NHL commissioner Gary Bettman's deadline to save an 82-game season has arrived, but there are still no meetings planned between the league and the NHL Players' Association.
Bettman has said previously that a full season will not be possible after the Oct. 25 deadline passes. The NHL's most recent offer of Oct. 16 was predicated on a training camp beginning on Oct. 26 and the first games to be played on Nov. 2.
"Things seem to be not progressing the way we would like - it's disappointing," Bettman told reporters at a Wednesday media conference announcing the Islanders' move to Brooklyn in 2015.
Having already cancelled the first 135 games on the schedule through Nov. 1 so far, the NHL will likely cancel additional regular season games on Friday. It's unlikely that this round of cuts will include the Jan. 1 Winter Classic, although its fate will be determined within days.
The NHL's position hasn't changed since it rejected three offers from the union last week and there is no intent to meet with the union until it is prepared to negotiate off of the NHL's most recent offer.
"The players made multiple core-economic proposals Thursday (last week) that were a significant move in the owners direction," said NHLPA executive director Donald Fehr in a statement on Thursday. "We are and continue to be ready to meet to discuss how to resolve our remaining differences, with no preconditions. For whatever reason, the owners are not.
"At the same time they are refusing to meet, they are winding the clock down to yet another artificial deadline they created."
It is likely that contact between the sides will be made on Thursday. But unless the Players' Association invites the league back to bargaining with promise of a new proposal, it's unlikely any discussions will be progressive.