NHL: League met with players' association but no breakthrough was made

Last Updated: 20/11/12 9:00am

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NHL: Recent talks produced no conclusion to the saga

NHL: Recent talks produced no conclusion to the saga

Sky Bet

The National Hockey League met with the players' association at the first bargaining session in eight days yet no conclusion was made to end the saga.

The players met with league leadership on Monday night when they spent less than two hours discussing the situation aiming to reach a new agreement that could get the hockey season going.

Donald Fehr, union executive director, said: "We talked about various things. No new proposals were made; they were not expected to be made. We had hoped to engage them in a discussion about the player contracting issues that are so important to the players. At least tonight they were unwilling to do that."

"We talked about various things. No new proposals were made; they were not expected to be made."
Donald Fehr

The league contends that it is waiting for the players to present a full proposal on all major issues including player contracting and core economics.

Following this request, the players' association asked for a break and the meeting adjourned soon after.

NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly added: "We've never heard a full proposal from them. They have given us a variation of the same proposal on economics a couple of times and there was no change in that position. They are still suggesting that they are moving in our direction on economics, but until we know exactly what their position is on economics now, we think it's all tied together and would like to hear it all together.

"It's our position that we've made a couple comprehensive proposals in a row. We'd like to know where they are on all of the issues. We asked that they put together a comprehensive proposal for us to consider."

On Monday night, union representatives, along with 18 players who were in attendance, returned to the players' association office for further internal discussions.

Full proposal

It was agreed by the sides that they would get back in touch on Tuesday morning, with the hope on both ends that it would lead to another face-to-face meeting.

Fehr continued: "It's certainly a good possibility of it. I would say it's more likely than not."

Although the players wanted to put focus on the player-contract issues on Monday night before returning to specific revenue and economic areas, the NHL wasn't interested in that as the league considers everything to be entwined.

Neither side wants to make concessions in one single area, or agree to anything, without knowing how those will affect other parts of the CBA which still need to be negotiated.

"Our position all along has been on the player contracting issues that they become considerably more important to players as the cap becomes limited," Fehr added.

"We made proposals in a couple of areas in this regard, which moved toward them, but we wanted to talk about the rest of these to see where we were. We indicated to them the last time we met and again today that if we put aside for a moment the effect of the lockout on revenues we didn't think we were too far apart on the share and if that was right we can back into a discussion on the revenues. We wanted to know where we were on the player contracting stuff first, and they were unwilling to do that at least tonight."

Fehr said the NHLPA would consider the NHL's request for a full proposal, trying to figure out what the next step will be. Nobody would say if they thought such an offer could come on Tuesday.

It is still to be resolved as to whether hockey will return soon or at all this season. On Monday the lockout entered its 65th day and has already wiped out 327 games. There could be more cancellations coming soon yet the NHL hasn't said when another such announcement might be coming.

Daly added: "I think every week is important in the process. I don't attach a particular significance to this week over last week or next week. I want to play tomorrow."

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