NHL labor talks go deep into night
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The sides got together at an undisclosed location in New York in mid-afternoon and continued to talk until deep into the night, finally adjourning after more than seven hours. Reports in the early evening that talks had broken off proved to be premature -- inaccurate, actually -- as the parties continued to negotiate for hours after that.
A statement by NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly was released inadvertently hours before the talks adjourned, and confirmed plans to have them resume today. The league issued another brief statement after the negotiations concluded, but it did not shed any light on what transpired during the talks. It also said talks will resume today.
"The league will not characterize the substance or detail of the discussions until their conclusion," Daly said in the latter statement.
The meeting was headlined by NHL commissioner Gary Bettman and NHL Players' Association executive director Donald Fehr, but a number of players and owners also were involved.
Penguins player representative Craig Adams and captain Sidney Crosby were among the 13 players who took part in the talks. They flew to New York after participating in a player-organized workout at Southpointe in the morning.
The NHLPA declined to meet with reporters after the negotiations, the NHL offered only Daly's statement and Adams declined to discuss what went on during the meeting.
Fehr met with reporters before the session and seemed prepared for the kind of lengthy meeting that took place.
"We're hopeful that we'll start bargaining and we'll continue bargaining until we find a way to make a deal," he said.
"We certainly hope we'll be continuing to meet on a regular basis. I hope they do, too. I'm just not making any predictions."
Not surprising, financial issues have been at the core of the dispute, and the sides have spent considerable time trying to settle on how what is known as "hockey-related revenue" should be shared.
Lately, there has been considerable focus on the players' desire to have existing contracts honored, and the details of how that could be accomplish.
That issue was one of the major points of contention before the Tuesday meeting.
Even if the fundamental money matters get resolved, there are many other issues that have to be dealt with before a new collective bargaining agreement is in place. They deal with such diverse things as room-sharing on the road, proposed limits on the length of contracts and eligibility for free agency.
First Published November 7, 2012 12:13 am