NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 13: Don Fehr, executive director of the National Hockey League Players Association meets with the media at Marriott Marquis Times Square on September 13, 2012 in New York City. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
The first official week of the 2012 NHL lockout consisted of no official meetings, a series of informal phone calls and e-mails, a hearing in front of the Alberta Labour Board and no official meetings. Did I mention the two sides didn't meet formally last week? I did. Well, let's mention it again.
Neither side met officially last week.
It was a major blow to the fans who were hoping/expected a quick resolution to the lockout, and lack of negotiations forced the league of cancel all preseason games through September 30th. Currently no regular season games have been cancelled, but it's only a matter of time at this point.
This week can change all that, however.
Join me after the jump for more.
The good news from last week? Both the NHL and the NHLPA are talking, something both sides have pointed to as being a positive. At this point in the 2004 negotiations the two sides were mum, a silence which laster for months. We're not at that stage yet. And if the fans are going to see hockey this year the two sides can't get to that point ever.
But, there haven't been any negotiations since September 15th passed. Some of that might have had to do with the two sides having to make their presentation to the Alberta Labour Board on Friday, but that excuse is invalid this week. The two sides have nothing to keep them apart from one another now, and with the cancellation of regular season games seemingly next on the docket, it might be enough to get the two sides to the table.
Remember, as of right now, only the NHL is loosing money. The players won't start missing checks until regular season games are missed. The teams make an estimated $400,000 per preseason game, so you can see how that adds up.
Hence the frustration from the fans that we haven't seen any real negotiations. Well, that, and the lack of hockey being played. The New York Rangers were supposed to open training camp on September 21st. Instead, fans have seen no hockey.
The lack of meetings, especially after the NHL's official statement right after the lockout, has many people irate.
The only people who seem calm and patient are the people on each side of the negotiating table. Hopefully that changes this week. And hopefully that changes the tone of these negotiations.