I want to start today's edition of links with "The NHL giveth hope, and the NHL taketh away," but I that would mean hockey fans bought into the hope generated last week when the NHL submitted its first CBA proposal that had both sides splitting hockey-related revenues evenly.
The NHLPA wasn't nearly as taken with that proposal as the initial enthusiasm from the fans and media had hoped for, and although the PA countered with three proposals that also moved closer that magical 50-50 number, the two sides were essentially at a stalemate.
So in a gesture that is mostly symbolic, though I'm not quite sure of what yet, the NHL is almost certain to take their most recent offer "off-the-table" today as the two sides move past the point where the NHL believes it's possible to have a full season.
Bill Daly talked briefly about the decision with TSN.
"This proposal no longer works because it was a proposal to save 82 games," Daly said. "We have to re-think where we are, and what type of season we're looking at, and we have to formulate and construct a proposal that makes sense for the reality of where we are."
So what does this mean for the negotiations? That's not exactly clear. The NHLPA already made it clear they weren't going to accept the league's offer as-is, and the last time the league said something was off the table after a certain date (the definition of hockey-related revenue back in September before the CBA expired), that didn't seem to happen.
Given that, perhaps this is just another move in the shell game of these negotiations. Or perhaps the league really is taking a harder-line stance in an attempt to pressure the PA into taking the next seemingly-reasonable deal. Whatever the case, it's just another delay as fans wait for the sport to finally return to the ice.
Also in today's links, major junior hockey looks headed for some legal trouble of its own, Vernon Fiddler is a quality dude and Brett Hull sends well wishes to Buffalo.
- As far as the PA's reaction to the NHL's withdrawal of the proposal, they're having a hard time telling where exactly the league wants to go with the negotiations from here. [ESPN/ESPN]
- The NHL isn't the only hockey league dealing with player-owner issues. The CHL (Canadian Hockey League, or major junior, rather than the Central Hockey League down in this part of the world) is facing a brewing legal storm of its own. And to be fair, I've always kind of wondered how CHL teams got away with being such big businesses while providing their players so little compensation in return. [The Globe and Mail]
- Vernon Fiddler had off-season surgery, so he received his normal paychecks from the Stars for at least the first part of the lockout. And he made a very good-guy move with the money. [Dallas Business Journal]
- Brandon Tweeted this earlier this week, but it's time to commence panic - Loui Eriksson has put his house up for sale. Okay, so it's not exactly time to panic because there are more than 1,000 perfectly reasonable explanations for this that have nothing to do with impending trades or ongoing lockouts, but it is a good chance to get to ogle a very nice house. [Pegasus News]
- Despite all the recent drama, Jaromir Jagr still expects to suit up for the Stars this year. And more than most of the players we've heard from so far, he seems to have a good grasp of the leverage situation in the negotiations. [Edmonton Journal]
- Jamie Benn is better categorized as hopeful at this point. [Sportal Australia]
- Of all the writers here at Defending Big D, I'm probably the most roundly pessimistic about any individual prospect's chances of becoming an impact player. It's not that I have an issue with any player in particular, it's just a combination of raw odds and having seen way too many super skilled players fall short for a variety of reasons. Justin Bourne's got a list of just some of the maladies that can befall a talented player. [Backhand Shelf]
- If you're looking for a more optimistic take on prospects, and specifically the Stars prospects, this is a pretty nice write up. [Hockey's Future]
- Now jumping to former Stars prospects, Yared Hagos has chosen a dramatically different athletic path. I'd think marathon running is about the last thing a hockey player would want to transition to as the sports are so dramatically different, but he appears to be pretty good. [The Southern Reporter]
- Brett Hull wishes the city of Buffalo a Happy Halloween as only he can. [@2ndBestHull]
- A little bit of a personal note before I leave you with your video. This is my former home rink with its now-annual "pink rink." While I get that people are pink-ed out by this part of October, it was very, very trippy to play on last year when we had our annual women's tournament (especially because our Hooters jerseys were just about that same color). I do hope they made the red lines and face off dots easier to see when you're at rink level this time around. [SBNation.com]
- I think I agree with Francis Wathier's son - no interview is more important than sports-in-the-backyard time. Also, someone sign that kid to replace Josh Hamilton. That's a nice looking swing.