Blue Notes

Steve Zipay takes you inside the locker room, home and on the road, with the New York Rangers, and also writes about the NHL, off and on the ice.

After tense night, CBA talks resuming today

NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman leaves following labor talks

NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman leaves following labor talks in New York on Nov. 9, 2012. (Credit: AP)

 Well, the sides are back at it, after some friction Wednesday night.  And I'm back at the hotel on the stakeout.

I can tell you this:

The talks were thisclose from breaking down Wednesday night when pensions -- not an issue for months -- became one, and owners at the table were stunned.  The NHL had raised the "make-whole" offer on existing contracts from $211 million to $300 million and dropped its insistence on extending free agency eligibility from age 27 to 28, and backed off on eliminating salary arbitration.

The NHL also was surprised at the insistence of the union for a five-year contract; they proposed 10, with an option to break at eight years. Those sparks and frayed nerves were  expected to bring Don Fehr and Gary Bettman back into the room.

So the talks, according to a credible league source, were hanging by a thread. But cooler heads prevailed.

In hockey terms: save, and a beauty.

Should be an interesting day...The players were convening Thursday morning first....

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