There was some optimism during today's meetings in New York City, and it sounds as if the NHLPA and NHL are finally getting down business. Gary Bettman, Bill Daley, and the Fehr brothers met for the second time in two weeks, in an attempt to bridge the differences put forth by the NHL and NHLPA. After a short 30-minute get together this morning, both sides tailed off for an extended break to meet with their respective sides. In between all of that, it was noted that the NHL had submitted a counter-proposal to the players union, and according to Bettman, it was a "meaningful movement."
While Bettman was able to shed some light on the NHL's counter-proposal, Donald Fehr was tight-lipped about the NHLPA's response to the offer. According to Fehr, they will analyze the proposal tonight, and get back to business tomorrow. Fehr also indicated that the NHL's proposal is "a proposal we intend to respond to."
The fact that Fehr stated this proposal is something they would like to respond to, hopefully hints at their being some common ground on the core economics. However, it could go both ways here, since we don't know the finite details of the counter-proposal just yet. As it stands right now though, there is a sense of optimism, and hopefully the building blocks are put in place tomorrow afternoon, when the NHL and NHLPA will meet again.
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Which brings me to my next point being that tomorrow is kind of a big deal when it comes to a new CBA. I know there were days in the past that were considered "important", but tomorrow takes the cake.
The fact of the matter is, we're just under three weeks until the current CBA expires, and with the NHL presenting a counter-proposal, tomorrow is make or break. If the NHLPA denies the offer outright tomorrow, both sides are expected to take some time off, which will likely lead us up to the September 15th deadline. If it comes to that, we're in for a long road ahead. Let's hope tomorrow is that much better than today.