June 22, 2012; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman on stage at the 2012 NHL Draft at CONSOL Energy Center. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-US PRESSWIRE

Gary Bettman Is On A Planet. And It's Not The Same One As The Players.

After Tuesday’s optimistic offer by the NHLPA, Gary Bettman shot any enthusiasm we all had right in the gut.  The two sides met for two hours today, and Bettman feels as though there still is a wide gap between them.  He made the situation worse by indicating that there isn’t much more time to go.  Reading between the lines it appears that whatever progress we all felt was made yesterday by the players union, has been dashed by Mr. Moneybags. 

A major sticking point (among others) that will keep the two sides at a distance is the owners proposal for the length of time before a player can become a free agent.  The NHL is offering 10 years and apparently not willing to waver, which even to me seems ludicrous.  The owners also want shorter contracts.  Why?  Do they think the umpteen year deals that have been signed recently with players like Zach Parise and Ryan Suter don’t make sense?  Should have figured that out when Roberto Luongo signed his silly deal for 12 years, with a no trade clause.  And a demand for a certain brand of hair gel.

The man with the smug smile and the fat annual salary himself is preparing to play hardball it seems.  The players offer is best described by an outstanding article by Michael Grange from Sportsnet.  It’s clear that Fehr’s in his design of the proposal was a step in the right direction.  However with Bettman’s response today is it any wonder he’s met with boo’s every single time his name is announced?

The clock is ticking.  We have exactly 30 days to solve this.

Thanks for reading.  We welcome your comments and opinions.

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Tags: Donald Fehr Gary Bettman Roberto Luongo Ryan Suter Zach Parise

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