Players and Owners Still Divided, TSN 690 Lives

Bruce Bennett

A couple of pieces of news to catch up on today.

The NHL and NHLPA met again today, this time so the NHLPA could respond to the NHL's most recent offer and make three new proposals of their own.

The language of the NHLPA's proposal is very confusing, as they seem to refuse to entertain the NHL's "make whole" idea, but on the surface agree that a 50-50 split is doable.

The players association only contested the core economics of the NHL's proposal for now, suggesting that instead of a 'make whole' situation with deferred payments, that they would rather take a sliding drop in percentage of HRR to reach a 50-50 split in 4-5 years. They are still adamant that all signed contracts should be paid in full at the previously agreed time frame.

The trouble with this series of proposals is that the NHLPA still hasn't moved off of their initial stance that they refuse to alter HRR as quickly as the NHL wants to, and the players' proposal doesn't seem to be a 50-50 split over the course of the CBA, but is designed to get to 50/50 by the end of it, or near the end of it. So there's still distance there.

The NHL reportedly rejected all 3 offers made by the PA in around 15 minutes, and left the negotiating table, which the NHLPA is now spinning into a refusal to negotiate. The NHL on the other hand, seems to be spinning it as, they wouldn't have walked out if the offers weren't terrible.

Amongst the cascade of negativity coming from both sides, what shouldn't be lost on fans is that the two sides did move closer together today. At this point, a large portion of the negativity coming from both sides is just posturing. There is still the very real possibility that this can be done soon. We may not get a full 82 game season, but we could get a substantial season.

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In other news, the CRTC ruled today against Bell Media's acquisition of Astral Media, which means that TSN 690 will continue to exist as an all sports radio station in Montreal, and the employees there are not going to be out of work any time soon.

TSN 690 has been a friend of the blog for a long time, so we offer our heartfelt congratulations today, and we're all overjoyed at this news.

Of course due to the limitations on Bell Media according to Canadian law, it seems like there is some bad news to go along with this as well, which is that an RDS radio station is not likely to happen right away. Hopefully something can worked out there so that French listeners can enjoy their sports the same way English ones do with TSN 690.

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