Wednesday, June 15, 2005

How are the CBA negotiations going?

I'm largely skeptical about the positive reports about the CBA bargaining. There are two stories today that a quite consistent with the fact that both sides think they will be playing again soon without too much more nasitiness. First, the NHL is ordering smaller goalie equiment. This is putting their money where their mouth is. Its probably a safe move in that whenever hockey returns goalie equipment will be smaller. This move (unlike many the NHL wants to make) is good for hockey. Also, the talks to make the NHLPA a union in BC have been postponed. This is clearly a sign that both sides are engaged in the process of bargaining and don't want to waste too much energy doing things that will only serve to anger one another.

All that said, I would be suprised if there are not a couple significant monkey wrenches thrown into the central bargaining process before it is all over. I'm not convinced that the final CBA will look exactly like many media sources are reporting. This is merely a provisional agreement. Until a document is signed, nothing is actually agreed upon. At any point, any "agreed upon" CBA portion can become re-opened if either side wants. At any point, either side can decide that this agreement they are working on is not right and scrap it. I bet the final CBA is different from exactly what is being reported right now. That said, I bet we have NHL hockey next year.

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