Found November 16, 2012 on
Fox Sports North:
TORONTO (AP) -- Negotiations had already hit a wall in the ongoing hockey labor fight, and now the NHL has suggested the sides take an official two-week break before getting back to the bargaining table.
NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman floated the idea of a break to players' association executive director Donald Fehr. The union hasn't responded to the league yet, but the players maintained their position on Thursday night that they are ready and willing to meet at any time, and the only way to reach a deal to end the long lockout is to keep talking and negotiating.
"Gary suggested the possibility of a two-week moratorium," NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly wrote in an email to The Associated Press on Thursday night. "I'm disappointed because we don't have a negotiating partner that has any genuine interest in reaching an agreement. Zero interest."
The suggestion of a break was first reported by The Canadian Press on Thursday night.
With no new negotiations scheduled, and communication in general shutting down, the NHL appears to be getting closer to calling off more games, putting the entire hockey season in jeopardy.
"I hope not, but I'm more discouraged now than I have been at any point in the process," Daly said. "I responded to Don saying he did not know how to proceed from here."
The players' association wants to keep the bargaining going, despite how frustrating recent sessions have been.
"Of course everyone on the players' side wants to reach an agreement," union special counsel Steve Fehr said in a statement Thursday night. "The players have offered the owners concessions worth about a billion dollars. What exactly have the owners offered the players? We believe that it is more likely that we will make progress if we meet than if we don't. So we are ready to meet.
"If indeed they do not want to meet, it will be at least the third time in the last three months that they have shut down the dialogue, saying they will not meet unless the players meet their preconditions. What does that tell you about their interest in resolving this?"
The sides put on a push to make an agreement last week when they met over six consecutive days in New York. However, Friday's session ended with a heated exchange, and talks lasted only about an hour on Sunday.
The 61-day lockout has already claimed 327 regular-season games, including the New Year's Day outdoor Winter Classic, and more could be wiped out within a week. It is believed that an agreement would need to be in place by the end of next week for the season to get under way on Dec. 1.
That is starting to look unlikely because of the mere fact that the sides are unable to find common ground on the big issues keeping them apart. It is more than just finances preventing a deal. The disagreements over player contract terms have emerged as just big an impasse.
The NHL wants to limit contracts to five years, make rules to prohibit back-diving contracts the league feels circumvent the salary cap, keep players ineligible for unrestricted free agency until they are 28 or have eight years of professional service time, cut entry-level deals to two years, and make salary arbitration after five years.
A few hours into last Friday's session, negotiations broke down over the core economic differences that separate the sides.
A lockout wiped out the entire 2004-05 season.
BEST OF MAXIM
Ansar Khan of Mlive answers questions from readers...
Q. From all that I have read and heard, the players and fans have one common enemy, Gary Bettman. The level of hate regarding this man is epic. The players could win over the fan base by saying to the owners, “We will take less if you would remove Mr. Bettman as commissioner.'' Have you heard anything along these...
from Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun,
Ray isn't blaming the owners or the players. He believes both sides have to share responsibility for not being able to get a deal in place to avoid this mess, but he did note that commissioner Gary Bettman has a track record.
"I could sit and say Bettman is a jerk but he's done a decent job growing the game and with TV...
from Ansar Khan of Mlive,
Detroit Red Wings defenseman Ian White has been one of the more outspoken players during the NHL lockout.
Most of his wrath has been directed at NHL commissioner Gary Bettman. On Friday, White fired a few more shots at the man he holds responsible for the sport's labor troubles.
“I got to be honest, I personally think he's an idiot...
NHLTags: Bruno GervaisHeilbronner FalkenIlvesMatt ReadMax TalbotNicklas GrossmannSSK SodertaljeNHL commissioner Gary Bettman suggested this evening that a two-week moratorium on collective bargaining negotiations might now be in everyone’s interest, assuming that interest is the erosion of hockey completely from the sports landscape in...
TORONTO — Negotiations had already hit a wall in the ongoing hockey labor fight, and now the NHL has suggested the sides take an official two-week break before getting back to the bargaining table.
NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman floated the idea of a break to players’ association executive director Donald Fehr. The union hasn’t responded to the league yet, but the players...
Sometimes, when I'm feeling lonely and blue, I fantasize that I'll have the will power to conditionally boycott hockey. I imagine taking a stand, giving up blogging and watching and fretting because the bad men stole my game from me, personally. But I know for a fact I'd never stick to it. Then I start rationalizing and there are moments when I actually believe I...
from Damien Cox of the Toronto Star,
Attack NHL commissioner Gary Bettman. Personalize the disagreement. Make it appear as though the labour battle is all Bettman’s doing. Emphasize that the union gave “massive” concessions seven years ago. Question why owners are gagged and not allowed to speak freely.
NHLPAers have hit those notes consistently over the first 60 days...
I am boarding a plane for Florida so I will be brief. (Unless the wifi works on this flight)
Just a clarification here. Ed Snider is definitely one of the powers players in this lockout. His connections run deep with the NHL and Comcast/NBC. He wants to play hockey. No question. He has many progressive ideas...no question.
However, he isn't feuding with Gary Bettman...
from Tom Gulitti of The Record,
No matter how this lockout ends, there will be no winner.
Irreparable damage is being done. What sponsor would commit long-term dollars to a business in which management and labor can’t get along well enough to avoid a lengthy work stoppage every time their CBA expires? Some fans may never come back.
The NHL estimates it has lost more...
For the first time in eight days, the NHL and the players' association are heading back to the bargaining table to try again to reach a deal that will end the two-month old lockout.
Talks will resume on Monday, the 65th day of the lockout that has already wiped out 327 games and threatens the entire season if a settlement isn't reached soon.
After turning down a suggestion...
NEW YORK -- The conversations have restarted in the ongoing NHL labor fight. The negotiations have not.
One step at a time in the roller-coaster ride that holds the hockey season in the balance.
A day after NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman suggested to players' association chief Donald Fehr that the sides take a two-week break from seemingly fruitless bargaining, talking resumed...
from the CP with TSN Files,
After a lockout spanning almost nine weeks, about the only thing the NHL and NHL Players' Association are talking about is taking a break.
Commissioner Gary Bettman has proposed placing a two-week moratorium on talks after NHLPA executive director Donald Fehr told him that he didn't know how the sides could proceed, multiple sources told...
Katie Strang at ESPN.com was able to speak with Brad Richards and Ryan Callahan about Gary Bettman's ridiculous idea of a two-week moratorium on CBA talks...
"I don't know what good that's going to do, I don't know what the tactic is. We want to get to the table; we feel we're close. ... We've indicated to them in the last meeting...
Ed Snider refuted an earlier article about him turning on Gary Bettman. From Flyers.com:
An article appearing in today's Philadelphia Daily News is absolutely erroneous,” Snider said. “I am a solid supporter of National Hockey League Commissioner Gary Bettman and the League in this unfortunate situation.
“Like all fans, players, owners and League officials...
from Michael Arace of the Columbus Dispatch,
The players are united and more or less willing to wait it out. As for the owners, some of them like the lockout because they are not losing money, so they’re adamant about gouging the players; others are following the hardliners because they are just wired that way; still others are yachting because they will be printing money...