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Are secret meetings between the NHL and the NHLPA a good thing?
Friday was an interesting day in the 2012 NHL CBA Negotiations, mainly because the general public almost didn't find out what happened. There were rumors mid-way through the week that the NHL and the NHLPA were going to formally meet in Toronto to continue their negotiations on HRR. But as of Friday afternoon those meetings never materialized, and it was expected the two sides wouldn't speak again until next week.
Except that turned out to be far from the truth.
Bill Daly confirmed on Friday that the two sides did in fact meet on Friday in Toronto. He refused to give any further details. Reports surfaced that the two sides were slated to meet Saturday and Sunday, but then those reports were refuted by other claims that the two sides were going to informally talk on Saturday to try and see how to take the next step.
Then, when it seemed like everything was calm on the surface, reports surfaced that both the NHL and the NHLPA urged the other side to come up with a new proposal. Basically, both sides were saying the same thing: Let's cut this patience game, both take a step towards the middle at the same time and try to get a deal done.
But will it be enough?
To be fair, the ball is in the NHLPA's court here. If both sides do come back to the table -- whenever that may be -- then the players shouldn't be expecting a major change from the NHL's proposal they put on the table back in September. Why would the owners make major concessions on their offer when the NHLPA has yet to even make a full counter offer from their original proposal? It wouldn't make sense.
So if the NHLPA makes a real counter offer, maybe we can see some movement. Let's be honest here, when a deal gets finished, the numbers are going to be close to a 50-50 split. Even if the NHLPA gets a 53% split, it's going to be close.
Right now the numbers are 54.5% for the players in the NHLPA's offer, and 49% for the players in the owner's offer. That's not a big difference. At all.
So if the NHLPA comes back with a 53% share, maybe the owners move up to 50 or 51 and then maybe we see a deal get done.
But that speculations will have to be put on hold for now. Hopefully we learn more, and learn it soon.