The NHL and NHLPA aren’t taking a break, at least not yet.
Just days after Gary Bettman suggested a two-week break from collective bargaining negotiations, the two sides agreed to meet on Monday.
This face-to-face meeting was scheduled after NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly and NHLPA special counsel Steve Fehr spoke on Friday and Saturday, according to CBC.ca.
We can confirm that we have tentatively agreed to get back together on Monday, either late in the afternoon or early evening, Daly said. The meeting was requested by the union and it's their agenda. We will see what they have to tell us.
It’s good that both sides are willing to meet not long after negotiations fell apart after several consecutive days of meetings.
However, don’t expect any significant progress to be made over the next couple days.
The lockout is 65 days old and yet, neither side seems desperate to get a deal done. Perhaps that’s because we’re still months away from the entire season being cancelled. The 2004-05 season wasn’t officially cancelled until Feb. 16.
With that said and with so much left to resolve, it seems unlikely that an agreement will be reached in time to salvage a significant portion of the season. For example, the idea of a 68-game season starting Dec. 1 is almost completely out of the picture.
The NHL and NHLPA have yet to agree on a timeline for hockey-related revenue (HRR) to come down from a 57/43 split to 50/50. According to CBC.ca, the NHL wants a 50/50 split in the first year of the new CBA, while the NHLPA wants the decrease to occur gradually over a few years.
Will the 2012-13 NHL season be canceled?
The split of HRR and the terms of player contracts are the key issues standing in the way of an agreement.
A much shorter season, like the 48-game campaign in 1995, could be the best case scenario at this point. The 1994-95 NHL lockout lasted 103 days and the season didn’t start until Jan. 20.
On the other hand, the 2012-13 season could go the way of the 2004-05 season, and in that case everyone would lose.
The Winter Classic and games through the end of November have already been canceled. The All-Star game and more regular season games are expected to be canceled soon.