At one point, it sounded like there was going to be a fourth straight day of CBA negotiations on Monday. That obviously didn't happen. The NHL instead needed a little time to do some homework before resuming.
Don't fret; they'll resume meeting again on Tuesday. Four days out of five ain't bad, especially after two weeks of stone-cold silence.
When the sides come back together on Tuesday in New York, they will return the conversation to the elephant in the room: hockey-related revenue (HRR). Well, sort of, as Chris Johnston of the Canadian Press reports.
Tomorrow's CBA session isn't expected to include system issues or division of league revenue. Only the definition of HRR.— Chris Johnston (@reporterchris) October 1, 2012
So the day won't be dedicated to further trying to splice the HRR pie, but that hardly means it's not going to be a meaningful session. The definition of HRR is as big a part of this whole situation as anything else.
As it stands, there are exemptions on the total revenue that don't go to HRR. So owners get some of the pie before splitting it with the players. It's why the NHLPA continues to say a 50/50 split on HRR isn't really 50/50; the owners have a lot of money that is exempted from the HRR.
When the original offers were put forth by the NHL, they included even more changes to what defines HRR -- i.e. less qualifies. The NHLPA obviously didn't like that, and the NHL eventually made its last pre-lockout offer conceding to keep the HRR as it was defined in the last CBA. That wasn't ideal for the owners but apparently is something they're willing to give in on.
The NHLPA naturally wants to see fewer exemptions in HRR because that's less money they can get. At the same time, if there were more money in the pot, the players would likely be willing to take a lower share of it.
As you can see, it doesn't tackle the HRR split directly. But it certainly is a key component of the negotiations. An agreement -- or at least progress toward that end, on what defines HRR -- would be a big step that could pave at least a few bricks on the road toward a new CBA.
No matter what they are discussing, just remember: Any meeting is better than no meeting. At some point, it would be nice to see some progress, though.