Still don’t think that the NHL Owners latest proposal was simply a PR move? Well when asked to meet with the NHLPA to talk, the owners turned them down according to reports. The owners then announced today that it was highly unlikely and the entire 82 game schedule could be played.
The NHL put forth a proposal last week to split revenue sharing 50/50, but knew that the players would likely turn it down because of other stipulations such as not honoring current players salaries and limiting contract lengths. When the players brought three counterproposals to the table, the owners stormed out and blamed the players for bargaining in poor faith. The move briefly brought public criticism against the players, but the pendulum has swung back to equal blame.
The story came out that the owners were unwilling to meet with the players if there were no new proposals on the table, despite the players willingness to bargain. NHLPA head Donald Fehr also made a snide comment alluding to the fact that not all of the owners are even allowed to negotiate with the players. Today at the unveiling of the New York Islanders new home (spurring the headline: Worst Team in Hockey Takes Brooklyn), Gary Bettman announced that an 82 game season seems nearly impossible.
More games will likely be canceled this week, but a greater threat now looms over the season. As Greg WyshynskI suggested, the Winter Classic is the next thing in jeopardy. The Winter Class set to take place in Michigan between the Detroit Red Wings and the Toronto Maple Leafs is scheduled for New Years Day. However, there is so much build up to the game that the league needs to get games moving now. HBO’s 24/7 would be far less interesting if the documentary focused only on December 28-31. Even though it is seen as the key bargaining chip between the two sides, the obliteration of hockey’s showcase could be on the way. It looks like the outsourcing of American NHL Hockey jobs to Europe will continue for the foreseeable future.