After going through the NHLs 288-page proposal this weekend, the NHLPA handed their much-shorter proposal to the league during talks on Monday. And the two will spend New Years Day talking more.
The players association offered their own proposal when the two sides met today in New York City. As the New Years Eve revelry increased outside the NHL offices near Times Square late Monday afternoon, the two sides broke off talks for the day.
But theyll get back together soon.
Their response was a comprehensive one dealing with the full slate of issues that we raised and proposals we put forth, league commissioner Gary Bettman told New York media tonight. Were in the process of reviewing their response. Were going to do that tonight, and the expectation is well contact them tomorrow morning and get back together hopefully by midday.
Bettman did not talk specifics about the NHLPA proposal. NHLPA executive director Donald Fehr, when asked if the players made any movement on their latest proposal, said yes, but Im not going to describe it beyond that. SportsNets John Shannon reported that the NHLPA proposal was 26 pages.
We covered the range of subjects they covered. Their document included a very long list of contract language as opposed to bullet-point items, Fehr said.
Asked if owners could come back into the negotiation picture, Bettman said, thats not currently contemplated. Well see how things develop.
This is as congenial of talks that the league and NHLPA have had in quite some time. We all remember Dec. 6, when Fehr went to the podium in New York and proclaimed the two sides close to a deal. An angry Bettman followed shortly after, saying that was not the case.
Both sides are scurrying to draw up a new collective bargaining agreement in the hopes of at least a 48-game hockey season.
We need to drop the puck by Jan. 19 if were going to play a 48-game season, Bettman said. It doesnt make sense to play a season shorter than that.