NHL Lockout: CBA Negotiations Could Get Ugly Fast

The longer the cat-and-mouse game known as NHL CBA negotiations go, the potential for ugliness increases. It's become a multi-billion dollar staring contest. The trendy label that's being used is the "rhetoric" between both sides, and the latest rhetoric could change the landscape of the NHL if it's acted upon.’

Kevin McGran of The Star spoke to NHLPA Director Donald Fehr about the current status of the CBA talks, and painted a grim, almost apocalyptic picture if they persist for a long time.

“If this goes on for an extended period of time, I don’t know what they (the players) are going to do. But I think it’s safe to say, they would be exploring all options,” said Fehr."

One option broached by Fehr already would be removing the salary cap—the very thing the owners fought for and players fought against seven years ago.

Here was Bill Daly's response to Fehr:

How could the owners react to such a bold move by the PA? How does stripping away guaranteed contracts sound? Chris Stevenson of the Toronto Sun has more:

“So when it comes to reworking positions, what would the owners consider? If the NHL owners ever wanted to get into the "back to the future" type of threat employed repeatedly by Fehr, how about a new system that doesn't have guaranteed contracts? It seems to work for the NFL.”

… Scary words, but that's all they are—hollow threats. The NHLPA is trying to "scare" the owners back to the bargaining table. I don't see any of this ever going down, because you could be looking at the dismantling of the NHL as a sport altogether if it did.

… The good news (if there even is any) is there's still dialouge on the non-economic issues, which have to be agreed upon for a deal to even happen. I'd like to remain a "glass half-full" guy as much as possible.

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About James Wrabel, Jr.