Today marks the beginning of August, which is most often the very worst month of the year for hockey fans. Most of the major transactions, as well as the minor ones, go down in July in the weeks that follow the opening of free agency, and then the fire dies down to a small flame come August. There's an extremely small chance we a see a move of the magnitude or larger than that of the one that brought Rick Nash to New York before the start of the 2012-13 season; the closest move will see that will garner any sort of attention will be where veteran forward Shane Doan lands. But until then, there's pretty much nothing at all to talk about.
Oh wait, that's right, we could talk about how there may not even be a 2012-13 season, making the month of August even more spectacular for hockey fans. Yay!
But in all seriousness, we did receive some information in regard to the negotiations taking place between the League and the NHLPA as they attempt to come to terms on new a CBA. It's not a lot of information, but like I said, do you have any other ideas as to what we could talk about?
So a couple weeks ago I reported on the proposal made by the NHL and its owners to the NHLPA, right? Right. You can read that and get all of the details here. To sum up, the NHL basically declared war against the players with a low-ball offer to get the ball rolling - or, to be honest, stop the boll before it even had a chance to roll in the first place.
That was several weeks ago, so you would expect at least some progress to be made. Well, that's not exactly the case, as yesterday's meeting between the two sides here in New York was commissioner Gary Bettman and the NHL providing clarifications on the previous proposal that the players had requested. So, in essence, they just went over the original proposal again, but in a more detailed manner.
This means that a counterproposal has yet to be put on the table by the NHLPA, and there are, what, six weeks until most training camps are supposed to begin? If the NHL had only just completed its presentation on revenue sharing yesterday, and now the NHLPA will need time to discuss and deliberate what was given to them and eventually come up with a proposal of their own, I think we are definitely looking at a delay at the very least.
To me, it just seems improbable that an entire CBA can be constructed in just six weeks if they are still dwelling on stage one at the moment. NHLPA executive director Don Fehr even said it himself when talking to the Daily News:
“We did begin to get the first installment of club financial information that we’d requested and they’d undertaken to begin to produce,” Fehr said. “I am told that it’s the first, small portion of it, that there is far and away the overwhelming majority yet to come, but we assume that that’ll be coming in due course. And in order for us to be in a position to make a comprehensive response or counterproposal or alternative proposal to the club’s principal economic proposal, obviously we’re going to have to be in a position to complete that process, and that’s gonna take some time to do.”
This just may be the seemingly never-ending offseason from hell.