The league and it’s players association will meet Thursday after the NHL, in an unexpected turn of events, not only submitted it’s latest proposal but made their proposal public.
This move came as a welcome surprise to most fans (seeking transparency) as Gary Bettman, NHL Commissioner, had stated just the day before that taking their offer public would be a hindrance on the negotiation process. There is little optimism amongst the players however. Many see this latest twist as an official starting point of sorts. And while this is technically progress, there’s still a long ways to go.
ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun sees this milestone as a likely tipping point in negotiations. Primarily because, to this point, there’s been no counter proposal by the players union — just rejection. LeBrun, in his latest blog post this afternoon, said what’s next should be easy to identify: If the players union submits a counter proposal, it would be a positive sign as it would signify the beggining of true negotiations and indicate progress. An outright rejection of the league’s proposal would indicate that the two sides are still significantly far apart. This, in turn, would indicate that there’s still a long way to go.
Tim Panaccio of CSN Philly had an interesting take on today’s latest developments. In his “Flyers Talk” article this afternoon, he indicated that making this latest proposal public is a thinly-veiled, shrewd negotiating tactic. The majority of fans have seemingly appreciated the transparency of making the latest offer public. But in doing so, it puts pressure on the players association to get a deal done. Making the offer public buys a bit of good will with the fans as it comes across as them being reasonable and honest. An outright refusal of their deal by the players will now potentially come across as greedy.
The league has been locked out for just over a month. Regular season games were supposed to have begun on October 11th. 82-regular season games in total have already been cancelled through October 24th.
We will continue to keep you updated on the negotiations as they happen. Make sure to check back on us frequently!