NEW YORK _ Well, I’m in the city that never sleeps for the biggest night of the year.
So, who is going to drop the ball first: The NHL and the NHLPA at the bargaining table or the good folks in Times Square to welcome to 2013.
My money is on the league and the union.
Yes, the clock is ticking on this negotiation, but there is still time to get a deal done. There is no question today is pivotal (I’m sure I said that in September, October and November), but the season is on the brink here.
The two sides need to get a deal done by Jan. 11 to open camp on Jan. 12. People tell me they don’t care anymore. They are the same ones who read every word I write and then tell me why they don’t care.
That’s the thing: People do care. They want the game back on the ice. They want this squabbling in the boardroom to stop.
The NHL has to cool its jets today. NHL commissioner Gary Bettman might be upset with what union executive director Donald Fehr puts on the table, but it seems to me there is no time for another hissy-fit.
I am probably wrong. Talks will probably break off one more time and then the union is going to file its disclaimer of interest. There is a lot of racetrack left to cover here.
In any case, Happy New Year. I won’t be watching the ball drop tonight. I’ll be thinking of the year that has gone by, missing my calling my father Jack for the first time to give him best wishes and looking forward to a shortened season ahead (maybe).
Let’s see where this goes.