Is there good news on the horizon? The Penguins majority owner Ron Burkle supposedly armed with principles discussed with minority owner, Mario Lemieux took over the CBA bargaining negotiations on Tuesday in a meeting set up by Commissioner Bettman for six NHL owners and 18 NHL players to have discussions without his or NHLPA head Donald Fehr’s presence. Players were reportedly lead by Penguins Captain Sidney Crosby who worked with Burkle to discuss what the next proposal had to include to get a deal done with several reports coming out of the meeting that the Penguin constituents were “a voice of reason” in the negotiations.
The Board of Governors, comprised of all NHL owners, met Wednesday afternoon for the first time since they decided upon locking the players out in early September. The BOG meeting had been scheduled previously and it has been reported that the owners had this week circled to get a deal done for several reasons including the paychecks missed by the players would not have to be reimbursed to this point and they could add additional games at the end of the season to make up revenue without paying the players additional funds and the ending of the college football season allowing for sun belt markets to be able to pull in steady attendance without competing with the big college football programs of the SEC.
The same group that met Tuesday, including Burkle and Crosby, are scheduled to continue negotiations tonight again without Bettman and Fehr where the NHLPA is supposedly to put forth a new proposal to try and end the lockout.
Additionally, it has been reported that Bettman said he wants the deal done by Friday and Nick Kyperos of TSN reported there are rumors circulating that coaches are touching base with players telling them to be prepared for training camp on Dec. 14th.
Will it fall apart again in the 25th hour? It’s possible but for the first time in awhile there is some positive news that may allow fans to turn off the Voice and watch NHL hockey soon.
Keep your fingers crossed.