Pittsburgh Penguins forward Sidney Crosby remains frustrated with the state of the NHL and NHLPA’s CBA negotiations.
“It’s pretty one-sided,” Crosby told Shelley Anderson of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “I don’t really know what (the owners) have given up to this point. They’re trying to take away all the contracting rights.
“If it’s not broke, don’t fix it. I understand their point. At the end of the day it’s dollars, but at the end of the day you want to get a deal done. I don’t think they’re going to get a deal done if they’re trying to take away guys’ contracting rights.”
Crosby attended one of the bargaining sessions last week in New York but is not pleased with the progress of the labour dispute.
“It’s just frustrating,” Crosby said. “You kind of hear the same things coming out of the meetings all the time. Just waiting to hear something new from their side. It’s almost to the point where you don’t want to ask because you know you’re going to get the the same answer you got a week before.”
The Penguins captain understands the problem with the long-term contracts being given out to players but believes does not believe entry-level deals should be limited.
“I think a big issue is the second contracts. A guy like, for instance, this year with Tyler Seguin. They have to make a big decision on a guy that’s 20 years old. He’s a great player, but I think they probably would want more time to make a commitment to a guy long-term.
“That’s a decision you have to make. If you try to change all these things, Ray’s [Shero, the Penguins GM] hands are going to be tied. That takes his skill of being a GM or his strength of having to that decision away. So I don’t really see the point [of limiting entry-level contracts to two years]. Where do you gain the competitive advantage? If that’s the case, you might as well just get someone who’s good at crunching numbers sign contracts.”
While NHLPA executive director Donald Fehr was heavily criticized for not informing the players about the latest offer from the NHL, Crosby was not too concerned and believes it was just part of the league’s negotiating tactics.
“We’re pretty informed,” he said. “If he decided he didn’t want to [do what we want], there are 15 or 20 other guys [who have been at the talks] who would have told us. I think if the league or anyone negotiating really has something to say, they should say it in a meeting and not to a reporter or a journalist.”
After the NHL has seen the Winter Classic and all of the November games cancelled, Crosby is trying his best to stay positive.
“There’s no reason we can’t figure something out. I really want to be optimistic. It’s not easy right now. It’s just a roller coaster. I don’t know what’s going to happen.”