The dust has settled from the NHLPA’s decision to reject – or rather, non-decision to accept – the NHL’s new divisional realignment plan, with most of the mainstream media and blogosphere punditry considering it the opening act in the next round of CBA negotiations.
Opinion appears divided over whether it was a good move by the PA to show the league it won’t be pushed around by the league, or a dangerous one which can only result in another work stoppage.
Regardless, it’s probably a good idea to prepare ourselves for the public posturing to come from both sides.
First, it’s important to remember the labor landscape is very different now compared to 2004, when the atmosphere between the two sides was poisoned by acrimony as they dug in for a very nasty standoff.
Back then, it was about “cost certainty”, aka salary cap, as well as the owners desire to crush then-PA director Bob Goodenow (who they passionately hated) and his militant right-hand men within the Association.