NHL Lockout

NHL Lockout: Recent Talks Don't Change League's Future

NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 13:  Commissioner Gary Bettman of the National Hockey League speaks to the media at Crowne Plaza Times Square on September 13, 2012 in New York City.  (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Bruce Bennett/Getty Images
Mike ShiekmanFeatured ColumnistSeptember 29, 2012

The 2012 NHL Lockout saga took a turn as the two sides met for the second consecutive day on Saturday.

A USA Today report suggests that the NHL and NHL Players' Association (NHLPA) have yet to discuss the primary issues. Until the revenuer split gets discussed, the lockout is just as good as when it went into effect.

The lockout has officially been in effect for 15 days. $3.3 billion in revenues is up in the air and no one has yet to budge on that topic.

NHLPA Special Counsel Steve Fehr indicated just as much at the end of Thursday's talks:

Steve Fehr -- said there was no plan to bring forth a new proposal, but this isnt ping pong, don't have to take turns #NHL #NHLPA

— Michael Grange (@michaelgrange) September 28, 2012

As TSN's Darren Dreger noted, "None of what has been discussed will lead to the end of the lockout." Case and point. 

The players received 57 percent of the net revenues in the 2011-12 season, yet the owners want them to take less than half this season. The players are willing to take on less revenue in future years but unwilling to let go of a significant number early.

It will continue to be the elephant in the room until the two sides decide the secondary issues can wait.

They've reached an agreement on drug testing. They've reached other pacts on player safety and other issues. That's all fine and good, but it doesn't get the ball rolling for optimism anytime soon.

Preseason games, gone; regular season games, on-deck. This weekend is critical in order to have a fulltime season.

It seems the owners have dug themselves into a bit of a hole from the last lockout, which gave the players such a high number. My take is, much like the 2011 NBA lockout, once regular season games start go awry, a sense of urgency will pick up not to lose another season.

In other news, the first injury to an NHL player occurred in European play: Rick Nash suffered a shoulder injury in Switzerland. Never a good sign when the league starts losing its players in other countries.

A season hangs in the balance; this weekend will be telling. By all accounts, the NHL looks to be stuck in neutral.

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