The NHL Lockout does not appear as if it is getting any closer to an end and, with the 2012-2013 NHL regular season scheduled to start a week from Thursday, the next step is to begin cancelling regular season games after the NHL Lockout has already wiped out the preseason. If we are to see an NHL season, a preseason is still necessary, meaning we may be looking at a November or December start to the regular season.
Of course, that is on the premise of the Lockout coming to an end soon. That does not appear at all close.
Negotiations between the NHL and the NHLPA toward a new Collective Bargaining Agreement on Tuesday finished after two hours with no progress reported. No further talks are currently scheduled.
Again, the 2012-2013 NHL regular season was originally slated to start on October 11. Cross that date off your calendars. We are not even close to seeing NHL action.
NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly did not rule out involving a federal mediator during upcoming talks, although that does not seem like a strong possibility at this time. NHLPA executive director Donald Fehr also said the union is not against outside help and has had exploratory talks with NHL commissioner Gary Bettman about the option.
But we should not get too excited about that either.
“A mediator can only be helpful if both sides are willing to embrace it and compromise,” Daly said. “We certainly haven’t ruled out that possibility.” To me, that is not exactly a sign that we are anywhere near this taking place. We are nowhere near much of anything taking place as of this minute.
“Today was not overly encouraging, that’s for sure” Daly said after the union left the league offices.
That is the same as saying talks are going nowhere.
“By losing the preseason, we’ve probably done close to $100 million in damage to the business that’s not going to be recouped,” Daly said. Fehr fired back and placed much – if not all – of the blame on the owners and the league.
“This is really important. This is a lockout they decided to have, This was a lockout of choice. There was no reason for it. Negotiations could still be ongoing,” Fehr said. “And so, if there’s a problem here, maybe someone ought to look in the mirror over there.”
Again, that does not sound like a glowing endorsement that we could be seeing NHL games for quite some time. Both sides are making sure of that fact.
It may take two to argue. But it takes at least one to make the first step in making up, and neither side appears ready, willing or able to make any such move.