Progress in NHL labor talks?
BY ALAN HAHN
April 5, 2005
There seems to be a potential thaw in the icy NHL labor battle after
the NHL and NHL Players' Association completed seven hours of
negotiations yesterday in Toronto. No deal was reached, but there
were indications of progress for perhaps the first time in the six-
"Today could have been the first day of legitimate negotiations," a
person involved in the discussions told Newsday last night.
Both sides said there is a plan to meet again later this week. The
NHL Board of Governors will meet April 20, when it is expected the
league will vote to use replacement players if a collective
bargaining agreement is not reached in time for the 2005-06 season.
Despite the positive meeting, the NHL yesterday also filed a second
grievance with the National Labor Relations Board against the NHLPA
for unfair labor practice. The union has threatened to decertify
agents who represent replacement players.
The NHLPA yesterday formally rejected both salary cap proposals the
NHL made on March 17, but the sides went on to discuss "some concepts
aimed at addressing the challenges faced by all of us as a result of
the NHL's lockout and subsequent cancellation of the season," union
senior director Ted Saskin said last night.
There is little doubt that the concepts involve a cap, likely higher
than the NHL's proposed $37.5 million cap. The union also wants key
peripheral issues such as arbitration and revenue sharing more
agreeable than in the NHL's offer.