With the NHL's latest CBA proposal on Tuesday to the Players' Association, the feeling you came away with was, for the first time, Gary Bettman is actually ready to negotiate in order to save the 2012-13 season.
Adrian Dater of All Things Avs informs us NHL analyst Pierre McGuire recently joined a Montreal radio station for an interview, and McGuire noted one thing Bettman did not say publicly regarding his latest proposal that should breath a bit of optimism into everyone.
The questioner, Mitch Melnick, asked if the current proposal by the NHL is a framework to get something done within the next 7-10 days:
I do believe that, and I’ll tell you why: Usually when Gary Bettman says this is our last, best offer, he says that publicly. He did that the last time. Unless something’s changed in the last four hours, you’ve never heard him say this is a last, best offer.
Once he says that, he’s not messing around. But right now, he’s opened up the ability for both sides to negotiate off this original document. I truly believe that you can get something done off this document.
Talking to players last night, talking to management people this morning, I truly believe they can get something done off this document.
Has Donald Fehr and the NHLPA changed their tune? Do they feel they have to in order to secure a fair deal? There's no doubt this latest power play by the League has thrust the PA into the spotlight. Added pressure to get a deal done because of the perception the Players' are now the villans could play a role.
Chris Stevenson of the Toronto Sun has more:
The league got criticized for putting its offer out there in the public domain, but at least the NHL has crafted something the players and others can tear down. And didn't NHLPA executive director Donald Fehr once say he'd like to see negotiations televised?
We haven't heard anything constructive from the players' side since they made an offer during two days of meetings in New York almost five weeks ago. The NHL crafted a response to that offer in about an hour, I think it was, and since then, there's hasn't been anything but static from the players.
The NHL and NHLPA are set to meet today around 1 PM and its believed the Players' will have their own proposal.
… Very simple: if the NHLPA tries to get greedy here and go off the grid with a completely different proposal, don't expect hockey anytime soon. Bettman has given the Players' a running start to negotiate, although when you ask the PA it sounds like the latest deal is more of the same.
… There's a deal to be made here—get it done, folks.