Next meetings critical for NHL, NHLPA | Hockey | CBC Sports

NHLNext meetings critical for NHL, NHLPA

Posted: Sunday, November 4, 2012 | 10:36 AM

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Hockey Night In Canada's Elliotte Friedman has a couple thoughts on what's probably going on after a meeting between NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly and NHLPA special counsel Steve Fehr.
When it comes to lawyers, you must be careful about using the word "offers." It's possible no official offers were presented. But, what these two often do is say, "If we proposed this, what would your side think?" or something along that line. So, what you can expect is that Bill Daly and Steve Fehr went through a lot of that, trying to see how far their adversary is willing to go and what really are the cornerstone issues here.

It's the next meeting that's going to be critical.

Why? As I checked Sunday morning, there weren't a lot of details available (if any) to those who were outside the meeting. Over the next 24-48 hours, both the NHL and NHLPA are going to digest what happened and send updates to their constituents. That will determine the true tone of where we are and whether any real traction was made. Once the players and governors get their memos and begin to react, strategy for the next get-together will be shaped.

It's at this moment both sides will decide how much farther they are willing to bend, if it all. If there's room for compromise, we've got a chance. If there isn't, we're in trouble.

The danger is in the toxicity. Make no mistake, a lot of anger remains in the process. It doesn't take much to ignite those feelings, especially when the lightning rods -- Gary Bettman and Donald Fehr -- are in the room.

But, for the first time, this is not about chest-puffing and bloviating. As one source said, "I take anything as a positive." From another: "Both sides have already decided they're going to 50/50. We're going to lose a whole season figuring out how?"

Hopefully not, because serious damage is already done. We'll see.

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