Tampa Bay Lightning captain Vinny Lecavalier on CBA negotiations: "Hopefully, it's for real this time"
With negotiations between the league and Players' Association set to resume Tuesday, locked-out players skating at the Ice Sports Forum in Brandon were both encouraged and cautious about what may be in store.
"I'm kind of tired of the ups and downs," Lightning defenseman Marc-Andre Bergeron said. "Nothing has happened for so long, every time there's a little blip, everybody goes crazy."
Added Lightning captain Vinny Lecavalier: "Hopefully, it's for real this time and they start talking and get it done."
The lengthy negotiating session Saturday between NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly and union special counsel Steve Fehr laid the groundwork for Tuesday's session. Specifically, the league amended its "make whole" provision to shift the cost from players to ownership. The provision protects current player contracts under a plan that would reduce the players' share of revenue from last season's 57 percent to 50 percent.
While that sounds good, Rangers center and former Lightning Brad Richards said the devil is in the details that have yet to be revealed. He also is cautious after the league on Oct. 23 rejected in 10 minutes three proposals put forth by the union.
"I mean, you're always happy when they're talking, but staying even keel is probably smarter," Richards said. "Last time, I thought the proposals we were working on, we would negotiate, and 10 minutes later it was over.I don't want to sound pessimistic but I'm not going to jump the ship here, either. We'll see how this week goes."