Michael Russo has covered the National Hockey League since 1995. He has covered the Minnesota Wild for the Star Tribune since 2005, after 10 years of covering the Florida Panthers for the Sun-Sentinel. He uses “Russo’s Rants” to feed a wide-ranging hockey-centric discussion with readers, and can be heard weekly on KFAN (100.3 FM) radio and seen weekly on Fox Sports North.

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NHL's Bill Daly : "Back to the drawing board"

Posted by: Michael Russo under Wild off-season news Updated: October 23, 2012 - 10:42 PM

The NHLPA held a conference call with their negotiating committee this evening and emailed a few media members afterward that they've requested a meeting with the league Wednesday or at another date provided there are no preconditions.

So far, the NHL has said there is no reason to meet.

"The Union has rejected the proposal we tabled last Tuesday and has indicated no intention to come forward with a new proposal," Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly emailed the Star Tribune. "In light of their position, we don't see that anything will be gained by meeting this week. Looks like we'll have to regroup and go back to the drawing board. Extremely unfortunate, but even more unfortunately, very predictable."

The NHL has said a collective bargaining agreement must be reached by Thursday in order to begin training camp Friday and an 82-game season Nov. 2. With that unlikely, expect a huge chunk of games to be wiped off the map as early as Thursday.

The league made a 50-50 proposal last week with a "make whole" provision, which would reimburse all players the 12.3 percent they would lose on their salaries over the remaining length of their contract term. However, the union has dismissed such an idea because that would be charged vs. the player share in future years.

The league has indicated that it was a negotiable idea, but the union chose last week to table three different proposals that were quickly rejected by the league. In those proposals, the player share gradually decreased to 50-50, but not immediately like the NHL wishes.

This is only going to get worse. If Donald Fehr isn't willing to accept an immediate 50-50 deal in a $3.3 billion business, think he'll accept a 50-50 deal when revenues are destroyed? Make no mistake: this season is in dire straits if major headway isn't made in the next 24-48 hours.


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