Call Me Crazy, But I Can See Hockey On The Horizon
Nothing is final yet, an the NHLPA hasn’t even officially commented on the details of the NHL’s most recent proposal in the CBA negotiations.
But, this evening, as I write this, I feel a sense of optimism that hasn’t existed in quite some time.
After the Gary Bettman-led owners proposed to split hockey-related revenues at an even 50 percent, NHLPA head Don Fehr announced that it was a “good start.” Not overwhelmingly positive words in general, but in context, they’re quite promising.
Fehr, while operating differently than I had imagined, has remained cordial through the process — though he showed little/no tru optimism to this point.
His declaration yesterday is a giant leap forward from the players’ side, which immediately followed a giant leap forward from the owners’ side.
With the proposal comes a nine or 10 day deadline for agreement between the sides, which would allow for a one-week training camp and a commencement of the season on November 2. Under this plan, no games would be lost, the playoffs would be finished by the end of June, and teams would crunch their schedules bu no more than one additional game every five weeks.
To further add to the excitement, word out of the Czech Republic this morning is that the NHLPA has called for its players to avoid playing in international games until at least October 23, this according to the Czech Daily MF Dnes by way of “Tomas” over at Let’s Go Pens.
The players have gotten a taste of life without a paycheck, while the owners are just now realizing their lack of revenue. Neither side wants this to drag on much longer, as both sides have too much to lose by playing anything less than an 82 game season.
Look, I realize the players aren’t going to review this proposal with a fine-tooth comb and walk away feeling all warm and fuzzy. There will be issues to take care of and negotiations to be had.
But what we’re seeing is a series of drastic steps forward that seem to be indicating a start to the season is on the horizon.
Maybe I’m reading too much into this. If so, call me crazy.