NHL

Daly, Steve Fehr comment on stalled labour negotiations

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TSN.ca Staff
12/17/2012 10:51:07 PM
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With no contact made between the NHL and NHL Players' Association since last Thursday, NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly said on Monday that there have been no talks scheduled between the two sides.

"Things remain status quo with the Union," Daly told Michael Russo of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune. "There was no contact over the weekend, and there are no new meetings planned. We obviously would prefer that the Players return to the bargaining table at the earliest possible date to see if there is a deal to be done.

"Ultimately, a deal will have to be agreed to, regardless of the forum. I suppose it is ultimately up to them to choose what forum that will be, but the Union pretending it's not a Union anymore certainly isn't going to expedite things."

The NHL filed a class action complaint in federal court on Friday, just hours after the NHL got wind that its Players' Association would ask its executive board to proceed with a vote to file a disclaimer of interest. That is a precursor to decertify the union in order to proceed with class action and antitrust lawsuits.

The move by both sides came a day after they met with federal mediators for a second straight time on Thursday, but the meetings were unproductive.

The two sides also met with mediators on Nov. 28 and 29, but those meetings broke off without progress being made.

"We've always been willing and ready to bargain," NHLPA special counsel Steve Fehr told The Canadian Press on Monday night. "It seems like the league has ... paused or cut the process off several times over the last few months. I don't know that we ever have.

"We're ready to meet whenever they're ready to meet."

Fehr also discussed the state of the talks before they hit a stalemate last week.

"At times, we felt we were very close and had momentum towards a deal but something always seemed to happen to derail it," said Fehr. "Clearly we seemed to be making progress and were close the week of Dec. 4-6 in New York. As (executive director) Don (Fehr) has said, in some ways we're very, very close.

"It seems unfortunate that we get stuck in the mud and can't seem to move forward and finish it off."

Games through Dec. 30 have been wiped off the schedule. That's a total of 526 contests lost to the lockout that started Sept. 16. The Winter Classic on New Year's Day was also cancelled, as was the All-Star Weekend in late January.



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