According to NHL commissioner, Gary Bettman, the NHLPA’s latest proposalas well as the consequential meetings today were a “step backward.” After leaving the NHLPA offices in Toronto Bettman said: “We were done in an hour today because there was really nothing there.”
While the proposal gave fans a glimmer of hope, it did not truly seem like the tides were about to change. Both sides in this conflict are equally stubborn. The players obviously would like to play in the NHL, but at least they have an out by playing overseas. Our captain David Backes sent a text to ESPN today after the meetings stating: “We feel our newest proposal took a great step towards getting a deal done. It’s too bad the owners don’t feel that way and I fear that we may miss an extended amount of time now.”
It seems as if the situation has seen zero progress in the last couple of weeks and that Backes is totally correct about how much danger the NHL season is in. Though the season should have started last Friday, the latest proposal attempted to salvage a full 82-game season.
With the lack of progress, stubbornness on both sides, and the lack of a third-party mediator, there is no end in sight to this lockout. It seems more and more likely that there won’t be any games played at all this season. With KHL games to be played and also televised in the U.S., it seems strange to me that the NHL won’t budge in its its negotiations. Many of the owners have already admitted how much they could lose without a season. Many teams haven’t recovered from the damage the last lockout caused. Today was another sad day for hockey fans everywhere.