When the first NHL lockout meeting in more than a week ended Monday night, there was some relatively good news -- namely that the two sides anticipated another meeting on Tuesday.
Well that might not happen, but it's not about the talks caving in or anything. The NHLPA just might need more time.
Some believed the next meeting would be pushed back until Wednesday as the union examines the NHL's request for a full offer, but NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly told CBSSports.com that right now no plans are set.
"I haven't spoken to the Players' Association yet today, so there are no definitive plans for our next meeting," Daly said in an email. "However, we did speak late last night, and I believe that I can confirm that I do expect to meet again this week."
On Monday, the NHLPA wanted a meeting, but the NHL made it clear that it's still waiting to see a full proposal from the union on the economic aspects as well as the contractual ones. Before the league is willing to talk about the contract issues, it needs to know exactly where the union stands on the economic side of things. It seems that mostly the league wants to see the union going back to a revenue split based on percentages and not fixed dollar amounts.
The NHLPA and its contingent of 18 players spent a little extra time deliberating Monday night after the meeting to figure out their next move. As a result, it's looking now like the next meeting might not come until Wednesday, when perhaps the NHLPA could deliver the NHL a long-awaited proposal.
From the Canadian Press (via TSN):
A source close to the negotiations says there now seems to be a sense of urgency coming from the players and indications are the NHLPA is preparing a series of "give and take" proposals. If the NHLPA's series of proposals materializes and addresses some concerns, talks on contract issues will pick up.
Drawing up a proposal the likes of which the NHL is looking for isn't likely to happen overnight. The NHLPA might need a little more time. Perhaps that will keep the NHL frustrated, but when you've been waiting 66 days, what's one more?
It would seem things are building perhaps to a positive place as the sense of urgency begins to kick in with more cancellations looming. I think it's safe to say Daly isn't the only one who is "frustrated" by this lockout.
But remember, this is the NHL labor negotiations. Everytime there is a step forward, they seem to take two steps back. Chris Botta of the Sports Business Journal isn't getting his hopes up for what will come next.
NHL expects PA to cave completely and wants union to write up its own collapse. Doubt it will go well tomorrow.— Chris Botta (@ChrisBottaNHL) November 20, 2012
Yippee! It could come back to a matter of not blinking first and nobody wanting to "lose" the negotiations, despite the fact that they are all losing when the lockout drags on.