NHL talks resume on Saturday
Just a day after the league’s biggest game was canceled, and more than two weeks after they last met, the NHL and the players’ association will resume talks, according to The Associated Press.
NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly and players’ associations special counsel Steve Fehr agreed to meet on Saturday at a location that has remained a secret. The two have not met since Oct. 18, but have spoken on the phone over the past week. During their conversations, they found enough common ground in their goals to have a meeting.
The talks come on the 49th day of the lockout, and while there is no way the teams can play a full season, the discussions bring hope that at least part of the season can be salvaged.
In order for the teams to have played a full season, the two groups would have needed to have come to an agreement by Friday. As The AP points out, however, the only hockey activity on Nov. 2 was the cancellation of the Winter Classic.
“Last week we had a proposal to save a full season on the table,” Daly said in an email to the AP. “That has since been withdrawn. That creates a different environment for talks.”
According to Daly, while the Winter Classic was canceled, that does not mean that more games, including the All-Star game, will be canceled in the near future.
“I don’t forsee any further cancellation announcements in the near term,” Daly said.
It has not been made clear if there were any conditions set for Saturday’s meeting.
During NHL commissioner Gary Bettman’s tenure, the NHL has had three lockouts. While the first lockout, during the 1994-95 season, just shortened the amount of games played, the lockout in the 2004-05 season led the cancellation of the entire season. That marked the only time a major North American professional sports team had to cancel an entire year because of a lockout.