National Hockey League Players Association Executive Director Donald Martin Fehr talks on his cell phone during league negotiations in New York December 4, 2012. (REUTERS/Eric Thayer)
OTTAWA - Donald Fehr finally has a deadline to work against.
League sources confirmed Friday the NHL has given the executive director of the NHL Players' Association a drop-dead date to get a deal done or commissioner Gary Bettman will cancel the season for the second time in eight years.
Sources say the league wants a deal ratified and the players in camp by Jan. 12, with a Jan. 19 start date for at least a 48-game regular season. If that doesn't happen, there won't be hockey at all.