Tuesday, May 10, 2005


Another Big Day

A top NHL source said, "I suppose they owe us something today. Some sort of counter."

I may have finally gotten to the bottom of one of the most confusing aspects of what is currently going on. The PA has two different tones at these meetings...The players are very engaged and aware of the importance of getting a deal done yesterday, while Bob is content to wait (some say until November). Bob feels it is more important for the NHL to make a deal right now than the players. That gives him his position of strength. However, if we remember correctly the deal that the players brought forth 5 weeks ago was a linkage deal, right? And any linkage deal needs to get done yesterday because some sponsors are starting to look elsewhere...(rumor has it come May 15th two majors may be lost)

I asked a top source at the NHL about why Goodenow would wait given the loss of revenue in a linkage deal. The source said this..." The 'new concept' wasn't really Bob's thing. I don't think he was ever on board with it...he went along with it, but it came more directly from the players." Yet Bob used it in his message to the players, claiming that he was shocked that Gary offered up a new proposal instead of working off of the 'new concept'."

The NHL source added, "For 5, almost 6 weeks we tried to engage Bob on the 'new concept' but he was completely unwilling to bring the cap and range down at all. Our new proposal was a way to get the cap up to near where they want to be, while putting forward concepts that would provide guarantees that we can keep the league afloat."

An NHL player added this, "The "skeptics" like myself are being told to keep quiet until the 24th due to the recent public shots at Bob. They're assuring us that if there is something that can be done, it will be done by the 24th. The way I've read into this is that he's deadline hunting"

The NHL also gets blamed alot for statements like "When will they begin to negotiate?"..The players feel they have made all the concessions to date, and when they hear this kind of talk the PA unifies against the NHL...This tactic needs to stop. No one is winning...an NHL source I talked to added this, "the point is not that they haven't offered alot, we realize they've offered a ton. the point is when we're down to the short strokes on a new system, instead of "negotiating" various points of any proposal we make (which they have never done), they have instead rejected every proposal we have made outright, and continue to tell the world that we're not on the same page. they refuse to engage in a give-and- take discussion on any issue. that's the point. we do recognize that they've made alot of concessions in this negotiation-- no doubt about that. by the same token, the situation was so bad that that's what had to be done for the sport to survive."

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