Sad to say but, we all see this coming from a mile away. According to the National Hockey League, they are preparing to retract their latest proposal to the players association as today's self-imposed deadline approaches its end. The last time the two sides got together was last week, when the NHL made their "breakthrough" proposal, with the NHLPA responding shortly there after.
The players association tried to re-ignite talks on Tuesday night, as they requested a meeting with the NHL, but minus the preconditions. The decision was quickly axed by the league, as they had no interest in negotiating unless the NHLPA negotiated off of their latest proposal, or put together a brand new one. Bill Daly spoke with ESPN New York, and shared the following:
"When we delivered the proposal last Tuesday, we told them it would be on the table through today. This proposal no longer works because it was a proposal to save 82 games. We have to re-think where we are, and what type of season we're looking at, and we have to formulate and construct a proposal that makes sense for the reality of where we are."
As I stated above, the NHLPA responded to the NHL's initial offer, and came back with three alternate proposals of their own. The funny part though? It took the league, and owners all of fifteen minutes to throw them all in the trash, and call it a day.
Let's get one thing straight here, and I'm sure you have heard this everywhere you read about the lockout. Both sides realize that a 50/50 split will be the ending ground. The NHL wants a immediate 50/50 drop, but are open to a reasonable decrease over the first year or two. Meanwhile, the NHLPA wants to start out in the range of 55-56 percent, and work their way down to 50 percent in the final year of the the proposed life of the CBA.
To be fair, the only way we're getting a deal done is if the NHL allows the NHLPA to take a gradual decrease in their shares. That's just how the world turning right now. In turn, the NHLPA has to allow their shares to drop off quicker than they have been proposing.
The NHL's latest proposal called for a six-year collective bargaining agreement, with the option for a seventh year. Let's stick with six years for the moment here. The NHLPA's proposal(s) had them only approaching 50/50 in the fifth year of the CBA, which obviously doesn't sit well with the league. The shares have to decrease and meet in the middle by at least the second or third year, to have some sort of common ground.
If this were the case, we'd be watching both side duke it out at the negotiation table right now. Unfortunately though, we're stuck here watching a stalemate that is about to get a whole lot worse. Starting tomorrow, the NHL is expected to chop off the whole month of November, and could possibly cut more. The next items on the chopping block are the Winter Classic, and the NHL All-Star game in Columbus.
To close out here, I get that this proposal by the NHL was meant for an 82-game schedule, but in all honesty, they shouldn't scrap it completely. Both sides had some traction in their respective offers, which could ultimately spark a deal. At the moment though, neither side is willing to work to the finish line.
Hopefully something changes, and changes fast, otherwise we may be waiting here for quite a while.