Just a quick update on the labor situation:
If there’s a delay to the start of the NHL season, it will be due to a lockout, not a strike, the NHL Players Association executive director said today.
“All I can tell the fans is that nobody on the players’ side is talking about stopping the season,” Donald Fehr said during a conference call from Chicago. The current CBA expires on Sept. 15, and Commissioner Gary Bettman said the owners will not play another year under that system.
Face-to-face negotiations involving Fehr and Bettman on the differing economic views in a new CBA will continue Wednesday, although the two may speak before then, Fehr said.
The NHL has proposed sharp cuts in the players’ 57 percent share of hockey-related revenues, new lengths for regular and entry-level contracts, and eliminating salary arbitration. The players are willing to take slightly less money in return for increased revenue sharing for team in financial straits. Each side has said the gap between the sides is significant. "We know the players' aggregate market value is more than 57 percent," Fehr said. "That's why there's a cap (for the owners to reduce that figure).”
The former MLBPA boss did say that he was “reasonably optimistic” that there might be a way to find common ground faster on smaller issues that have been discussed in committee meetings. But that's understandable: It's the mountain, not the plains, that counts.
And, as promised, the Whale, Sound Tigers and the rest of the AHL schedules, here: http://theahl.com/2012-13-ahl-schedule-released-p178712. They will, for sure, be skating in October….