The NHL and the NHLPA will meet again today, this time in New York to continue their attempt to agree to a new CBA before the September 15th deadline hits.
Last week ended up being a wash. The top executives from both parties met in a private meeting on Wednesday and then they cancelled the afternoon meetings at the NHLPA's request. Then, on Thursday, the two sides only met for 90 minutes and came no closer to a new deal.
This can't happen again. Not this week. We're too close to the owner's deadline. So what do the two sides need to do today?
Join me after the jump for more.
The Owners Need To Remember This Is A Negotiation - As of this point, the NHL hasn't made any concessions. Then again, they really haven't negotiated from the player's offer at all. And maybe that's the problem. In the NHLPA's offer, the players lowered their own share of the pie for three years. Granted it was only 3%, but it's still something. At this stage in the game, the owners haven't done anything at all to try to get to a middle ground. They've simply stood on top of their perch and have been unwilling to move.
The NHLPA Needs To Manage Their Time Better - The two sides didn't formally meet on Wednesday because the players asked for the day off to go over their stance. Then, on Thursday, the two sides only met for 90 minutes because Donald Fehr had to get to a players only meeting at noon. This has been a major problem throughout the negotiations. It took the players until last week to even give their full proposal, a full 42 days after the owners gave their initial offer. Read that sentence again. Don't you think the two sides could have used that time to negotiate if the players had come back with an offer quicker? Don't discount them from blame.
Just Sit Down And Work It Out - We're nearing the magic hour now, and if we don't see an agreement we better see long meetings. With less than three weeks to go there is no reason these guys shouldn't be meeting for ten hours a day if they have to. We simply don't have time for 90-minute meetings anymore. We need substance. Once the two sides agree on some little things they can work towards bigger things. But that will never happen if they continually get frustrated and/or need to go back to their parties to see where they stand. Just pull the ties off, roll up the sleeves and get working.
We don't have time for anything else.