NHL talks spiral out of control.
So remember when we were all optimistic that the NHL season would be saved earlier this week? All of those good feelings flew out the window Thursday when the talks between players and owners spiraled out of control and completely broke down.
Wednesday night, the League sent a proposal over to the Players Association. On Thursday, the Players got together and discussed the deal, and decided that they didn’t like some of the provisions. According to the Washington Post, after only an hour of joint negotiation on Thursday, everyone left. Nothing was solved.
I think I’m beginning to see a pattern for this lockout: the two sides meet, fans get their hopes up, a deal is offered, the deal is rejected by the opposing side, back to square one. This time, however, I think it’s time to nail the coffin on the would-be 2012-2013 hockey season. It’s December, any hope of having players hit the ice is getting pretty slim.
Despite the short meeting, Donald Fehr, executive director of the Player’s Association, still seemed optimistic. He told the crowd of press waiting outside the building where negotiations were taking place that a deal could be reached soon.
“If we can get a positive response and conclude this, hopefully it doesn’t take long,” Fehr said, dangling another carrot to hockey fans everywhere.
However, then the madness really began. After that statement, Fehr and the players scrambled around a bit and then returned to the podium to speak. All of the things he had just said were taken back.
“There has been a development. It’s not a positive one,” he said. “We have been advised in a voice mail message that the moves the players made were not acceptable. There was no reason to stay around tonight or tomorrow, that they would be in touch. And that something — everything is off the table,” continuing, “we don’t know what that means.”
A little while later, NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman took the podium and offered the league’s side.
“I find it almost incomprehensible he did that,” said Bettman, talking about Fehr’s original optimism. “I am disappointed beyond belief that we are where we are. I need to take a deep breath and try to regroup.”
The owners had offered the players a fairly lucrative deal. However, there were certain parts of the deal that the players still weren’t okay with, and the League was looking for a “yes” or “no”, not another round of negotiations. So, for now, everything is shutdown. Exactly the opposite of what some people were hoping would happen this week.