You know how during the hockey season, players say, “this is the biggest game of the year,” until the next game is the biggest of the year.
We’re at that point in collective bargaining agreement negotiations between the NHL and NHLPA.
On Tuesday, I said it was the most critical meeting of the process. It was.
Now, today’s is. It’s expected that today at noon CT, the NHLPA will tender a counterproposal to the NHL’s proposal Tuesday. At the session, besides the NHL/NHLPA's Big Four and certainly some players will be the four owners on the league's negotiating committee -- Boston, Washington, Calgary ... and Wild owner Craig Leipold.
This is simple: If the counterproposal is an actual counterproposal to Tuesday’s league-issued offer, we’ve got traction. If NHLPA Executive Director Donald Fehr came up with another “alternative proposal” like he did in August, well, then both sides are still on alternate universes and it is very doubtful any sort of CBA momentum can be created in order to strike a deal by the league’s Oct. 25 deadline to begin camp Oct. 26 and get in a full season starting Nov. 2.
So, stay tuned. But obviously, judging by Fehr’s letter to the players Tuesday night, which can be read here courtesy of ESPN.com, the union was not fond of the league’s proposal. So not shockingly, all that enthusiasm the league created Tuesday was essentially curbed by Wednesday morning.
I'll be interested to see what Fehr offers because it will go a long way toward displaying what his true intentions are and have been through this whole process.
Keep your fingers crossed.
More from Star Tribune
More From Russo's Rants
The Wild feels Devan Dubnyk is tired and Darcy Kuemper needs to practice. But make no mistake: The Wild hasn't been happy with Kuemper's play in goal.
The final mailbag of the season will appear in Sunday's paper
Wild coach Bruce Boudreau said Zach Parise was not seriously injured in Tuesday's loss and won't be out of the lineup for long.
The contract starts next season and he'll report to Iowa on an amateur tryout.
Replays showed that his head collided with Jay Beagle's lower leg as he fell to the ice after he was high-sticked by another Washington player.