November 11, 2012
NHL negotiations end 'with no progress'
By CHRIS STEVENSON, QMI Agency
TORONTO - A meeting Sunday between the NHL and the NHL players association broke up after just more than an hour and both sides were left to ponder where they go from here.
After a week of sometimes-intense negotiations in New York, NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly said after Sunday's meeting ended there was "no progress and no future plans" to deal with ending the lockout, which will hit the two-month mark Thursday.
NHLPA executive director Donald Fehr told reporters after the meeting he didn't "see a path to an agreement" after the NHL has dug its heels in on some contracting issues. Fehr said he didn't know when the two sides would meet again.
"The owners made it clear that there is no give with respect to any of their proposals, that unless players are prepared to take -- and this is my phrase, not theirs -- down to the comma, that there's nothing to do," said Fehr. "We're past the point of give and take. That's what I was told Gary (Bettman) said when I was out of the meeting."
Among some of those contracting issues, the NHL wants to increase by one year the service or age required for players to achieve unrestricted free agency and wants contracts limited to five years.
There has been some momentum generated during the week with Daly saying there had been progress on 14 of 17 contractual issues, but it now sounds like the two sides have reached a stalemate.
The two sides also remain apart on how to bridge reducing the players' share of revenue from 57% to 50% and honouring their current contracts.
The less-than-encouraging news could indicate a cooling off period between the two sides. The main characters on both sides are expected to attend Monday's Hockey Hall of Fame induction ceremony.