With negotiations continuing on Sunday for a third consecutive day, the NHL and NHLPA seem like they're intent on making up for lost time by already setting up a fourth straight day of meetings for Monday.
Even more exciting? It looks like they're going to start to refocus on the biggest item on the agenda once again: the money.
Expect CBA talks on HRR Monday. Should be announce later today.— Renaud P Lavoie (@RenLavoieRDS) September 30, 2012
OK, so exciting is a relative term. I can't imagine too many fans are jumping up and down over hearing how the latest offer is not good enough and breaking down the minutia of HRR splits, escrow and the like.
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However, the sides just finally reconvened on Friday after two weeks of not talking and have met each day since. In that time, they've been discussing the non-economic parts of the CBA, things that also must be agreed on.
"These meetings are necessary, but they have been described as the underbrush. And certainly they aren't the main issues that need to be tackled to get a deal," deputy commissioner Bill Daly said on Saturday.
While it was nice to see the sides talking again, we were still waiting for the big talks to resume. It appears that will happen sooner rather than later.
The problem with the HRR talks at the moment is that we're at a stalemate and nobody wants to move. The NHL and Daly have made it very clear that it's the players' move to make the next offer on the economic side. The first offers were not amenable to the league and owners (of course, the same can be said for the NHL's offers and the NHLPA's feelings about them).
This is still nothing to get your hopes too high over. They are still using terms like "bridges" and other not-so-encouraging buzzwords to describe where they stand.
"I am not going to talk about the specifics. But in general, we're trying to discuss how do we find a way to make an agreement," NHLPA boss Donald Fehr said Saturday. "How do we bridge the gap on the major issues that are between us?"
That's the billion-dollar question; the $3.3 billion question, to be exact. Hopefully, they will move a step closer to finding the answer on Monday. We can only hope.