Even ignoring public rhetoric from both sides amid the NHL lockout, it’s clear that things are not progressing and are rather regressing after Thursday’s proposals from the Players’ Association.
First there was commissioner Gary Bettman seething in his address to reporters in Toronto, then just brief email contact between deputy Bill Daly and NHLPA special counsel Steve Fehr on Friday.
Then came a sentiment via a memo sent to players from Donald Fehr that the owners’ proposal from earlier in the week was, “in essence, a take it or leave it offer, subject to ‘tweaks only.’ “
Though no one had used that kind of phrasing before, it is in line with something Bettman said Thursday.
“The proposal that we made, so that we can be clear about it, at 50/50 and all the other things was the best that we can do,” he said. “We gave it our best shot. It is our best offer. We gave the players association what we had to give. We indicated that we’re prepared to have discussions, that we’re prepared to look for tweaks and adjustments.”
When the NHLPA came back with three proposals Thursday, they were all rejected within 15 minutes.