NHL Lockout 2013: NHLPA Reportedly Will Propose New CBA

Nicholas GossCorrespondent IDecember 31, 2012

NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 13:  Don Fehr, executive director of the National Hockey League Players Association meets with the media at Marriott Marquis Times Square on September 13, 2012 in New York City.  (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

As hockey fans prepare to celebrate the New Year, an important labor session between the NHL and NHLPA will take place in New York City on Monday.

The NHLPA will reportedly give the NHL a counter-proposal (via TSN's Darren Dreger) in response to the league's CBA offer made to the players on Thursday:

CBA mtng expected to begin between 1pm - 1:30pm. Players will present counter to NHL.

— Darren Dreger (@DarrenDreger) December 31, 2012

Dreger also has some information on what the NHL expects from the union on Monday:

NHL has asked players to respond to all issues collectively and doesn't want to have to negotiate item by item. We will see how PA counters.

— Darren Dreger (@DarrenDreger) December 30, 2012

How important are the latest talks? Dave Molinari of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette tweeted Pittsburgh Penguins star Sidney Crosby's thoughts on Monday:

Crosby says "it's pretty fair" to say season is on the line in current round of CBA negotiations.

— Dave Molinari (@MolinariPG) December 31, 2012

It will be very interesting to see what the NHLPA's proposal includes.

Will it make some concessions and negotiate to get a deal done in the next few days, or will it continue to push the owners toward the drop-dead date to save the season in order to get the most favorable agreement possible?

It's hard to imagine the owners moving much further toward the players on the key issues, and after examining the league's offer from last week, there are some issues (such as CBA term) that the owners still won't budge on.

The best decision that the players can make is to negotiate in good faith and get a deal done as soon as possible.

The union's choice to take this process into January has paid off tremendously, as evidenced by the fact that the league's CBA offers have gotten better and better (from the NHLPA's perspective) since the lockout began in September.

The league has threatened that certain concessions would come off the bargaining table, only to put them back on at a later date. The league has also labeled CBA proposals as "take it or leave it," only to present the players with better ones multiple times over the last few months.

The union has benefited greatly from hiring Donald Fehr to serve as the NHLPA's executive director, and now it's time for the players to ask Fehr to make a deal.

Now is not the time to play games and keep stalling this process. With the 2012-13 NHL season on the line, both sides must realize the importance of Monday's meeting and take the steps necessary to reach a deal.