PITTSBURGH, PA - JUNE 22: NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman speaks during Round One of the 2012 NHL Entry Draft at Consol Energy Center on June 22, 2012 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
The NHL and NHLPA met once again in Toronto, just over 24-hours after yesterday's CBA meetings were cancelled, and we're still on the same page. According to Renaud Lavoie of RDS, the reason the meetings were cancelled yesterday was due to the NHLPA needing more time, in order to create a proposal on player contracts. However, following their proposal earlier today, Gary Bettman stated that both sides are still far apart on that issue, more than anything.
The NHLPA wants more flexibility when it comes down to negotiating new player contracts, but the NHL wants a tight-knit system with limitations on years, and abolishing front-loaded contracts. I can see where the players are coming from, being that they want their money, but when 15-year contracts are being tossed around, it begins to be a bit excessive. The owners aren't helping their cause either, by throwing out big extensions in the midst of these negotiations. All of this makes for bad negotiation tactics.
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Among all of this mess, there is still an optimistic mindset coming from the NHLPA, as they still believe there is enough time to get a deal in place by September 15th. I'm not so sure the fans are in the same boat here, but with just a little bit of giving from both sides, it could go a long way in assuring there will be hockey next season. Hopefully this is the case during next week's meetings in New York.
The NHL and NHLPA are expected to have another private meeting on Tuesday, which will contain Gary Bettman, Bill Daley, and the Fehr brothers, in an attempt to bridge the gaps between both sides. Here's hoping we have some better news next week, because the clock continues to tick.