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Mike Maniscalco

Talks frozen, NHL season becoming a long shot

Posted December 7, 2012
Updated December 8, 2012

— The NHL lockout seemed to be taking a turn for the positive this week, players and owners had dialogue and issues were reportedly being bridged.

What a difference 24 hours makes in these high-dollar negotiations.

NHLPA chief Donald Fehr made the announcement that the two sides were close, only a few details remained from getting the season underway. Evidently the NHL did not share in the optimism. The league felt they had made enough concessions and wanted concrete answers to three 'yes' or 'no' questions, not a counter-offer.

The length of the collective bargaining agreement that the league wants is 10 years, the players countered with eight.

Also at issue is a five-year contract term limit, meaning no more deals that stretch for a decade. Teams will not be able to sign a player from outside the organization to a contract longer than five years and can only extend their players to a seven-year deal.

Reports do indicate that the new transition rules, like buyouts and arbitration, are no longer a sticking point after the talks Tuesday and Wednesday.

When Fehr stepped to the podium Thursday to say that a deal is right around the corner, NHL commissioner Gary Bettman was leaving a voicemail to the contrary. Bettman and the league pulled their offer and in doing so, ripped out the hearts of fans that thought a season was coming for Christmas.

This isn’t meant to paint Bettman as the bad guy; he does that well enough on his own. Both sides shoulder blame for this painfully long root canal of the CBA.

Fehr keeps trying to get the best deal possible for the players - trying to take one more inch after the owners group feels they have given back miles from the original proposal. The league is growing tired of having to go back to the negotiating table over the next issue Fehr and company want to bring up.

Even after this dire turn, I’m not so sure we were even that close to a deal Thursday. It appears that the ‘take it or no season’ ultimatum is close to being put in play by the NHL even if the league didn’t cancel the 2004-05 season until February of that go round. This time the negotiations seem to be filled with far more bile than the one that wiped out an entire year eight moons ago.

Let’s pretend Thursday didn’t happen and both sides are going to sit down and try to get a deal done soon and we have a happy holiday.

What is a realistic scenario for getting the game on the ice?

The new CBA is ratified before New Year’s Eve, a 60-game season that stretches from January to April with no cross-conference play is possible and basically it is a playoff from the jump. Each team gets 30 home and away dates and we get a full playoff slate.

If this drags past Jan. 1, a slate of 48 games with no conference mingling and a regular post-season is the probable solution, similar to what the league did in 1994-95.

Back to the real world, after Thursday night it would seem to be a long shot to see one NHL game this year. But it is the holiday season, so maybe a miracle can happen.

25 Comments

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  • StunGunn Dec 8, 12:27 p.m.

    I am a 5th FULL season ticket holder....and asked for my money back yesterday. enough of the... View More

    — Posted by mich2nc982

    Some folks have mentioned catching a few college hockey games on TV. I wish Charlotte wasn't so far because the Checkers have a pretty good team with a few of the guys from the Canes (Dalpe, Sutter, etc) on their roster.

  • wlcat609 Dec 8, 10:11 a.m.

    Best thing that could happen now is if the WHOLE NHL would just fold........

    As for the PNC, just schedule some more Monster Jams and Tractor Pulls!!!!!

  • mich2nc982 Dec 8, 9:41 a.m.

    I am a 5th FULL season ticket holder....and asked for my money back yesterday. enough of the games on both sides. I am DONE with hockey this year, too many ups and downs all to be disappointed again, or more like angered even more!
    I did think of what happened after the last lockout too...could this be a good thing for the Canes and a 2nd Stanley Cup ring? time will tell.
    I have always despised football and probasketball...as a Duke alumni, somewhat got into college basketball. baseball moves too slow for me. I am in SERIOUS hockey withdrawl.

  • dsalter Dec 8, 6:42 a.m.

    The NHL finally is getting a foothold in the South...but I wonder if it can survive another shutdown year.

  • StunGunn Dec 8, 6:32 a.m.

    "Even after this dire turn, I’m not so sure we were even that close to a deal... View More

    — Posted by monkeyboy

    Actually I am invested in the league, seeing part of my job is to cover the owners, players and... View More

    — Posted by Mike Maniscalco

    Mike - when people resort to criticizing other people for using "we", it usually means they have nothing constructive to say. You're right: "we" was used properly. I miss hockey, your pre and post game coverage, and the live chats you had back in '09 when the Canes made their run in the playoffs. I've given up on having a season this year, but remember what happened after the lockout in '05? Hope it brings the same luck to the Canes for the 2013-2014 season!

  • Mike Maniscalco Dec 8, 12:04 a.m.

    "Even after this dire turn, I’m not so sure we were even that close to a deal... View More

    — Posted by monkeyboy

    Actually I am invested in the league, seeing part of my job is to cover the owners, players and games and then report it. So yes,in the royal 'we', I am a part of the league because covering it is part of my income. Glad that's what you pulled out of the article. And 'we' goes for we as people who are interested in seeing the game return are no closer. Pretty sure it was used properly.

  • viking416 Dec 7, 11:52 p.m.

    Who really cares? Never have understood the game. Guess I'm just too old. Football - Basketball... View More

    — Posted by Pastor Joe

    Wow! does the sporting planet revolve around you alone? I don't care about basketball or baseball....is baseball even a sport? At least I understand the game.....sad that you don't and yet you feel the need to jump into something you know nothing about. This type of uneducated behavior is not uncommon in these parts

  • bigfella Dec 7, 10:50 p.m.

    Bettman is a joke. This could be the end of the NHL, and no one cares any more. Only people hurting are those who work at the arenas who depend on that income to live.

  • Green Dreams Dec 7, 10:31 p.m.

    If the players cannot make do making millions, let them get a real job trying to make ends meet with 50K a year. Nobody is forcing them to play hockey. Let the gazillionaire owners figure out how to make money with a NFL franchise and no one playing hockey. Both sides suck because neither gives a rat's about the fans. Thank God it is the ACC basketball time of the year, GO DUKE!!!

  • Pastor Joe Dec 7, 10:11 p.m.

    Who really cares? Never have understood the game. Guess I'm just too old. Football - Basketball - Baseball!

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Scoreboard
Local
Final
CAR 17
CLE 13
7:00pm Tonight
NYR
CAR
Final
TOR 118
NYK 108
3rd
CLE 71
MEM 66
 
6:00pm Tonight
MIA
BOS
1st
BRK 0
DET 0
 
6:00pm Tonight
SAC
LAL
1st
ORL 0
PHI 0
 
1st
WAS 2
PHO 0
 
7:00pm Tonight
MIN
IND
7:00pm Tonight
OKC
NOP
Final
UVA 76
HARV 27
Final
BGU 68
FERST 82
 
Final
ARMY 72
MAINE 69
 
Final
QUIN 60
ORST 52
Final
CLST 69
USF 65
 
Final
CARK 55
CCAR 72
 
Final
UWGB 66
ARKLR 46
 
Final
RAD 74
CORN 61
 
Final
UNT 62
CREI 58
Final
CAN 67
HC 48
 
Final
USB 67
GHND 52
 
Final
OKST 64
MD 73
Final
WINT 100
REIN 72
 
Final
UGST 68
SMISS 55
Final
NEOM 77
TXPA 72
 
Final
STLU 58
VERM 55
 
Final
UNCA 62
WCU 66
 
Final
EVAN 81
ALAST 63
 
Final
HART 82
FIU 69
 
Final
VALPO 82
GOSHEN 55
 
Final
LIP 69
PEAY 63
 
Final
DEN 46
BRY 48
 
Final
MONT 62
SD 67
 
Final
MTST 65
TENST 47
Final
SAMF 64
LAMON 50
 
Final
SCAR 78
COKR 52
 
Final
HAMP 75
NARZ 66
 
Final
SDU 71
SDCHR 61
 
Final
BC 71
USC 75
 
2nd
NICST 49
TROY 53
 
2nd
BRAD 47
UCI 51
 
1st
UGA 14
SHU 4
 
6:30pm Tonight
ALA
APP
7:00pm Tonight
KSU
NDST
 
7:00pm Tonight
WASU
SJST
9:00pm Tonight
UTEP
ALCOR
 
10:00pm Tonight
SEAT
SACST
 
1st
DET 0
COL 0
 
1st
EDM 0
DAL 0
 
7:00pm Tonight
BOS
BUF
7:00pm Tonight
NYR
CAR
7:00pm Tonight
CHI
TOR
9:00pm Tonight
WIN
PHI
Final
NOS 14
ATL 30
Final
HOU 25
BAL 13
Final
CAR 17
CLE 13
Final
CHI 14
DET 20
Final
TAM 3
GBP 20
Final
PIT 20
KAN 12
Final
MIA 37
MIN 35
Final
NYJ 16
NEP 17
3rd
STL 13
NYG 27
 
Half
OAK 13
BUF 10
 
3rd
DAL 28
IND 0
 
8:30pm Tonight
ARI
SEA