Well yesterday afternoon sure was interesting. Around 5pm, news broke that the NHL and the NHLPA were “far apart” on the non-economic, non-core issues that are also holding up the beginning of the hockey season. Considering that both sides have different mentalities on the holes in the current CBA, the fact that they are apart on these issues isn’t all that surprising. It’s also not that worrisome.
Generally speaking, these non-important issues aren’t really talking points until the core issues get closer to resolved. In fact, it’s actually relatively surprising that they are discussing these issues without discussing the core financial issues that continue to plague these negotiations.
The smaller points, like contract length, are usually used as concession points to get something else your side wants. For example, the union may accept a maximum contract length of seven years in exchange for an extra round of arbitration.
So, while the owners and players may be far apart on these issues, these things generally fall into place pretty quickly, and will once this whole HRR spat is resolved. Both sides are holding their cards until they see how HRR plays out, then they will use them to their advantage. Right now, there’s no use worrying over the small stuff when the big stuff still remains unresolved.
Unless, of course, you’re the type of person that wants to worry about it all. Then by all means, worry.