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Bettman tells GMs to take “business as usual” approach as CBA talks loom

Mar 14, 2012, 4:01 PM EDT

Fehr-Bettman-Getty Getty Images

With the boogeyman know as the return of the two-line pass shoved neatly back in the closet, NHL fans can turn back to another looming monster: the thought of another lockout.

General managers must wonder about that situation too – or at least how the NHL’s structure might change if a new CBA is hammered out in a timely fashion. It’s unlikely GMs will face a radical alteration on the scale of fresh new salary cap this time around and James Mirtle reports that Gary Bettman echoed such a sentiment by advising teams to take a “business as usual” approach despite the uncertainty.

“We told the clubs to conduct business as usual and the update is there was no update,” Bettman said. “There’s nothing going on [in terms of talks]… The fact is when the union is ready to negotiate, we’ll be ready to sit down. I’m not particularly concerned about the timeline. There’s plenty of time.”

That might be true, but many of us are biting our nails about this as we worry that the two sides will treat the situation like a college student who decides to cram a 10-page paper into one horrible caffeine-soaked night of work.*

Still, it’s not time to panic – yet – and the fact that Bettman is telling general managers to spend away seems like a positive sign. Sure, most of us would love the two sides to be proactive so they don’t end up like the NBA (hashing out a zero-hour deal that results into a ridiculously condensed season), but let’s try to stay positive.

(Starts breathing into a brown paper bag.)

* – Yup, I was one of those boneheads once.

  1. chiadam - Mar 14, 2012 at 4:22 PM

    This article is great. It will give me more ammuntion to despise Bettman with when there is no hockey next year.

  2. buffalomafia - Mar 14, 2012 at 4:28 PM

    I agree! Also they should make two 16 team conferences top 8 from each make playoffs 1-16 where 1 plays 16 etc….

  3. scottybcboy - Mar 14, 2012 at 9:02 PM

    I believe that comments like these (‘There’s plenty of time’) are a positive sign. During the last NHL lockout both sides seemed really concerned about being on the right side of the PR war. Bettman could have easily said: ‘Time is running out, I’m disappointed the NHLPA is not ready to begin negotiations’, and not sounded like a prick instead he took the high road. I could just be looking for a silver lining an but I think it bodes well for the upcoming talks.

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