NHL Lockout 2012: Is The NHLPA Stalling The Negotiations?

To this point the NHL owners have given three different offers, while the NHLPA has only given one and a half. So is Donald Fehr's reluctance to give a new offer holding things up?

A new reality is slowing seeping into the 2012 NHL CBA Negotiations, and it might explain why there has been no progress made since the September 15th deadline passed starting this lockout. The reality is as follows: The NHLPA and Donald Fehr are at fault for the current state of the CBA Negotiations. There's really no way around it.

Right now, the NHL owners gave the most recent proposal either side has seen back on September 13th. It was a take it or leave it offer, and the NHLPA chose to leave it on the table.

Now? The NHLPA has yet to give another offer, binging the total number of offers they've tabled to two. Well, actually, one and a half, since I don't consider Ferh's "revision" of the NHLPA's first proposal to be a new offer. So, if you're keeping count, the NHL has made three offers to the NHLPA's one and a half.

Wouldn't you wait for the other side to make the next move?

The NHL publicly urged the NHLPA to make a new offer, which makes sense. There's no reason for Gary Bettman and the owners to give another offer, and continue to negotiate against themselves. That's what they've basically done to this point. Love or hate the owners for their role in this lockout, you can't blame them for digging in on this, it's the NHLPA's turn to make the next move.

There are rumors out there -- and to this point they're unconfirmed -- that the NHLPA has been crafting or did craft a new offer, but many members of the NHLPA don't want to give it because they believe they've already given enough.

Remember, the owners started with the NHLPA's share at 43%, while the players started at 57%. That was way back in the beginning of the summer. Today? The owners stand with the NHLPA getting 49%, while the players are sitting at 54.5%. Even if the owner's first offer was an insult, the owners are a hell of a lot closer to the 50-50 split than the players are.

Look, things aren't going to move forward until Fehr stops being stubborn and makes a new offer. He simply has to. This is how negotiations work, and if Fehr things Bettman and the owners will blink first, he's quite mistaken. The owners waited out the players back in 2004, and they can do it again.

If Fehr doesn't come to the table with a new offer, then we might see that again.

Let's hope that doesn't happen.