Yesterday was a dark day for those hoping the NHL and NHLPA would reach a mutual compromise, thus ending the current lockout. Instead of an agreement – or even an appearance of being closer to an agreement - both sides came away from their face-to-face meeting in Toronto breathing fire and prepared to sling arrows at their opponent.
As we cautioned via a twitter update last night, don’t get caught up in all the posturing and press conferences. Even with the league cancelling more games today, there’s still time to save an 82-game season. In fact, the two sides have about a week to iron out a deal that would allow training camps to begin next Friday and the season to kick off on November 2nd.
With that in mind, we’re joined again today by LA Kings player rep Kevin Westgarth. Although he’s Princeton educated, he’s here to break it all down for the listeners and try to put things in layman’s terms.
Here’s the basic set up for today’s show – earlier this week, the NHL presented the Player’s Association with a ’50/50′ offer (which was later released on the NHL’s website). Then, yesterday, the PA responded with three different counter proposals.
Why three? We’ll get into that with Westgarth and also try to answer some of these questions…
- Are the players just looking for a way to keep all the money they’ve been promised via existing contracts?
- Will the players accept any type of rollback in salaries?
- What are the main differences in what the NHL offered vs. the NHLPA’s three offers?
- What is Hockey Related Revenue?
- What is Escrow and how does it work?
- Are the players willing to accept term limits, like the NHL proposed?
- Take us in the room for yesterday’s talks, what was the mood and tone really like?
- Are the 2014 Olympics on the table at this point?
- How much do the deals between the NFL, NBA, MLB and their players impact these discussions?
- What about the ‘little guy’ – the person who works concessions or in the arena parking lots?
- Are the players looking to play a full 82-game schedule or would they be fine with just 50 games?
- What’s next, will there be talks this weekend?
Again, this isn’t about taking sides. It’s about educating people to the issues (granted, the eyes of one party involved). Check it out though, see if you learn a thing or two…
NOTE: If you’re on an ipad or iphone, click here to listen to today’s episode.
For Westgarth’s appearance on the show last month click here. In addition to some great hockey stories we also talked a lot about his time growing up, memories from Princeton and his summer adventures with the Stanley Cup.
Many other Kings related guests have joined us recently as well - including Jeff Carter, Dustin Penner, Monarchs coach Mark Morris and dozens more – click here to see the full list of shows.
Thanks for listening!