Friday, April 30, 2004

Talk, Talk is better than War, War!

The two sides in the upcoming labour dispute got together for a little brainstorming session on Thursday, representatives of the NHLPA and the league got together for the first time in seven months. The two sides got together in a downtown Toronto office building and discussed only one issue, that of the much examined salary cap.

The tone of the conversation was said to be cordial, an informative session as the two sides discussed the rationale or lack of one in the concept of a hard salary cap for NHL salaries. The owners are of the opinion that controlling costs is the only real hope for the league to survive and flourish. The players of course for the most part believe that it should completely up to an owner and the player to decide what monetary value they attach to any contracts.

The three hours of discussion and ninety minutes of lunch didn’t seem to change anyone’s mind regarding the contentious issue. The two sides will get together once again for two days in late May. With such fixed ideas on how to proceed you get the feeling that cutting salaries and replacing equipment is going to be the order of the day come the summer. All eyes will be on the chat sessions as we await the September expiration date of the current agreement. If things aren’t resolved by that point talk will be cheap, action will be louder.

Hockey Fans hope that the renewed meetings will lead to a settlement and avoid a lengthy labour dispute that could do irreparable damage to the league and the game.

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