Puck Daddy

Lockout optimism? NHLPA calls latest CBA talks ‘best day we’ve had’ with NHL owners

Greg Wyshynski
Puck Daddy

View photo

.

Getty Images

The meeting between NHL players and owners on Tuesday in New York City — held without the presence of commissioner Gary Bettman or union chief Donald Fehr in the room — was previewed rather pessimistically by pundits.

Ken Campbell of The Hockey News called it a Hail Mary pass: "A stroke of genius with huge rewards if it works, but one that results in failure on the vast majority of attempts."

But several hours of talks produced something rarely seen lately in the NHL lockout: a hint of optimism and a symbolic solidarity between the league and its players union.

Deputy commissioner Bill Daly and Steve Fehr of the NHLPA met the media jointly just after midnight, the first time representatives from the players and the owners have done so during the lockout.

Via Katie Strang of ESPN New York:

"I thought it was a constructive day, we had a good dialogue. In some ways, I'd say it might be the best day we've had," Fehr said, before tempering expectations, "which isn't to paint too overly-optimistic a picture. There's still a lot of work to do and a lot to be done, but we will be back at it tomorrow morning."

Via Helene Elliott of the LA Times, Daly said:

"I want to thank the players and owners for being there and we're going to work hard and try to get a deal."

Elliott reports that the players and owners are expected to meet before the Board of Governors meeting on Wednesday.

The players/owners meeting was a suggestion from Bettman and an attempt to spark dialogue between the sides through new voices. For the owners, it was a six-person panel: Boston Bruins owner Jeremy Jacobs; Calgary Flames owner Murray Edwards; Pittsburgh Penguins owner Ron Burkle; Tampa Bay Lightning owner Jeff Vinik; Toronto Maple Leafs owner Larry Tannenbaum; and Winnipeg Jets owner Mark Chipman.

The NHLPA was repped by 18 players in the meeting: Craig Adams, David Backes, Michael Cammalleri, Sidney Crosby, B.J. Crombeen, Mathieu Darche, Shane Doan, Ron Hainsey, Shawn Horcoff, Jamal Mayers, Manny Malhotra, Andy McDonald, Ryan Miller, George Parros, Brad Richards, Martin St. Louis, Jonathan Toews and Kevin Westgarth.

One major influence on the meeting: Crosby and Burkle, who worked together prior to the meeting on finding common ground to present to both sides. Whatever happened in the room, it's produced some much-needed good vibes. From Michael Russo of the Star Tribune:

I've texted back and forth with a handful of players tonight. None of the players were in the meetings, but some were on a conference call that was very positive. These players are anxiously paying attention.

Of course, until the two men who weren't in the room -- Gary Bettman and Donald Fehr -- agree there is traction, progress and reason to be optimistic, it all could be for naught.

True, but it's clear both sides are now engaged and working hard to find a deal. The NHLPA has decertification looming. The owners wanted this thing done by now, and may hold Bettman accountable in their meeting on Wednesday.

The optimism is cautious, for sure; but not unwarranted.

Sign up for Yahoo Fantasy Hockey
Sorry you didn't like this comment. Please provide a reason below.

Are you sure?
Rating failed. Try again.
Request failed. Try again.
We will promote constructive and witty comments to the top, so everyone sees them!
Sorry, we can’t load comments right now. Try again.
    • Still searching for consistency, Sabres host Oilers

      The Buffalo Sabres have Jack Eichel back, but they're still desperately looking for consistency -- something they would like to see when they host the Edmonton Oilers on Tuesday. The lowest-scoring team in the NHL exploded for nine goals in … More »

      AP - Sports - 2 hours 8 minutes ago
    • Woodstock High School hockey team suspended for season

      Woodstock High School hockey team suspended for season

      Bill Hogan, the school's principal, confirmed in an email that the team was suspended for going against the extra-curricular performance contract. Hogan said the decision was made by the school and a majority of the players were involved. … More »

      CBC - 4 hours ago
    • 'Never any love lost' between Rangers, Islanders

      There is never any shortage of drama when the New York Islanders and New York Rangers meet. The Islanders will host the Rangers for the first time this season on Tuesday, when the teams are scheduled to meet at Barclays Center. The Rangers beat … More »

      AP - Sports - 7 hours ago
    • Avalanche, Predators both need a win

      While Colorado (9-13-1) finished an 0-4-1 homestand Saturday night with a 3-0 loss to Dallas, Nashville (11-9-4) ate a 4-2 defeat Sunday to Philadelphia, wrapping up an 0-1-1 weekend. Making that more galling was that the Predators blew a 4-1 … More »

      AP - Sports - 8 hours ago
    • In New Jersey, Canucks look to continue recent success

      The Vancouver Canucks had a rough start to the season. The Canucks are 7-4-1 in their past 12 games as the embark on a five-game trip that could push them closer to a playoff spot in the West. "We're getting wins every once in a while," Canucks … More »

      AP - Sports - 9 hours ago