The NHL and NHLPA met multiple times last week and seemed to be making some real progress until the end of the week, when things appeared to hit the fan. We found out that, after so much time spent at the bargaining table, they made up little ground -- and things were starting to sound ugly again.
Afterward, NHL commissioner Gary Bettman came out and gave one of his "it's up to the union" lines about restarting talks. It sounds a bit antagonistic. Usually whenever we've heard things like that before, things took a chill for a while.
Despite the way last week ended, the two sides are likely going to get back together Sunday and try to work out those differences, according to ESPN.com's Pierre LeBrun.
NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly says he expects bargaining with the NHLPA to resume sometime Sunday afternoon...— Pierre LeBrun (@Real_ESPNLeBrun) November 11, 2012
Well, that's some good news. Their words after the last round of meetings ended didn't put a kibosh on any more meetings so soon when it had the potential to do so. The league didn't seem very happy with the union, particularly Donald Fehr, whom they accused of withholding some information in a leaked memo to the players.
Before last week's heavy dose of bargaining, it appeared to all be set up with a day-long meeting between NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly and NHLPA lead counsel Steve Fehr last Saturday. Well, those two might be responsible for getting the talks started again so soon this time around, with an assist from the Kings' Kevin Westgarth.
This from Darren Dreger of TSN on Saturday evening:
Tempers have settled, at least among those involved in negotiations. Daly, S.Fehr and Kevin Westgarth met over lunch and had a good chat.— Darren Dreger (@DarrenDreger) November 11, 2012
Seeing that happen for the second time in one week, doesn't it make you wonder if we wouldn't be better off leaving the negotiating up to Daly and Steve Fehr? They seem to be about the only guys who can actually get something done as of late.
Who knows how much we'll actually hear after these meetings, but I remain a believer that less is more in that regard. But if we do hear anything, let's just hope the tenor isn't too sour. If it is, then we aren't close to being out of the woods yet.