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Thursday, May 26, 2005

nhl- Too Many Wishful thinkers

from The Maven and MSG Network, There are people out there in Hockeyland who want you to believe that an NHL-NHLPA Collective Bargaining Agreement merely has to be gift-wrapped and Fed-Exed to Bettman, Inc. for his seal of approval.
Yet, as the month of May winds to a close, the fact remains that there still is no pact and all those who proclaim -- as the Ottawa Sun has -- that the talks are “the closest they’ve been” -- are up against a wall of pessimists who assert otherwise.
The good news is that the two days of management-union meetings in Chicago on Wednesday and Thursday were productive in the sense that the two sides are still talking.
One such participant, Devils’ CEO-President-General Manager Lou Lamoriello tells me that such momentum is vital.
“The most important thing is that these meetings keep happening consistently,” Lamoriello tells me, “and that there’s no time lag.”
More meetings are slated after the Memorial Day holiday with Commissioner Gary Bettman and his union counterpart Bob Goodenow facing off again. Both were absent from the Windy City conferences.
Official communiqués from each side look on the positive side.
“Further progress was made in reviewing and discussing league and club financial and accounting issues,” says the league’s chief negotiator Bill Daly.
The NHLPA’s negotiator Ted Saskin adds, “We completed two days of meetings, focused on revenue-measurement and reporting issues. There’s a lot more information to be exchanged between the parties.”
Translated into reality speak, it means that the wheels of progress are grinding as slowly as the Canarsie local but at least they are moving -- somewhat.
“But,” I’m told by a key principal in the CBA marathon, “it’s too early to tell which way we’re heading.”...more...