The NHL and its players will meet for more CBA talks this week as hockey fans fear that the cancellation of more games from the 2012-13 regular season could be coming soon.
Here is the latest from John Shannon of Sportsnet:
League and PA have scheduled a bargaining session for Tuesday. Location, agenda and who participates to be decided Monday. #NHLlockout— John Shannon (@JSportsnet) October 13, 2012
Darren Dreger of TSN recently talked about the next wave of game cancellations on "Insider Trading" this past week, and the news wasn't promising for people who are optimistic about the season starting soon.
The next block as early as next week, will be, or could be much bigger than 82 games," said Dreger.
TSN's Bob McKenzie also gives us an idea of when the Winter Classic could be canceled as a result of the lockout.
McKenzie: next block of NHL games to be cancelled could be in a week or so ... The Winter Classic, could be early November— TSN Radio (@TSN1050Radio) October 10, 2012
Cancelling a larger chunk of games than last time would send a message to the players that the league is willing to lose lots of games while the two sides continue to make little to no progress in labor negotiations.
The owners may feel that losing a bigger portion of the season will force the players to make concessions on certain issues, but up to this point, the NHLPA's unity as a group has been quite impressive.
Although it's not certain right now, everyone hopes that the core economic issues that are holding up this process will be on the agenda for any meetings this week.
The NHLPA's Steve Fehr (via Renaud Lavoie of RDS) recently talked about how quickly a new CBA could be completed if these topics were taken care of.
Steve Fehr: "we can resolve all the other issues in 6 hours if we got a deal on the major issues."— Renaud P Lavoie (@RenLavoieRDS) October 11, 2012
If Fehr is correct, there's absolutely no reason for both sides to keep avoiding these economic issues.
There shouldn't be any more meetings between these two sides unless these topics are at the center of the discussions.
Anything else is just a complete waste of time, and there's not a lot of time left before more of the 2012-13 season is wiped out.
Having meetings this week is a step in the right direction for the NHL and NHLPA, but now it's time to make some real progress in avoiding more of the regular season being canceled.
Nicholas Goss is an NHL Lead Writer at Bleacher Report. He was also the organization's on-site reporter for the 2011 Stanley Cup Final in Boston. Follow him on Twitter.