Originally written October 03, 2012 on Sports Business Digest:
It might be an understatement to say things aren't looking too good at the moment for the NHL. The NHL and the NHLPA continued to discuss a new collective bargaining agreement on Tuesday, ending a two-hour negotiating session with what NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly termed as "no progress".
"Today wasn't overly encouraging, that's for sure," Daly said after the latest meeting toward establishing a new Collective Bargaining Agreement. "I think it goes back to us really tackling the main issues that are at issue in this negotiation and seeing if we have some traction toward some middle ground. "We're looking for a long-term deal that's fair for the players, fair for the teams and good for the fans. That's what we want out of this negotiation and we need a negotiating partner to get there."
No Progress. The league, which has already canceled the entire pre-season is almost certainly put in the position of having to cancel at least a portion of the 2012-2013 regular season, with those games being scheduled to start on October 11th. The league has already suffered $100 million in losses the price tag for canceling the preseason, according to Daly. Both sides are counting the loss, with neither side recouping the money. The NHL brings in roughly $3.3 billion in revenue per season. No further meetings between the two sides are currently scheduled, but NHLPA Executive Director Donald Fehr stated that he was having regular conversations with NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman. Still at issue is how both sides will divide the league's hockey-related revenue for the foreseeable future. While both sides do not seem to be any closer on that issue, Fehr believes that further discussions on the other, not as critical issue, of defining and interpreting hockey-related revenue can be nothing but helpful to solving the overall labor problem,
"From our standpoint you ought to be continually talking, even if you are disagreeing and not making progress, because you never know when somebody is going to say something that's going to spark an idea that will allow you to make progress," Don Fehr said. "If you're not doing well on subject A and subjects B, C, D and E need to be talked about, sooner or later we ought to be talking about those things. Even if you don't reach resolution on those things, hopefully we push them along."
While there are certainly some fans that still hope that the season will start on time, Daly's last words to reporters were telling,
"Certainly we're trying to be as creative as we can be and we want to think of ways to approach the issue," Daly added. "But, unless and until we hear from them and they make some movement or show some willingness to compromise I'm not sure how we get this done."
; information for this story: NHL.com/Dan Rosen (@drosennhl) ;
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