The ongoing labor negotiations between the NHL and the NHLPA are a good litmus test toward whether you tend towards optimism or pessimism.
The optimist will see the fact that the sides continue to hold small-scale meetings as a positive, preferring that there is at least some sort of open dialog rather than angry glares at each other across the continent.
But the pessimist is no doubt discouraged by the fact that the two sides are reportedly still not discussing the main financial issues between the sides and that both side continue to trade barbs publicly about which should bend first.
There were more barbs traded Monday as the two sides prepared for a Wednesday meeting. Bill Daly made the first public foray when he said the NHL didn't have much more to add on economic issues until the PA gave them a new proposal. Steve Fehr with the PA fired back.
"For more than a month, the owners have not wanted to meet to discuss the core economic issues unless it is on their terms – that is, unless the players have yet another offer that includes significant concessions for them," Fehr said. "By contrast, we place no conditions on our willingness to meet."
Eventually these two sides are going to start negotiate in good faith, right? Right?
Also in today's links, at least one NHL owner is still hiring NHL players, Dmitry Sinitsyn finally gets to play NCAA hockey and Matt Fraser mic'd up.
- The owners might be locking out the NHLPA players from their NHL teams, but that hasn't stopped them from hiring PA players for their European teams. Jamie Benn's signing with the DEL's Hamburg Freezers suddenly makes a little more sense. [HockeyBuzz.com]
- There's nothing groundbreaking in this The Hockey News article about the Stars offseason and remaining holes, but it is a pretty fair and balanced look at where the team stands should this season ever start. [The Hockey News]
- The debts left in the wake of Tom Hicks' crumbling sports empire are slowly working their way through the legal system. Two more cases were settled on Monday. [DallasNews.com]
- Stars draft pick Dmitry Sinitsyn is finally getting a taste of NCAA action after visa issues put a major damper on his last year or so of development. [CollegeHockeyNews.com]
- Unless the Stars are quite bad next year (or unless they win a lottery should the season be shelved), they probably won't have a shot at Seth Jones, who is projected to go either first or second overall. But the Dallas product is still someone to keep up with if only to watch what the combination of uber-athletic genes and the Dallas-area youth hockey system can do together. [NHL.com]
- The Texas Tornado are off to a flying start this season. You can't ask for much better than 8-0-0. [DallasNews.com]
- More and more big-name NHL players are headed to Europe. Henrik Zetterberg is one of the most recent as he signed with a Swiss team. [USA Today]
- So what exactly are these non-core issues the NHL and PA are discussing? Down Goes Brown goes behind the scenes to find out. [Down Goes Brown]
- The Texas Stars are in the thick of preseason at the moment, which means they're producing a lot of good video. This time it's Matt Fraser chatting it up during a practice in Austin.