The clock is ticking.
With just 23 days left until the current collective bargaining agreement is set to expire, the NHL and NHLPA are set to resume negotiations today in hopes of finding common ground and avoiding another potential work stoppage.
One week ago, there was some hope that common ground could be found after hearing about the players offer to the owners, an offer that was aimed at correcting problems, without hitting the players hard financially, and reportedly depended more on revenue sharing than ever before. In theory, it was an idea that should have probably should have gotten a bit more attention and thought then it did, because it may have at least been a start in terms of correcting some of the issues that exist.
That being said, it never really got off the ground, and it seems like we are back to the proverbial square one.
The problem with how these negotiations have progressed? Instead of working towards a solution, everyone seems more concerned with winning the public relations game. While the PR game is a very important aspect of any CBA negotiation, at times, it feels like that is what has taken center stage in this process. Instead of worrying about who looks good at the end of the day, perhaps it would be prudent for both sides to use that energy towards trying to find a deal and prevent a lockout.
Winning the PR battle is great, but it does nothing to help the arena employees that may lose their jobs if a deal is not found. It does nothing to help the owners of the businesses across the street from every arena in the league, who count on their establishments to be full all winter long on game days, only to see it sit empty. PR battles may be great for business, but they fail to fill buildings, or get the innocent bystanders in all of this a paycheck.
So that brings us back to today. It is time for both sides to find a way to get this done. Too much money is being made, and too much is at stake for this to go on much further. If the fans are subject to any sort of delay in the start of training camp, you are risking them never coming back. This sport has come to far to put itself in that position once again. Its time for both sides to find a way, for the good of everyone involved. It starts today.
Tick tock, tick tock…