LOCKOUT: Day 79 – Let’s make a deal(this way).


September 12, 2012; New York, NY, USA; NHLPA executive director Don Fehr (right) flanked by Vancouver Canucks player Manny Malhotra (to his left) and Winnipeg Jets player Ron Hainsey (to his right) during a press conference at the 2012 NHLPA summer player meetings at the Marriott Marquis. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Well, both the NHL and the players union have approached the canvas from a lot of different ways in order to paint themselves a deal for a new CBA. It looks like they will be try another. Yesterday, NHLPA head Don Fehr sent out a release on the NHLPA website.

“The NHLPA has agreed to a meeting on Tuesday in New York that should facilitate dialogue between Players and Owners.  Neither the Commissioner nor I will be present, although each side will have a limited number of staff or counsel present. There will be Owners attending this meeting who have not previously done so, which is encouraging and which we welcome. We hope that this meeting will be constructive and lead to a dialogue that will help us find a way to reach an agreement.”

Good news I hope.  The NHL expects these owners to be in meeting: Ron Burkle(Pittsburgh), Mark Chipman(Winnipeg), Murray Edwards(Calgary), Jeremy Jacobs(Boston), Larry Tanenbaum(Toronto) and Jeff Vinik(Tampa Bay). It is a decent mix of excellent and struggling teams. It’s also a good cross section of the profitable and cash-leaking teams. My only concern with this lot is that the only two teams that will want to make a deal in an aggressive manner are Toronto and Pittsburgh.  Winnipeg, Calgary, and Tampa Bay are all losing money, and we all know how Jacobs’ mind works.

I do not believe we will see much in this current round of negotiations. My belief is this a stop-gap measure to let the fan base know that ownership is still committed(right…..) to ending this lockout. I believe the real moving and shaking will occur the day after tomorrow when the ownership meets and determines the league’s next steps in either resolving this lockout or wiping out the 2012-13 season. Then again, we’ve been given our fair slice of surprises so far. We could get our own Christmas miracle.