A few weeks from now will Penguins owner Ron Burkle be regarded as the voice of reason who played a pivotal role in breaking the stalemate between the NHL, NHLPA and leading to an eventual deal being agreed upon?
Just maybe…. and for one night Burkle’s presence appears to have brought some trust back to the table between the players and owners.
There is cautious optimism coming out of tonight’s 5 hour + long players/owners meeting and early indications are that Burkle made his presence felt in the meeting and had a positive impact on the 18 players in the room.
NHL insiders on the scene are hearing praise about Burkle that is believed to be coming from the players. “Hearing that Ron Burkle has been voice of reason today,” John Shannon of Sportsnet said.
Constantly dealing with Jeremy Jacobs, Craig Leopold, Murray Edwards and Ted Leonis throughout the process, the players have felt a lack of trust and hatred for the four and it appears the presence of Burkle has made the players in the room feel the owners we’re actually bargaining in good faith for once.
The vibe coming into today’s talks, especially from the players side is that they weren’t expecting much progress. With all the positive vibes we’re getting, we might be seeing a possible small breakthrough between the two sides. Progress on some key issues is believed to have been made but keep in mind there’s still a long ways to go. Neither side is going to cave just yet.