n the surface, talks between the NHL and the NHL Players' Association on a new collective bargaining agreement have so far been civil. That's largely because the NHLPA has taken the high road when it comes to responding to the owners' first proposal. There has been no gag order placed on the players, which makes it that much more remarkable that not a single one has said or tweeted a disparaging word about the NHL's position.

As you would imagine, behind closed doors, things are not quite as cordial. The players' side has taken umbrage to the owners' first offer and while it has not accused the league of bargaining in bad faith, it wants to know the rationale for the owners' position before making a counter-proposal of its own. The way the players figure, the owners' position is tantamount to the players demanding 68 percent of all revenues in their first proposal. That's an 11 percent increase in their take, which is the equivalent to what the owners want to cut.