September 13, 2012; New York, NY, USA; NHL commissioner Gary Bettman speaks during a press conference at the Crowne Plaza Times Square. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-US PRESSWIRE

The Owners Blinked First

It seemed like only yesterday I was blasting the NHL for hiring a focus group. Wait… That’s because I was. But today the owners decided to come up with a new proposal with the main thing coming out of it is they finally proposed a 50/50 split. That’s compromise. Among the other things are a years max on contracts, ELC’s being two years long, and some things we don’t know about just yet.

Potentially training camp can start October 26th and the season can start November 2nd. This all just music to my ears. However, I just want to say even if the players and owners don’t agree on a new CBA by October 25th the owners caved and lost at their own game.

Congratulations to Donald Fehr and the rest of the players who didn’t take Gary Bettman’s ultimatum seriously. Back in 04-05 the owners did the same thing and gave the players an ultimatum. However, the players ended up agreeing on a worse deal when all was said and done. The players were divided, had no leadership, and the owners took advantage of them.

The NHLPA managed to get Bettman and Company to make massive concessions. Now that they realized they couldn’t beat Fehr in the boardroom and that they were getting demolished in the PR battle, the owners are now trying to save face and make concessions. Don’t get me wrong, they’re still coming out on top by trimming the HRR to an even split, but they didn’t win the war against the NHLPA.

Personally, I thought it was going to be the players who came in with the 50/50 split offer and the owners would be the one’s who would accept that aspect of the deal. The fact the owners are practically pleading with the players to accept this deal just shows how good a job the NHLPA did. Even though we don’t have a new CBA right now, I’m expecting one in the coming week to be agreed upon. There’s no way the players can’t work off this proposal.

Let’s drop the puck people.

Be sure to follow me on twitter @Bluelinestation

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Tags: CBA Lockout NHL NHLPA

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