Globe hockey writers Eric Duhatschek and James Mirtle will be here live on Thursday at noon ET to take your questions on the NHL lockout. Hope you will join us.
by Darren Yourk 10/17/2012 9:37:01 PM
We will be live here in 10 minutes with James and Eric. Feel free to send along your questions.
by Darren Yourk 10/18/2012 3:53:13 PM
Good morning Darren: It's a little overcast here in Long Beach, Calif. and later this morning, I'm off to El Segundo to watch the Los Angeles Lakers practice. Last night, we went out for dinner in Newport Beach and there, just outside the town square, on the marquee of a local bar was the message: 'C'mon Hockey, Take the Deal!' And then the major-league baseball playoff schedule of games. In Newport Beach, no less. Maybe L.A. is a hockey town after all.
by Eric Duhatschek 10/18/2012 3:55:15 PM
Greetings all. Live from downtown Toronto, two blocks from where the big meetings are taking place at the NHLPA offices.
by James Mirtle 10/18/2012 4:02:08 PM
Let's start with the obvious question of the day. Can each of you tell us what you're expecting from the NHLPA today?
by Darren Yourk 10/18/2012 4:03:06 PM
James, I saw on Twitter that Jarome Iginla and Sidney Crosby are both in attendance. Do you see that as a good sign?
by Eric Duhatschek 10/18/2012 4:03:31 PM
Darren, I believe this is a proposal they've had at the ready for a little while. Now maybe they've reworked it a little in response to the league's deal, but I doubt this is the offer that ends the lockout. Still more give and take to come
by James Mirtle 10/18/2012 4:04:10 PM
Same. I'm expecting the NHLPA to reject the deal out of hand, on the grounds that, according to their figures, the cost of the league package to players will be in excess of $1.6 billion over the term of the proposed new CBA. They will say: Too rich for our blood. And offer their own version of a solution.
by Eric Duhatschek 10/18/2012 4:04:50 PM
They're getting closer together though. It may be as little as $100-million a season that they're apart now.
by James Mirtle 10/18/2012 4:05:50 PM
Are you at least optimistic that we've reached a point where real negotiations can begin? Do we at least have a starting point?
by Darren Yourk 10/18/2012 4:06:07 PM
Eric - I think that's a decent sign the talks are getting really serious. The league has its heavy hitters in Toronto for the negotiations as well, with Leonsis, Leipold, Edwards and Jacobs riding shotgun with Daly and Bettman.
by James Mirtle 10/18/2012 4:06:36 PM
Sure. The owners' last offer was definitely that. Finally. Everyone, on both sides, has been saying we'll end up at 50-50 by the end of the agreement. It's all the rest that's in dispute.
by James Mirtle 10/18/2012 4:07:40 PM
Pretty skeptical Rob... there's a chance though. It hinges on what offers are put up here in the next few days.
by James Mirtle 10/18/2012 4:09:22 PM
My only concern James is this: As they inch closer to a middle point, can they ever get to the point where they close the gap completely? I just think back to the 2004-05 negotiations. They came really close to forging an agreement then too, at the 11th hour, when the players backed off the salary cap and the owners backed off "linkage." But they just couldn't make that last push to split the difference - and ultimately lost the season. That history, even under new NHLPA leadership, worries me.
by Eric Duhatschek 10/18/2012 4:09:39 PM
One danger is that the PA may not come close enough to where the owners want to be today, and that puts a chill on talks for a period of time.
by James Mirtle 10/18/2012 4:09:44 PM
The owners want the longer term. The players want the shorter term.
by Eric Duhatschek 10/18/2012 4:10:28 PM
They're so much closer in October than they were in October, 2004,
though. It's apples and oranges
by James Mirtle 10/18/2012 4:11:09 PM
There's months and months to get a partial season in. I'm optimistic there'll be a season of some sort this year. They're too close to wipe out everything over what's left
by James Mirtle 10/18/2012 4:11:31 PM