Originally posted on Sports Business Digest  |  Last updated 10/1/12

After three straight days of negotiations, the NHL and NHLPA have only agreed on one major point... They need some time away from each other. With no further meetings currently scheduled, both sides agreed to go back to their respective camps and do some more 'homework'. At issue are the mixed bag of larger lingering issues, that have plagued negotiations since the lockout began, and some more minute issues, 'Hockey-related revenue', drug-testing, and various player safety concerns.
"It's not like we're breaking off negotiations, it's that we need a little more time to do some work," Daly [Bill Daly, NHL Deputy Commissioner] said after a five-hour negotiating session Sunday at the League office. "[The Union has] got some work to do, too."
While many hockey fans are looking for any sign that the two sides are closer to an agreement -- all preseason games were already canceled, and the regular season is scheduled to begin October 11th -- Daly referred to these last three days of negotiation as only covering what would be the minutiae of a new collective bargaining agreement,
"What we're doing now and what we've done for the last two days, I don't think any of that is going to get a deal done but they are all necessarily elements of the deal," Daly said. "Again, I hate to keep saying it because I'm going to sound like a broken record, but we need some movement on the economic issues [from the Union]. We need some movement on the system issues. We need them to be scheduled as a subject of a meeting. Right now, the Union is not prepared to do that."
The NHLPA was essentially silent on the three day negotiation session with NHLPA Special Counsel Steve Fehr declining comment on the potential of a new proposal being brought by the players association,
"We discuss all sorts of things internally and unless and until Don [NHLPA Executive Director Donald Fehr] or the players choose to make the internal discussions public, I'll keep them private," Steve Fehr said.
After spending the last eight years attempting to re-establish goodwill with their fan base since the 2004-05 NHL lockout -- which led to the cancellation of the season -- the NHL and the NHLPA really need to take drastic measures to establish a long-term collective bargaining agreement. The fact that minutiae of the deal are being discussed 11 days before the start of the season certainly doesn't bode well for the NHL's regular season or the Winter Classic, which has arguably become the league's single hottest commodity. That being said, there doesn't seem to be much panic coming from either side, even with the regular season so close...so maybe its much ado about nothing? (information via NHL)
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