If you are still bothering to read about the NHL lockout you might be interested in knowing there's nothing to report. Or is there? While the two sides haven't had meaningful contact in over a week, there are dates upcoming that mean something.
Should you still be tuned in to the fight between the rich players and richer owners, you'll know that the NHLPA has voted to allow it's executive board to file a notice of disclaimer, in effect disbanding their union. You may not know, however, that it must be done by Wednesday, Jan. 2, 2013, and to date Donald Fehr and the NHL haven't indicated if they will file the notice. Hoping it will provide impetus for the league to grant them more favorable terms, it's likely they'll wait until the last moment to file it, if indeed they do.
On another front the NHLPA has until Monday, Jan. 7 to respond to a class-action complaint that the NHL filed in New York; that complaint seeks to get the courts to rule the lockout is legal and that any attempt by the NHLPA to file a disclaimer is invalid. The complaint charges the players would be filing the disclaimer as a negotiating tactic and not because they truly want to disband.
NHL and NHLPA: CBA battle to end soon
For there to be a season the drop-dead date for a settlement Gary Bettman has alluded to needs to come sometime around the middle of January to get in the minimum of 48 games he said they need for a season. So the disclaimer coming on Jan. 2 and the response to the NHLs complaint on the 7th doesn't leave the courts much time to rule.
If the courts don't rule in time the two sides will have to go back to working out a new CBA all on their own, an unlikely prospect given that the last time they met, with federal negotiators present, neither side was willing to budge. It seems clear that each side is waiting to see if it gets a boost from the courts but whichever way it goes as we head into Day 104 at least we know that we should find out if there will be a 2012-13 season within the next 3 weeks.
At least anyone still bothering to read about it should.