NHLPA Confirms It Will "Respond" This Afternoon, 18 Players To Attend

Bruce Bennett

Media reports that 18 players will attend the Association's "response" have many nervous ahead of this afternoon's big meeting.

The NHLPA has confirmed that it will indeed make a proposal of their own, yet they're not calling it a "counter-proposal". They're calling it a response.

Pessimism abounds across the internet as word has come down that 18 players and 4 owners will attend the negotiating session along with the usual "big four" of Bettman, Daly, Fehr and his other brother Fehr.

If the NHLPA presents an offer that uses the league's as a framework then the feeling is that there can be negotiations over the next week possibly leading to a resolution. If the players once again present something that is fundamentally and conceptually different than what the league has offered... It could be a very long time before the two sides meet again to discuss anything truly substantive.

Problems from the PA's side are expected to revolve around the NHL's plan to pay players a sort of deferred compensation after lowering their salaries in the next few years. The money will come out of the players share of HRR - As the players put it: "Players paying players."

And so we continue to kill time.

If the meeting is over in 25 minutes. Expect bad things. If it takes over an hour then hope will endure - At least until Don Fehr opens his mouth. Then we'll see.

We continue to kill time... the meeting starts at noon CST.

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