Bottom line: Nothing is decided yet.
Do we all get this? You sure? Okay. Let’s not turn these speculations into “facts”, or believe headlines that lead readers to conclude things have been decided upon when, in fact, everything is up in the air until said otherwise (probably Saturday). And although I’d like to, I speculate that you do not need me to define the word for you.
What is happening is talk. Literally. And this is a vitally necessary step in the right direction. The CBA discussion resumed this morning at the National Hockey League’s office, the first time the NHL and NHLPA have met in person since last Friday. The NHLPA’s contingent, led by Executive Director Donald Fehr, arrived at 11:35 a.m. ET. Before heading in, Fehr was quoted by reporters saying “We have some things to tell them.”
This meeting is being held in advance of the union’s player meetings, which are scheduled for later today and Thursday in Manhattan. Upwards of 300 players are supposed to attend, including Boston Bruins forward Tyler Seguin who just signed a 6-year deal worth $5.75M per year. Seguin tweeted this morning (@tylerseguin92): “With almost the whole team heading to New York on a train for the @NHLPA meetings. #theplayers”.
Given the NHL’s strong position on a lockout- Bettman intends to lock the players out if a new deal isn’t reached by Sept. 15- there is little time remaining for the two sides to come to an agreement. The general consensus is that NHL games will be played, but that the regular season will not likely start until sometime between Thanksgiving (November 22) and the Winter Classic (January 1, 2013).
Frustrations have bubbled over, and the union has turned to Canadian provincial law to challenge the lockout.
“The NHLPA, through a Montreal-based lawyer, issued a cease-and-desist letter to the Montreal Canadiens and the NHL, and plan to appeal to the Quebec Labour Relations Board this week on behalf of their case as well. Quebec does not recognize the NHLPA as a certified union, which means a lockout by an employer cannot be lawfully imposed, they contend.” Katie Strang of ESPNNewYork.com reported today.
NHLPA press release says an emergency hearing on the application is scheduled for Friday at 10:30 a.m. in Montreal.
For more information on the Montreal debacle I suggest reading Eric Macramalla’s article- he is, after all, a partner at a national law firm and a sports legal analyst and sports lawyer.
My speculation on the lockout situation is in agreement with my co-writer, Adam Bernard, who stated that he believes the unofficial/under the table deadline is the Friday after Thanksgiving. The Rangers-Bruins game is at 1PM that day, and is NBC’s first NHL telecast of the season. “It’s one thing to miss games on a cable sports network, but if a national broadcast network misses a game, that’s a whole different animal. The NHL has enough trouble getting exposure on channels that people in the US can find.”