NHL players look to meet

BRUCE GARRIOCH -- Ottawa Sun

, Last Updated: 8:54 AM ET

The NHL Players' Association is getting ready to gather its troops.

While no meetings are planned to discuss a new contract with NHL officials, Senators centre Mike Fisher told the Sun yesterday he expects the union will hold a get-together with players "in the next month or so."

Most of the communication with the players has been done through the union's website, but it wouldn't be unusual for the NHLPA to bring the players to Toronto for an update on the lockout.

Sources say some players have even called NHLPA executive director Bob Goodenow directly for information.

"I've heard from a few of the guys that we'll probably get together as a group of players fairly soon and have some kind of meeting to discuss where things are at within the next month or so," Fisher said yesterday.

"I don't know exactly what's going to be discussed, but it would be good to get an update. I'm sure it would just be something to tell us where things are at and what could take place here in the next few months."

Fisher said no one should question the union's resolve in the labour dispute that threatens the entire season.

"I believe if you look at the last proposal we made (on Sept. 9), it was very fair and showed that we're serious as players about wanting to get a deal done," he said. "We made more than $200 million in concessions and it was turned down.

NO CAP

"The owners aren't moving. It's tough. We've put offers on the table to try to get this done. We want to be playing hockey, but we've made it clear we're not going to accept a salary cap and that's all that has been offered to us."

Fisher has been keeping busy by playing in the 4-on-4 Original Stars Hockey League, including last night in Halifax.

But he said he'll look seriously at playing overseas if the entire NHL campaign is cancelled.

"I just know as a player I want to keep playing," he said. "I missed some hockey last year with injuries and I know it's important for me to keep playing. I'm going to wait to see what happens, but I would think I'll go to Europe if nothing is going to happen here. I've got some opportunities over there."

Fisher is trying to remain hopeful.

OPTIMISTIC

"I'm still optimistic," he said. "Obviously, December and January are going to be the pressure points. There's still a chance something will get done and we'll be able to put this all behind us and get playing.

"For that to happen, obviously, the two sides have to be talking. That's not happening right now."


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