Time to shut it down: Alfie

While the league and players both remain deadlocked in a labour dispute, Senators captain Daniel...

While the league and players both remain deadlocked in a labour dispute, Senators captain Daniel Alfredsson says the NHL should call off the season with no new talks scheduled. (File Photo)

BRUCE GARRIOCH -- Ottawa Sun

, Last Updated: 8:40 AM ET

Get it over with, Gary.

Senators captain Daniel Alfredsson told the Sun last night from Sweden he's given up hope there's going to be hockey this season and suggested NHL commissioner Gary Bettman should just make it official and cancel the year.

There was talk yesterday officials from the NHL and the NHL Players Association would meet today to try to get collective bargaining talks back on track. But both sides indicated there hasn't been any contact since talks broke off Friday.

It's believed the NHL will finally specify a drop-dead date on the season. The NHL will likely cancel the season either late this week or early next week if a miracle agreement isn't reached before then.

Alfredsson, a VP on the executive committee of the NHLPA's bargaining unit, said he doesn't see one coming if a salary cap remains on the table.

"I'm not positive at all, given where we are right now," said Alfredsson, who is playing with the Frolunda Indians in the Swedish Elite League. "We'd like to get a deal done and you'd hope we can get something done, but there's not much of a chance.

"I can't speak for all the players, but I know from speaking to a lot of the guys in Sweden that nobody is holding out much hope that there's going to be any hockey this year.

"We'd like to see a deal get done and we'd like to be playing in the NHL this year, but I just don't see it happening ... not where we are right now in these discussions. There's no sense in continuing to talk if we're just going to talk. We either have to get something done right now or the season is ... done."

Alfredsson, who has kept in constant contact with NHLPA executive director Bob Goodenow and president Trevor Linden throughout the process, said the longer the silence continues, the less hope for a season.

Like everybody, Alfredsson was encouraged by the fact the two sides held various meetings in the last couple of weeks. But he reiterated that little progress was made because Bettman has insisted on getting cost-certainty in any deal.

"There's nothing new to report here because I don't think we've really made any progress on the major issue," said Alfredsson. "They want a salary cap and they've made that clear since the negotiations started.

"The players have tried to make concessions to get a deal done. We're not even trying to win here. We know that we're going to have to give back to get a deal done and we tried that. It wasn't good enough."

They remain dead set against a salary cap.

"They're trying to force a cap on us and we're not going to budge on that issue," said Alfredsson. "They found out in the last lockout in 1994 how much resolve the players have. We want to get the right deal."


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