The most recent disaster in the on-going CBA talks has left most of us a little bummed out. My ‘Bruins brother’ complimented me on my optimism, but he told me they weren’t ready yet. That there wasn’t going to be hockey until January 1st. At this point, that might be optimistic. Two days ago, the league was actually making some concessions, and both sides seemed to be on the verge of agreeing. Then Jacobs, and to a lesser extent Fehr decided to toss a grenade into the mix and left us where we are now.
The league has taken all their concession off the table…for now. From what I’ve (and I’m sure a lot of you) have been reading, a majority of the owners seemed to be in favor of a lot of the compromises. They had even went so far to express genuine hope that some sort of deal would actually be brought to fruition this week. Well, what if the players sat down again in the near future and were willing to give a second look at the owner’s latest offer. (This will probably take another meeting sans Bettman and Fehr, and if they are serious about a deal, throw Jacobs out of the room as well.) If another player-owner meeting could be arranged, and if team Penguin can work that magic again, I’m sure that deal would find its way back on the table.
I know Fehr’s image is starting to enter a realm of loathing formerly reserved for Bettman alone. Whatever you think of him, Fehr has done his job well. He has kept the union and the 700+ members united and angry enough for the owners to make reasonable c0mpromises. He has gotten the league from that openly insulting 43% opening offer to a deal that actually makes sense for BOTH sides. The players have done what they came out to do, but perhaps its time to declare a limited victory and get back to the table.
The players have played out their hand as far as they can (in my opinion) play it. It is now time to work with the league on its last offer. One more compromise, and I’d dare say we can have NHL hockey again.