NHL CBA talks to resume on Tuesday, sparking hopes of a thaw in the “cold war” between owners and players.

NHL CBA talks to resume on Tuesday.

THE GLOBE & MAIL: Chris Johnston of Canadian Press reports a marathon meeting between NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly and NHLPA special counsel Steve Fehr (stretching from Saturday afternoon to early Sunday morning) “covered a lot of ground” (Daly’s words), leading to the two sides slated to meet on Tuesday to resume CBA negotiations which have been stalled since October 18.

David Shoalts, meanwhile, reports a number of owners are unhappy over the league’s last proposal containing a provision preventing teams from using bonuses to reach the salary cap floor, while AHL players would see their salaries capped at $105K. “The clubs in this group include the usual small-revenue teams such as the Florida Panthers, Nashville Predators and New York Islanders but others, such as the Dallas Stars, St. Louis Blues, Washington Capitals, Anaheim Ducks and Colorado Avalanche, are unhappy as well”, writes Shoalts. As for the AHL players, it’s possible the Professional Hockey Players’ Associations (which represents minor league players) could take the NHL to court if AHL salaries above $105K are counted against the NHL team cap.

ESPN.COM: Pierre LeBrun also reports the two sides are scheduled to meet on Tuesday in New York City. The NHLPA has a conference call between its executive and the negotiating committee slated for Monday.

 THE OBSERVER.CA: Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun also suggests the frosty relations between the NHL and NHLPA might be thawing. Though all NHL games through December 1 have been cancelled, Garrioch suggests it is still possible for the NHL to stage a 60-game schedule without the Stanley Cup playoffs starting late.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Cautious optimism is the overall feeling since Daly and Fehr’s lengthy meeting over the weekend. It’s the first real negotiations between the two sides since mid-October, and as Garrioch observed, there’s still time to get a deal done and play a meaningful (albeit shortened) season. Don’t expect a resolution this week, but there does appear a desire on both sides (based on what I’ve read and heard over the past three days) to reach an agreement on a new deal. Division of hockey-related revenue remains the primary sticking point, which I daresay is what will be discussed on Tuesday. Once they finally reach an agreement on that, things could move quickly after that. I’ll have more about this later today in my “Soapbox” column.

As for those two groups Shoalts noted, if Bettman pushes for this, given the commissioner’s power and influence, I doubt those owners will be able to successfully overrule him. The league would, however, have more of a fight on its hands with the PHPA, but that’ll depend upon what ends up in the new CBA.

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3 Responses to NHL Lockout Morning Coffee Headlines – November 5, 2012.

  1. hckyfan1026 says:

    As a fan of a small market team, I am getting tired of them being singled out and thrown under the bus as driving this lockout. All 30 owners voted for a lockout however logic would dictate that the smaller markets would rather be playing hockey as opposed to having an empty building with zero revenue coming in and still having to have people on the payroll (coach, GM, assistants, support staff, etc.). The fact that only five owners have even been involved in CBA discussions should also give you a clue as to who might have all the power and influence in these negotiations as well. I guess my beef is that all 30 teams wanted a lockout not just those called out in the media and unless those organizations are breaking the NHL gag order then its merely conjecture and should be taken with a grain of salt.

    • Molson09 says:

      It depends on how much, said team is losing. If they are really bleeding, not playing could be less expensive than playing.

  2. Sandy says:

    Keep Gary Bettman & Donald Fehr off the negotiations and we might see a settlement.

    These two are about egos & arrogance and nothing else.

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