Before going into CBA negotiations on Friday, Commissioner Gary Bettman had already stated that there was going to be a lockout on September 15 if the two sides couldn’t come to an agreement. When both sides sat down though, it was only for 90 minutes before talks were stopped, and things now look grimmer than ever for the NHL season.
When Donald Fehr, executive director of the NHLPA came out of the meetings, he said that talks had been “recessed.” He continued on to say, “The response that was made to us was that if the players are not prepared to make an automatic reset on their aggregate salary levels — that is to say, as we understand it, a meaningful, absolute reduction in dollar terms for next year as compared to last year — that they see no point in discussing or responding to the proposals as we put forward at the meeting today.”
Clearly meaning that until the NHLPA isn’t willing to do whatever the NHL, the league will take their pucks and go home. But Bettman doesn’t see it that way. He claimed that the union was “stonewalling” the proceedings and that “there seems to be no rush to make a deal.”
Bettman has agreed to go up to 46 per cent from his original 43. And the union probably doesn’t want to go any lower than 52 or 53 per cent from the 57 per cent where they are now. So where do things stand as of now?
Talks were scheduled to happen in New York this week, but now that things have been “recessed,” it’s unclear as to whether or not that’s going to happen. And as for whether or not there’s going to be a lockout in just under two weeks? All signs are pointing to “Yes.”