When you go a few months without making a ton of progress and remain stuck in a lockout, perhaps getting some new blood invovled isn't a bad idea. That might explain why when the NHL and the union resume their bargaining talks Monday evening in New York, there will be some different faces sitting at the table.
Based on the names being reported as likely to attend, the possibilities of intrigue are tremendous.
Doug MacLean says Steve Yzerman and/or Joe Nieuwendyk will sit in on meeting today in New York.— Bruce Garrioch (@SunGarrioch) November 19, 2012
Vincent Lecavalier and Martin St-Louis will attend the NHL CBA talks tonight.— Renaud Lavoie (@RenLavoieRDS) November 19, 2012
For those keeping score at home, that would be two members of the Tampa Bay Lightning on the players' side and one general manager of the Tampa Bay Lightning on the owners' side. Because of the rules put on players and teams communicating during a lockout, this would be the first time they have talked in months, but they'd probably get through the pleasantries pretty quickly.
Keep in mind that Lecavalier and St. Louis are two of Yzerman's three highest-paid players and guys who have not been hindered by the salary cap and the previous CBA. Actually, the league might look right at Lecavalier and see the type of contract it wants to get rid of -- a long, rich deal that restricts mobility.
UPDATE: Turns out we won't have that pairing after all. Yzerman said he won't be involved in the talks.
Steve Yzerman says he will not be involved in todays CBA talks.PA meets internally in roughly an hour. Full mtng will take place after that.— Darren Dreger (@DarrenDreger) November 19, 2012
Assuming that Nieuwendyk is on hand and not Yzerman, it adds a really interesting dynamic to the conversation here. In Nieuwendyk you have a guy who was a player during the last lockout. If anybody in the NHL could understand both sides better than him, I'd like to see who.
As for the meeting itself, as of yet we don't know really what to expect. The meeting was suggested by the NHLPA so the league, which says it is done making offers, is coming in all ears, waiting to hear what the union has to say. The hope is that with multiple players showing up -- and some new to this year's negotiations -- this could be a big day in negotiations. At this point, though, that's just anybody's guess.