A few days ago it was reported that Gary Bettman offered the NHLPA a Player/Owner only meeting; meaning that Bettman and Fehr would be riding the pine for these talks. Now, in just a short while, the NHL Players and NHL Owners (still without Bettman and Fehr) will take to a conference room in New York City and try to get the ball rolling on a deal that would salvage what is left of an NHL season. Many questions have appeared on Twitter regarding whether this meeting is a “good” or “bad” sign. There is no definitive answer to these questions, one can only say “I do not know if it is good or bad, but seeing how negotiations have gone, what can it hurt?” The NHL released the following statement on their website:
NHL, Union to have players/owners CBA meetingTuesday, 12.04.2012 / 12:47 PM / News
The National Hockey League and National Hockey League Players’ Association will have owners and players meet face-to-face Tuesday in an attempt to move forward negotiations toward a new Collective Bargaining Agreement.
Six NHL owners and 18 players are expected to attend the meeting, which takes place Tuesday afternoon in New York City.
The idea was suggested by NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman after members of the NHL bargaining committee and the NHL Players’ Association met with federal mediators last week. Those meetings broke up after two days of sessions.
Bettman and NHLPA Executive Director Don Fehr will not attend the meeting Tuesday.
Ron Burkle (Pittsburgh Penguins), Mark Chipman (Winnipeg Jets), Murray Edwards (Calgary Flames), Jeremy Jacobs (Boston Bruins), Larry Tanenbaum (Toronto Maple Leafs) and Jeff Vinik (Tampa Bay Lightning) are listed as the representatives of the League.
The Union announced Tuesday afternoon that the following 18 players will be involved in the meeting:Craig Adams, David Backes, Michael Cammalleri, Sidney Crosby, B.J. Crombeen, Mathieu Darche, Shane Doan, Ron Hainsey, Shawn Horcoff, Jamal Mayers, Manny Malhotra, Andy McDonald, Ryan Miller, George Parros, Brad Richards, Martin St. Louis, Jonathan Toews and Kevin Westgarth.
The NHL and NHLPA have been without a CBA since Sept. 16. Games have been cancelled through December 14, along with the 2013 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic and the 2013 NHL All-Star Game.
A report also came out yesterday, from a Boston News Channel, that the end to the NHL lockout is near and that a deal maybe announced as soon as today or Wednesday. The gentlemen that reported this also broke a story on Phil Kessel years ago, leading us to believe his report might have traction. With all this being said, I still would advise fellow hockey fans to not jump the gun or jump to conclusions. We simply do not know what is going on and it would be wise to stay away from the PR tornado that is media; it will save you from tons of stress. Simply, the only way we will know when the lockout ends, is when we see NHL teams lace up the skates and play some puck.
More to come as info is released…
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