It's not exactly a shock that the NHL cancelled more games on Monday, especially given the fact that they'd only shelved games up to this coming Friday before that.
But there had been some whispers that the entire season might be on the chopping block earlier in the lockout mess this time around. So the fact that the league only cancelled games through Dec. 30 is, in some twisted fashion I guess, not the worst thing that could have happened.
How close were the sides before the negotiations blew up last Thursday? Well, that depends on who you ask. Several players have said they felt the two sides are within spitting distance of each other, but Bill Daly isn't so sure.
Daly was asked Monday if the two sides would have been "close" to an agreement if the players had accepted the owners’ terms on all three of those major dividing points.
"Yes," he wrote in an e-mail, "but they weren’t settled. … That’s like saying if my grandmother had wheels she would be a car. Since they missed on all three, it doesn’t seem like we were that close."
On the real bright side, the two sides will be meeting at the bargaining table again Wednesday, according to several Tweets that came out late Monday night.
NHL/NHLPA slated to resume talks Wednesday, sources on both sides say. Location unknown at this point.— Pierre LeBrun (@Real_ESPNLeBrun) December 11, 2012
Daly has indicated that the owners will not be present in person for this meeting. But the sides seem to be getting so close that perhaps its good that the major players will be involved from the beginning.
Also in today's links, Mike Heika takes on the arrogance of both sides, why the NHLPA is fighting term limits and all things hockey player pets..
- Mike Heika has held off on a lot of opining about the lockout, and probably for good reason. But he makes up for this with a pretty blistering analysis of the two sides trying to claim the moral high ground. And for what it's worth, one of the side benefits of the lockout will be that writers (us here at DBD included) can stop using the same pictures of Gary Bettman and Donald Fehr over and over and over again. [DallasNews.com]
- Some have asked why the PA seems so adamantly opposed to relatively short term limits when that's all about saving the owners from themselves. This ESPN Insider article makes the case that the PA cares about it because they see it as something that will further widen the divide between the super-rich and the scrubs in their own ranks. [ESPN Insider]
- And in an attempt to avoid curtailing that middle class (and, some might say, provide another means in which to escalate salaries), the NHLPA is apparently proposing an NBA-like mid-level cap exception. [Puck Daddy]
- In your bi-weekly dose of lockout optimism, Kevin Allen lays out why he believes there will be an NHL season soon. [USA Today]
- If there's a shortened season (please let there be a shortened season), history does not bode well for the players in the twilight of their careers. [Montreal Gazette]
- How short a season would be too short? [Backhand Shelf]
- In your non-lockout news, Daryl Katz has been called to appear before the Edmonton City Council yet again as the city tries to un-gridlock the new arena project. [680 News]
- In honor of my cat Rascal, who gave me a flipping heart attack Sunday night when he discovered a missing screen and wandered outside at my apartment complex until 4:30 a.m. (bad kitty, but even worse owner for missing the lack of screen before opening the window), I give you an older video of Bobby Ryan showing off his cats' tricks. I like how, just like all good cats, Ryan's cats have him well trained. If you're more a dog person, check out the Hockey Players with Pets tumblr, which featured Jaromir Jagr with a pair of gorgeous dogs as Monday's picture. Also, there is this in the archives.