Tuesday Meeting: Optimism Rules the Day

Posted: December 5, 2012 by Lamar Lester in News
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

More meetings, more progress, more optimism? That seems to be the word of the day after Tuesday’s late-night meeting spanning nearly 9 hours.

Gary Bettman and Donald Fehr were in the building, but as per the previously agreed terms, they didn’t attend the meeting. The NHLPA brought 18 players and the NHL entered with six. The players involved were: 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.

The owners were represented by Ron Burkle (Penguins), Mark Chipman (Jets), Jeffery Vinik (Lightning), and Larry Tanenbaum (Maple Leafs), as well as hardliners, Murray Edwards (Flames) and Jeremy Jacobs (Bruins).

Along with Sidney Crosby, of the new owners attending the meeting, Penguins owner Ron Burkle emerged as one of the “voices of reason”. Penguins beat writer, Rob Rossi even reported Sidney Crosby meeting with team owner Burkle to try to bridge the trust gap between the NHL and NHLPA. No one has mentioned this, but has an interesting note on Crosby and Burkle meeting. Minus the two days owners were given to speak to players, we were previously under the impression that owners and players weren’t allowed to talk to each other, nevertheless specifically about the ongoing negotiations.

More from the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review:

Burkle and Crosby were described by participants in the five-hour talks as voices of reason.

Crosby also will not break ranks with the players’ union, but his objective over the past week has been to establish common ground among players who have lost trust in NHL ownership and management as a whole, the sources said.

Over the past few weeks, Crosby, Burkle and Lemieux have privately discussed plans to bridge the gap between players and owners. The sources said all three had grown frustrated with the lack of progress.

Crosby and Burkle flew to New York together Monday. Burkle lives in suburban Los Angeles. Crosby’s Los Angeles-based agent, Pat Brisson, also was on the flight, the sources said.

After the lengthy meetings, in an unprecedented move, Steve Fehr and Bill Daly held a joint-press conference standing side-by-side.

Keeping the optimism in perspective, Steve Fehr said of today’s meetings: “I don’t want to paint too rosy of a picture. In some ways, I think it’s the best day we’ve had”. He also made it a point to reiterate there’s “still a lot of work to be done”.

Bill Daly afterwards said,”We are going to meet tomorrow morning before our board meeting at 11. We’re going to work hard to try to get a deal. I think everybody wants to get a deal done, so I think that’s encouraging.”

The meeting Daly referenced was the NHL’s previously scheduled Board of Governors meeting set to begin at 11am on Wednesday. After the BoG meeting, Gary Bettman will have a news conference at 1pm.

Bill Daly went on to say,”We look forward to making more progress tomorrow.”

So do we, Bill Daly. So do we.

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