NHL lockout: Gary Bettman, NHLPA have always had trouble 'speaking the same language'

Speaking the same language has been an issue for Gary Bettman and the NHLPA over the years. (Getty Images)

When the NHL and NHLPA met last Thursday in Toronto, the players made three proposals to the league, all of which were rejected.

What followed was a gloom and doom press conference from commissioner Gary Bettman. He not only talked about his disappointment with the meeting, but also added "It's clear we're not speaking the same language."

That can be a problem, and it's not the first time the two sides have needed a translator.

If you kindly step into Dr. Emmett Brown's Delorean and go back in time to the last NHL lockout -- the one that canceled an entire season -- you will notice that even then Bettman and the NHLPA were having trouble "speaking the same language."

From Sept. 9, 2004 (via ESPN's crosschecks blog), here is Bettman's response to the NHLPA's initial offer that included a 5 percent salary rollback: “We’re not even speaking the same language."

It's like we've already been here before. Over and over and over again.

Hopefully, this lockout has a happier ending than the one in 2004-05.

The league has already canceled 135 regular-season games and if there is any hope for a full 82-game season, a deal will have to be reached this week. At this point hockey fans would probably be satisfied with a 65- or 70-game season.

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @agretz on Twitter and like us on Facebook.

CBS Sports Writer

Adam Gretz has been writing about the NHL and taking an analytical approach to the game since the start of the 2008 season. A member of the PHWA since 2015, he has spent more than three years covering... Full Bio

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