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Friday, April 08, 2005

nhl- Final Report From NHL Meeting

The general consensus is a CBA deal will be in place by April 20th. The rules and changes are secondary right now, but the NHL has to have them in place no matter who is playing.
Neither side wants to go to court over this matter and knows it would only add to the disgrace that both sides have suffered.
I casually sat next to a team representative from Philadelphia, no idea who he was, and just struck up a conversation. He said the sides will meet next week and try to get a CBA deal done. This person is afraid of more damage being done and the NHL cannot afford to have any more negative press. Also, ESPN must know what is going on by the end of April and sponsors on both the national and team levels must have some sort of idea if the NHL will be using replacement or regular players. If replacment players are used, many of the sponsors on the team level will probably pull out of their sponsorship deals. This includes signage on the boards, in the arena, etc. Also includes radio and television.
The most encouraging aspect I got from being there is the willingness of both sides to continue talking and the lack of information being discussed about the CBA. Normally, both sides would float ideas to certain media people, but that has not happened, meaning both sides are respecting each other and not using the media to one-up each other.