort of stay at it day by day, so it’s very good to be getting back to the table,” Fehr said. “We hope this time it produces more progress than we have seen in the past and we can figure out a way to make an agreement to get the game back on the ice as soon as possible.”
“Sometimes you need to get together in a forum and discuss where you are and figure out logistically how to go forward,” Donald Fehr said. “We think it was a productive discussion in that regard.”
There is another way to figure out where the talks are being held. Two of the Bruins are currently in attendance to these meetings. Milan Lucic and Shawn Thornton are both in attendance. Both players have re-signed for three and two years respectively, and are both known for occasionally expressing their frustrations on the ice in polite, but direct means. I’m just going to wait to hear the ref’s whistle and see where they’ve set up the “sin bin” for penalties. Seriously though, the cancellation of the Winter Classic may have been the panic button that finally scared enough people on both sides to get the ball rolling towards a viable collective bargaining agreement and an abbreviated, but playable hockey season.