The NHL and its players were thought to be "very close" to a deal, according to NHLPA executive director Donald Fehr.
Following a speech in Toronto in front of the Canadian Auto Workers union Saturday afternoon, Fehr once again expressed surprise after the league broke off talks Thursday night.
"They have not indicated a willingness to continue discussions," Fehr said. "They're the ones that called a halt to the process."
Fehr said it remains his opinion that the two sides are close to a deal.
"I'm always disappointed when you're involved in a process and people want to call a halt to it," he said. "The players have never made threats to walk out. We've had any number of threats from the other side."
The union boss reiterated concern for the game itself, most notably fear of losing fan support.
"You always have to be worried about the fans. If you're not, you're not very perceptive."