There is little hope that a new CBA to end the NHL lockout will be finalized anytime soon, which is disappointing since the league and its players have had several months to reach an agreement.
With the next Board of Governors session scheduled for December 5 (via Larry Brooks of The New York Post), the next week and a half will be a crucial time period in this work stoppage.
Let's play "fact or fiction" with the most recent CBA rumblings.
The NHLPA Will Accept the NHL's Proposed Players-and-Owners-Only Meeting
There's no reason for the NHLPA to turn down an opportunity to talk directly to the owners without commissioner Gary Bettman in the room.
If the union doesn't want to enter legal action such as disclaiming interest or decertification, then why would they decline to meet?
Having the opportunity to brainstorm some ways to bridge the gap on the important issues that the two sides cannot agree on could certainly be productive.
With few reasons to decline this invitation to meet from the league, the union will probably accept if the NHL doesn't just send the "hard-liners" to meet the NHLPA.
John Shannon of Sportsnet.ca shared the latest update on the situation on Sunday afternoon.
Looks like the 3 day wait might be over. Sides still confirming the details of a possible "Players-Owners" only meeting. More to come.— John Shannon (@JSportsnet) December 2, 2012
Expect the players to accept this meeting since nothing else has been effective in finding some compromises on the important issues being negotiated.
Fact or Fiction? FACT
James Dolan's Presence at This Meeting Would Help End Lockout
According to John Shannon of Sportsnet.ca, New York Rangers owner James Dolan is willing to participate in a possible players-and-owners-only meeting.
Can confirm Jim Dolan,owner of NYR,does indeed want to be involve with Players Only meeting.But shouldn't every owner want to be involved?— John Shannon (@JSportsnet) December 2, 2012
Whether or not you approve of the job Dolan has done with the Rangers and New York Knicks of the NBA during his ownership tenure, you have to give him credit for his willingness to play games instead of wasting time and money with unproductive CBA negotiations.
According to a recent Forbes.com report, the Rangers earned $199 million in revenue during the 2011-12 season (second highest in NHL), so there are plenty of financial reasons for Dolan to become involved in CBA negotiations.
If there's one owner who should play a much larger role in CBA talks, it's Dolan.
Fact or Fiction? FACT
The Players' Resolve Will Not Weaken Despite Losing Money During Lockout
NHLPA members are not being paid during the lockout, and the longer the work stoppage goes, the amount of players who could start to worry about their finances will probably increase.
According to Jesse Spector of the Sporting News, the players have lost multiple paychecks during the lockout.
At some point in this process, several players are going to be under financial pressure to make an agreement with the owners and end the lockout because too much of their salary is being lost during the work stoppage.
The question is, which side will feel the financial pressure to make a deal first? The owners have plenty of money, but all the revenue that's being lost in this lockout is also significant to the league and all 30 teams.
Right now, the safe bet is that the players will cave for financial reasons before the owners.
Fact or Fiction? FICTION