Last week, it seemed like the NHL and NHLPA were very close to getting a deal done, but as we know, that deal never came to be. At this point, time is getting tight if there is going to be an NHL season. The league has not given a drop-dead date to get things done, but it wouldn’t be surprising if January 1, 2013 were the date that is penciled in on the calendars in the NHL’s New York offices.
With that date quickly approaching, here are some ideas to help facilitate the process and get a deal done.
Get Rid of Gary Bettman and Donald Fehr
I’m not talking about the going through the motions the NHL and NHLPA went through last week when those two stayed out of the negotiation room. I’m talking getting rid of them in full—firing them.
Let’s face it, the owners seem to have no interest in making a deal with Fehr and we know the players have no interest in dealing with Bettman, so let’s move on. Removing both of them from the process would be a huge step in the right direction and would certainly lighten the mood at the negotiation table and maybe reestablish some sense of trust and good faith.
Make a “No Thanks” List of Individuals Each Side Wants in the Room
From all the talk last week, Sidney Crosby and Penguins co-owner Ronald Burkle were instrumental in moving the talks along last week. Well, before everything went all haywire.
It would be interesting if both sides crafted a list of who they would like in the room to negotiate with. I know this is a pretty simple idea, but let’s think outside the box here: If you have a group talking that has some sense of trust and belief that they can accomplish a deal, how is that a bad thing?
Make a “No Thanks” List of Individuals Each Side Doesn’t Want in the Room
Just as having individuals at the table that are trustworthy can foster positive vibes, staring into the eyes of someone you think has no desire to negotiate in good faith can make any dealings toxic.
Each side should be able to remove certain people from the negotiations
Get an Interim Deal Done and Keep Working on a Long-Term Deal
This one may be zany, but if the sides can hammer out a (very) short-term deal to get the game back on the ice for a partial 2013 season, I say go for it. Yes, this sounds pretty easy, and I’m sure it’s not, but it would be worth a shot.
Anyway, just spitballing. Feel free to comment or add thoughts of your own below