Marc DesRosiers-US PRESSWIRE
More meetings planned, but not much progress made from Monday's talks.
The two sides met again on Monday. The summary of the meetings? There will be more talks on Tuesday, but no real progress was made. In other words, the same thing we've seen since June.
The two sides continued the seemingly daily trend of taking pot shots at one another. Bill Daly and the NHL are frustrated that they haven't seen a full proposal from the NHLPA yet -- which isn't a surprise, to this point Donald Fehr has given his proposals in increments -- and the NHLPA is upset that the owners don't see a reason to talk about the contracting issues.
So, more frustration. Rince, lather, repeat.
The two sides simply aren't talking the same language yet, and that's a fault for both partie's leaders. Fehr has gotten some major concessions by simply frustrating the opposition, but he doesn't seem to know when to stop pushing. That strategy might pay off in spades, or it might backfire and kill an entire season. We have yet to see.
But the NHL is to blame here, too. They set the tone with their original offers, and Gary Bettman actually seems to be in over his head for the first time in my lifetime -- there have been reports that he promised the owners a massive win if they locked the players out, a promise that's already failed to deliver with the owner's 50-50 split proposal. Again, those are just reports, but there's got to be some truth there. The owners scored a huge win in 2004, this doesn't look like it's going to follow the same path.
Anyway, the good news? There will be talks on Tuesday. How far those talks go depend greatly on whether or not the NHLPA decides to give a full offer.
Either way, Richter's proclamation that we would see hockey by December 1st is in grave danger. Like, we would need a deal Tuesday, grave danger. But hockey in December isn't out of the question. We just need a deal soon. Which isn't exactly expected.
Rinse, lather, repeat.