Toews spoke out against the NHL, saying that more needs to be done in order for both sides to come to an agreement. (via Chris Kuc of the Chicago Tribune):
As long as they don't think it's like their final, drastic attempt to salvage an 82-game season. If they were that desperate to conserve an 82-game season and get things done, this would have been done already. There's no real effort there.
The NHL proposed a 50-50 split between the players and the owners on hockey-related revenue for the next six years. The proposal also tries to save the 2012-2013 season by scheduling a full 82 games.
The new proposal still cuts seven percent of the players' salary but is still a bold proposition by the NHL. The NHLPA is expected to make a counter offer on Thursday when both sides meet in Toronto.
Toews considers this a public relations move on the part of the NHL to get the fans on their side.
They're trying to sway public opinion, and I don't think that's a secret. There's no coincidence that they've been so quiet and all of a sudden they come out…talking about the season starting Nov. 2. They're playing an angle there.
Toews and other NHL players have a right to be critical about this current offer. As enticing as it may seem, loopholes do exist. The players shouldn't accept the first offer because it seems great on the outside. Intense negotiations should help to smooth some issues out, but both the NHL and NHLPA need to make concessions.
NHLPA union head Donald Fehr spoke out against the new proposal, saying that the owners have to put out more (via Foxsports.com):
Simply put, the owners' new proposal, while not quite as Draconian as their previous proposals, still represents enormous reductions in player salaries and individual contracting rights. As you will see, at the five percent industry growth rate the owners predict, the salary reduction over six years exceeds $1.6 billion. What do the owners offer in return?
Optimism seems to be brimming, though, from both sides, as this is a sign that real negotiations can now start. But Toews believes that the players still have to stand up for themselves.
It's never part of our frame of mind, especially considering what happened eight years ago—there's no such thing as settling. We have to be smart and stand up for ourselves and remain together the way we have the whole time.
Regardless, fans will have to wait for both sides to find some common ground and get back to the ice rinks.
Follow James Maahs on Twitter for all the latest on the NHL and MLB.
Like the new article format? Send us feedback!