The CBC put Brian Burke to work yesterday as an arbitrator, giving him the task of providing a blue print for the owners and players to consider before they lock the doors later today.
It consists of 15 different points, dealing with length of a contract, money issues and joint respect. Having been involved in both sides of the NHL dynamic, as a player agent and a GM/President, Burke probably has as much knowledge on the issues facing the league as any talking head or fast writing scribbler/blogger.
His call for a 72 game season would certainly come as welcome relief to players and fans, since the current schedule set up drags the season on far too long. This makes for many nights of meaningless, going through the motions hockey. Of course the owners are probably not too thrilled with losing out on six or so home dates, especially in a gate driven league. But at least it’s a starting point for discussion.
But judging by the “negotiating” session the network organized last night that’s a lost cause for now. The two participants. Ted Saskin for the union and Bill Daly for the owners, were seen on different screens, kind of like a satellite hot stove set up, the only problem was they were both in the same hockey rink at the same time. If things have come to the point that the two sides won’t even talk to each other face to face, then Hockey fans we’re in for a lengthy shut down.
For those that missed out on the second intermission of last night’s hockey game, here’s the Burke proposal. Take your time crunching the numbers, with an expected lock out announcement at 2:30 PM (est) 11:30 AM (pst) this afternoon, time is all we have now, time is all we have.