So, the PA presented its response to the NHL's 290-plus page proposal Monday with one not nearly as long, but which Commissioner Bettman called "comprehensive". Don Fehr said the union made some movement off its last proposal. The NHL is reviewing it and will contact the union tomorrow morning, and intend to meet with the players reps again.
A good sign? Perhaps, because they are still talking. But it's all mapping out the terrain in detail at this point. More work and haggling to be done.
Judge for yourself.
Here's a quick recap of the brief pressers by Don Fehr and Bettman, held outside of NHL HQ on Sixth Ave: Somehow the New Year's Eve gremlins prevented it from being posted:
There’s not a lot to say. Basically we received a long document from the NHL on Thursday night, and we’ve been going through that, formulating a response. They requested that we give them a response all at once on everything rather than discuss issues on an ongoing basis, so we accommodated them on that. We gave them a response today, we met for a couple of sessions, not terribly long, and there was some internal work on both sides and they’re in the process of reviewing the document and the presentations we made and we expect to hear from them again tomorrow.
Did you make any movement off your last offer?
Yes, but I’m not going to describe it beyond that.
We covered the range of subjects they covered. Their document included a very long list of contract language as opposed to bullet-point items, and we have not attempted to do that. I don’t even want to attempt to do that until we know what we’re trying to agree on.
Last time, you said both parties were closer than people thought. Same sense?
My view hasn’t changed from a month ago.
We expect to hear from them in the morning. (Don’t know) what time we’ll get back together or what they’ll say.
Do you get any sense that they found some common ground?
No, that was not the purpose of the discussion. It was for us to respond and have them ask a couple questions for us to explain a number of the point we had made and we expect to hear from them tomorrow. We’re all staying around.
As I’ve said, I’m out of the prediction business, if you don’t have an agreement today, you get up and try again tomorrow.
We’ll make our responses both to the NLRB and to the district court at the appropriate time, but I don’t think there’s anything imminent.
Disclaimer still an option?
Players retain all the legal options they always had.
We spent a good part of the afternoon with the players association, they were responding to the proposal we made on Thursday. Their response was a comprehensive one, dealing with the full slate of issues that we raised and proposals we put forth, and we’re in the process of reviewing their response. We’re going to do that tonight and our expectation is that we will contact them tomorrow morning and arrange to get back together, hopefully certainly by midday.
There was an opportunity for the players to highlight the areas they thought we should focus on based on their response and that’s something we’ve got to look at very closely in addition to the myriad of other issues. The process continues and we’re anticipating getting back together tomorrow.
It would be premature for me to characterize it and not particularly helpful to the process; we really need the time to get through it and spend the time, so we can turn this around overnight. There’s a lot of people upstairs who have a lot of work to do.
Length of season more than 48 games?
There have been reports on every subject and every possibility imaginable, we could do with a lot less speculation.
Owners coming to New York?
Not currently contemplated, we’ll see how things develop.
We made a comprehensive proposal, 290-some pages of documents. We need time to analyze their response, just like they needed three days to analyze it before they could come back to us.
We’ve said we need to drop the puck by Jan. 19 if we’re gonna play a 48 game season. We don’t think it makes sense to play a season any shorter than that.
Status of district court filing and NLRB?
It’s there. Nothing that’s happening tonight or tomorrow.