Wednesday, April 06, 2005


Interview With One Close to the Situation: Meetings

Well the PA and Owners will meet Thursday and Friday in Detroit. Much is expected to come from these meetings as the sides continue to make progress toward ending this lockout.

Getting people to talk right now isn't easy, but a source close to the situation agreed to an interview last night...We talked for two hours, much of it he asked me to keep of the blog for now..but he was good enough to allow me to post this interview with his approval...

Q: How would you rank the progress that was made on Monday in comparison to all the talks since this began?
A: It was a good day. It was passionate. Bringing some new people in was important. The PA did not present a formal proposal, but did present a framework. They made their second big concession since the 24%, by saying they would be willing to look at roster size. And then they put forth the new concept that we have heard about The NHL response surprised me. I am a pessimist, as you know, and I have been in the camp that thought this was about breaking the union and getting replacement players on the ice. Bettman you could tell was fired up, like a weight was lifted off of him.
Q: So you are implying that the NHL doesn't want to break the union?
A: I am not going to go so far as that yet, there are some owners who absolutely believe that replacement players are the way to go. I know Daly doesn't want any part of it, he has really been the most against it in my opinion. And there are some teams that have said they will go along with replacement players begrudgingly.
Q: What about this "workable concept."
A: It is workable, but more than that it is something that Gary can go to his 37M teams and say "See we won!" The PA truly made a smart move. They did what you, and many others, had said they had to do. They gave the NHL something they could feel they won through this process. Now the NHL has to return that favor. Give the players a reason to think the lockout wasn't for naught. That won't be easy. Didn't JR say "Throw us a bone" when asked what the NHL should do? For the NHL this lock-out will be about when they got a salary cap. But this lock-out has to be about something for the players. They want to be able to say the cancelled season got us "x". The NHL has to find "x" and it needs to be a pretty good size "x".

I will post more of the interview and other leaks as the day goes on.

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