The NHL could be approaching a major breakthrough in labor negotiations that have wiped away nearly half the 2012-13 season.
Exactly 16 weeks after the expiration of their old Collective Bargaining Agreement, the league’s owners and players are meeting face-to-face today in New York under the direction of federal mediator Scot L. Beckenbaugh.
The two sides are at an impasse over the proposed $60 million salary cap for next season. The players have proposed a $65 million cap and the owners reportedly have indicated they are willing to increase the cap to around $63 million.
On Friday Beckenbaugh spent 13 hours shuttling between the NHL offices in Manhattan and the NHLPA’s hotel a few blocks away. With a clear understanding of where the two sides stand and where they are willing to compromise Beckenbough officiated their first face-to-face meeting since talks broke off on Thursday.
The lockout, now in its 112th day, is threatening to wipe out the entire season. NHL commissioner Gary Bettman has established Friday as his deadline to settle the lockout or cancel the season.