PA invites NHL back to table…

Little information thus far, heres whats availableTORONTO — In response to media inquiries, the National Hockey League Players’ Association (NHLPA) confirms that it contacted the National Hockey League (NHL) today inviting them to have discussions on a small-group basis. No new proposal is being made by the NHLPA. The location of this meeting is not being disclosed.

“We think it is appropriate and hopefully useful to engage in these discussions at this time. We are not meeting to present a new proposal and remain committed to reaching a fair deal that does not include a salary cap,” Ted Saskin, NHLPA Senior Director.;jsessionid=GMDFFLNCAFJO?content=20050117_173459_5708

22 Responses to PA invites NHL back to table…

  1. habsoverserver says:

    If the owners cave once again, in January, they will never again be taken seriously.

  2. hockeyhead says:

    goodenow and bettman are not expected to attend.

  3. rojoke says:

    I don’t think the owners will cave this time out, especially since Bettman has been partly responsible for attracting some the of the current owners. George Gillett has gone on record as saying that when he purchased the Canadiens, he was all but guaranteed “cost certainty” in a new CBA. If others were told the same thing, which is pretty plausible, then they won’t settle for anything less than that.

  4. NjDEVSFN says:

    its not the fact their meeting that surprises me, its the fact the FINALLY decided not to have Goodenow and Bettman in the same room

    why? well, we all know that Saskin and Daly are the speakers for Goodenow and Bettman respectively, so, for the first time, they will do a lot of talking WITHOUT much influence from their boss

    this should allow for some actual conversation(if not negotiation) which doesnt have any mudslinging involved

    both sides agreed to this save-the-season meeting, and both will do that, because, if not, the other side will roast them in the media, and if it turned out that Daly and Co left the meeting upset by Linden and Co, well, you would see PR now in the PA side

    if both sides can agree to GET A DEAL, even if it sacrifices the season, that would be as big a surprise as saving the season

    i hope SOMETHING gets accomplished

  5. Flyers_Fan_In_LA says:

    I have been saying it all along and anyone who reads my posts knows it.

    Bill Daly said in today: Once the primary issue of cost certainty is resolved, “pretty much everything is negotiable,”

    This makes getting a deal done easy. If only my online ad clients would be so forthright about their objections – i could close every deal I worked on. The players take a cap and fight to make it as high as possible. THEN ask for at least one franchise player. Maybe two in a short season and for next. They get to be free agents sooner. They redo the arbitration system. The players get say in the rules changes that go into place. A pre-negotiated part of teh 300 million dollar war chest goes to marketing of the players and the game. And so on.

    NO hockey player will starve my this plan. No owner will starve either. The game will begin to heal by the playoffs. It will take 10 years to forget what happened for the fans and writers. Bettman will be a god among owners. Players might turn on Goodneow for taking them down such a dark path. Both should be replaced to breed even more good will.

    Scheduling: has scheduling possibilities. The look better than just guesses. I wouldn’t be suprized at all to find out Daly leaked these actual date scearios to the press to let the players know how close to the end they are with this process.

    One issue that caught my attention is the idea of divisional record mattering in who gets into the playoffs. I think it should be a straight conference schedule. And in the event of a tie for an 8th seed, there should be a special WILD CARD, NHL DEATH MATCH. Each team plays an elemination game to see who gets in. No BCS computer. No points by ties. Play the damn game. It would be so intense your plasma would crack in 1/2.

    This deal is going down. I am telling you.

  6. guinsfan4life says:

    As hockeyhead stated above, it is very interesting that Bettman and Goodenow are not attending this meeting. This leads me to believe others around the process think these two are getting in the way of getting a deal done that works for both sides.

    Perhaps without the egos in the room, they’ll get down to brass tax.

  7. Flyers_Fan_In_LA says:

    They will get their cost certainty and give lots of other stuff away. Both sides win.

  8. Flyers_Fan_In_LA says:

    I think it is significant that Bettman and Goodenow are not in the room. thier war of egos is what is keeping this situation from being resolved.

    Daly likely leaked the schedule possiblities to the press so that they could know how serious they are about being at the LAST moment to do a deal. That too was smart.

    ADD IN the PR spin stories about poor old Trevor Linden and how he just couldn’t live without hockey and really made this meeting happen. I just don’t buy it. It is guys like Trevor Linden who have been paid way more than they are worth and have benefited the most from the work that Mario, Wayne and Roy did to get to the current CBA. You say you wont accept a cap – then fine – find somewhere else to play. Otherwise shut the hell up and man up and take your multi-million dollar deal and play the game you are blessed to be able to make a living from. It is players like Trevor Linden that the NHL will spend 10 plus years recovering from. THAT is his legacy.

  9. kyle88 says:

    I don’t like the fact that sakin and daly are there. you can almost see the strings attached to saskin when he speaks, and i am sure if you look up you will see goodenow with the strings. not so much with daly, but you know who he is and how close he is with betteman. If there is no progression made through these talks, then you can get ready for the replacments.

  10. nocuphere says:

    I hope you’re right bro!!

  11. habsoverserver says:

    The owners finally get a mismatch. My guess is that Linden is not a labor negotiations brainiac.

  12. guinsfan4life says:

    I completely agree with you Flyers Fan. I think both of these gentlemen should be reevaluated after this is all over.

    LInden is a piece of trash. He’ll never make hte money that high caliber players are making becuase he just isn’t a high caliber player. I also agree this was a superb idea by the PA.

  13. Flyers_Fan_In_LA says:

    OK, lets recap what has happened as we have entered the 11th hour.

    1. The two agitants (Bettman and Goodenow) have been removed from the meeting to avoid another ego blow up that would cause a guaranteed end to any hope of a season. Both Dailey and Saskin know the party line and know how to make a deal too.

    2. Somebody from the NHL leaked (accidentally on purpose?) the possible schedules for a 28 game season. Hmmmm… I think Terry Frei is a good hockey writer but he can’t possibly be able to write such detailed schedules on his own. Maybe I am wrong but you have to look at the detail in the context of the day after this 11th hour meeting is scheduled.

    3. Trevor Linden is out spinning how sad he would be if there was no hockey so he called up out of the goodness in his heart to try to get a deal done. Can you say damage control PR for a union who is about to take a cap?

    4. Hall of Fame player and former GM, Phil Esposito has come out and said the players should accept a cap. He claims it is the first time he has not sided with the players. Note the timing of this story.

    THIS DEAL IS GETTING DONE. Players take a cap and get lots of goodies as a parting gift. The NHLPA spins the story like players are heros when they could have accepted a cap and saved the league from the damage already done along with saving ALL of the player money lost now. For this Goodenow should have problems in his own organization.

    And when hockey starts, it is going to be the most exciting 24 games you have ever seen. Each game is worth more than 2 wins if you think of it. A loss would be KILLER for a team. The Pens, Caps and Rangers will tank to try to get Sid Crosby. In a short season it is easier to swallow being so bad to finish dead last.

    GAME ON.

  14. 19Yzerman says:

    This meeting is going to display how to negotiate a new CBA without the clash of two individuals who are so arrogant they cannot get the deal done. So the owners and the players are basically saying that we now know we both have incompetent people trying to spearhead our new CBA for us and we are not going to continue to allow this personal vendetta to obstruct us from establishing that we can agree on the terms and conditions for a new CBA. So meeting with out these two disruptive individuals is BRILLIANT!!!

  15. guinsfan4life says:

    As realistic as this all seems, I just can’t get excited about it yet. I understand that all the stars are apparently aligning because the two stoogies are there, but the prospects of even attempting a 28 game schedule is just not advisable. They should shorten the playoffs and play more regular season games. Have the top 6 teams in each conference make the playoffs….

  16. Aetherial says:

    I strongly agree that every comment that is *leaked* or uttered by either side has a purpose.

    That purpose is, and ONLY is, to make the other side believe your side is committed unto the death and they better cave in.

    Yes, what Daly asys has a purpose… just like Goodenow telling players to find jobs in Europe.

  17. Aetherial says:

    A 28 game season would be GREAT! I would prefer to see a few more… like 36 or so and then have the playoffs shortened… eitehr reduce the # of teams or make the opening 2 series shorter (round 1- best of 3, round 2- best of 5).

    Sadly, I am not so sure thiat is where this is going.

  18. Aetherial says:

    I strongly suspect that what this meeting is about is TRYING to have some frank discussion on what each side will *really* settle for. If that is acceptable, they will talk about how to spin it.

    I am not convinced that the result of this meeting will be any sort of deal at all. I am less convinced it will be a salary cap deal.

    It may be *something like* a cap, but something the players can say is not a cap and something the owners can say gives them enough cost certainty…

    It may be a cap with a minimum salary… so that the players can say it is *ok* but it does not guarantee that salaries sink into oblivion.

    It may be a tax that is so onerous that the owners can use it like a cap… especially if the tax money is re-distributed to teams under the cap. They will abolish arbitration, they will have strict rookie salary/bonus structures, possibly some sort of scenario in place to prevent contract holdouts…

    The players can claim victory and the owners can walk away knowing that, with a little restraint, they *effectively* got their cost certainty.

    At the end of the day… if a deal is done it has to give both sides reason to claim 2 things…

    1) They did not cave on their original positions

    2) They “gave in somewhat” for the good of the game.

    Finally… at some point, if they make a deal, they will need to spend a time brushing up on their stories so that they can try (ROFL!) to convince the fans that this whole mess was *necessary*.

  19. Flyers_Fan_In_LA says:

    Both sides have to spin the deal they make so they look like they won. Fans won’t care if there is hockey. If not the players may never recover in terms of PR. I also think Linden and his crew know this. They love being adored by the fans and losing that will be up there with losing all the money they stand to lose.

    Bettman is as good as fired if he doesn’t get his cap or something that is basically a cap.

    Someone on posted comments to one of the recent stories that pointed out that both sides have drawn the line in the sand but they are both FULL of BS. would the NHL not take a tax at 35 million at $2 for every dollar after that? the last time I checked the Yanks play baseball not hockey. even the Rangers wouldn’t screw that one up. On the other side, would the players turn down a $60,000,000 cap? THERE IS A MIDDLE GROUND HERE. FiND IT AND DROP THE PUCK…

  20. TML51 says:

    Just becasue there is one single meeting after only two previous, is no cause for us to be assuming that this will be the deal maker. The two are so far apart, that a deal seems impossible vs. reachable.

    When your union head says “get a contract in Europe”, this is clearly communicating that he is unwilling to negotiate, or accept the terms of the opposing side. In fact, no new ideas are coming to the table at all in this meeting. I suspect that other HTR members are closer to the truth when they point out that this is a “bottom line” talk, to see if there is any common ground. Just becasue a 28 game schedule was leaked to the press, does not mean a deal is imminent. I trust there have been people at the NHL making revised schedules since the lockout began back in the fall, just so there is a plan in place if a deal were to be reached. This is a standard practice in sports labour disputes.

    The fact that the two sides are meeting without the likes of Goodenow and Bettman may be a sign that there is distention in both camps. Once again, this is typical in any strike/lockout situation. I can honestly say that I do not agree with my union all the time, and that in past negotiations the loin’s share of positive agreement/negotiation came without the two leaders there, constantly barking rhetoric and pissing people off. This is all Bettman and Goodenow have done thus far, and it’s getting old. I think the NHLPA and the NHL realize this.

    Call me a stick in the mud, but I honestly do not think there will be hockey this year. I think what we will probably see is a halt in talks, official cancellation of the season, and then more intense negotiation at the end of the summer before the 2005-06 season begins. I hope not, but I don’t have a good feeling about this. The two sides are too far apart. After all, if you are told by your union to get whatever contract you can in Europe, apparently they aren’t too optimistic either.

  21. Flyers_Fan_In_LA says: is reporting both sides have agreed to meet again. That can ONLY be good news. Neither side came out saying things like “they aren’t even speaking the same language” or “We’ll never accept a cap”

    I am sure there are a lot of details to work out and the PR is the real trick. Goodenow might say Linden coerced him to do the deal. That allows Gooenow to save face and Linden to be a hero. Bettman gets his cost certainty and gives up lots of other stuff in return.

    A 28 game schedule will be like the Nextel Race for the cup. Basically a playoff season to get to the playoffs. It will be crazy and if it is exciting and anyone watches on TV Bettman will have dodged a bullet with NBC.

  22. guinsfan4life says:

    Yeah, I agree. A regular season based on 28 games seems foolhardy…I say play at least 40, top six teams make it in each conference, first round is best of 5, next two are best of 7.

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