Monday, October 22, 2012
Source: Talks likely this week
By Katie Strang
NEW YORK -- With Thursday's deadline looming and a full 82-game season hanging in the balance, the NHL and NHL Players' Association have not made any plans to meet again following last week's proposal-swapping debacle.
Although one source with knowledge of negotiations told ESPNNewYork.com that talks are likely to resume at some point this week, no meeting had been scheduled as of late Monday afternoon.
Both NHLPA special counsel Steve Fehr and NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly spoke over the weekend but did not mark the calendar for a formal bargaining session. According to a source briefed on the conversation, the league and the union had a conference call to seek clarification on hockey-related revenue issues but did not resume negotiations.
When will the two sides meet next?
"Don't know," Daly told ESPNNewYork.com via email. "We will see what happens in the next couple of days."
The stalemate follows a disheartening sequence of events in Toronto last week, when the NHL promptly rejected all three of the union's proposals. NHL commissioner Gary Bettman said the two sides were not even "speaking the same language."
Boston Bruins center David Krejci called the lingering lockout a "shame."
"We want to play, we're the ones who are doing the show in the NHL, but Bettman thinks (it's him)," Krejci said. "It is unfortunate that the NHL has such a guy. It's a shame for the entire hockey world. (He) treats us like animals."
Krejci is currently playing for HC Pardubice in the Czech Elite League in his native Czech Republic.
Earlier in the week, Bettman said a full 82-game season would be possible if an agreement is reached by Oct. 25, although that possibility appears unlikely with no substantive progress made toward brokering a new deal.
Although both sides introduced proposals that included a 50-50 split of revenue, there is still a fundamental disagreement on who should subsidize the "make whole" concept tailored to honor all existing player contracts.
On Friday, the league canceled another block of regular-season games, wiping out the schedule through Nov. 1, and more cuts appear imminent.
According to a source, there is likely to be much more significant cancellations by the end of this week should no deal be reached.
It is not immediately clear whether the Winter Classic could be among those games eliminated with the next round of cancellations.
Information from ESPNBoston.com's James Murphy was used in this report.