Another round of negotiations is still occurring between the on-again/off-again warring parties in the NHL lockout. Every time there seems to be a deal present, one or the other parties tries to get a few more million or a an extra clause added in and the other side shuts it down. The players have resorted to re-activate the ‘nuclear’ option, the disclaimer of interest. Meanwhile, the owners have outright told Bettman that the season will get shut down on January 11th. With but a week to go, and what looked like a compromise has fallen apart again.
The chirping has also started up again. This time it’s Washington Capitals’ Jason Chimera who is firing off at the powers that be. “I don’t trust Gary Bettman right now and what his motive is,” Chimera told the Washington Post. “He’s a nice man, I’ve met him numerous times, but I don’t trust what’s happened so far. If they’re working that late, last night was great and if they keep meeting [Thursday] it’s positive,” he explained. “I just don’t believe anything anymore until it’s done.”
With all due respect to one of the players that knocked us out of the playoffs last season, his new round of gripes isn’t helping. (Chimera has issued various gripes in degrees of intensity since August.) What is needed is to have them take a serious look at the deal that both sides have put on the table. They were at the point once already where they knew where they could go and how much they could get. Then they tried for a little bit more, and it all slipped away from them.
They’re still going at it. The small groups seem to reach consensus but when it comes time for the large party negotiations, the aura of “deal breaker” still seems to float over the head of the union head(as the union stands at the moment)Don Fehr. As long as the ownership can’t acknowledge that their own refusal to deal with the NHLPA chief pushed the players to use the disclaimer gambit, they might as well turn off the lights and kill the season.