NHL cancels games through Dec. 14, plus All-Star Weekend
Leaders of the NHL and the NHL Players' Association traded barbs instead of labor proposals as the league extended its cancellation of regular-season games through Dec. 14 for a total of 422, or 34.3 percent of the schedule.
Leaders of the NHL and the NHL Players' Association traded barbs instead of labor proposals Friday as the league extended its cancellation of regular-season games through Dec. 14 for a total of 422, or 34.3 percent of the schedule.
League officials also canceled All-Star Weekend, scheduled for Jan. 26 and Jan. 27 in Columbus, Ohio.
The Jan. 1 Winter Classic, which was to match Detroit and Toronto in Ann Arbor, Mich., already had been canceled.
Deputy commissioner Bill Daly said in an interview on a Toronto radio station he has doubted the NHLPA's willingness to make a deal.
"I would hope the players want to play and want to have a season, but I'm not so sure at the end of the day that unless it's on certain terms that union leadership necessarily shares that goal," he said.
Daly also took an ominous view of a possible vote by players to decertify their union, as NFL and NBA players did in recent labor disputes to bring antitrust cases against the leagues.
"I think it's a time-consuming process that would likely lead to the end of the season," Daly said.
Steve Fehr, the NHLPA's special counsel, declined to say if the decertification process has begun but said all options are being considered. He said the union wants to complete a deal but has questioned the NHL's intentions.
"We have our doubts, how's that?" he said in a separate interview on the same radio station.
Fehr, on the 69th day of the lockout, said the league has moved toward players.
"But on the things that matter — dollars, free-agency rights, salary-arbitration rights, some of the other player-contracting rights they're trying to take a meat ax to — there was not movement," he said. "If it was Thanksgiving dinner, they gave us a relish tray but no turkey."
Donald Fehr, executive director of the union and Steve's brother, said, "The gap that remains on the core economic issues is $182 million."
The league has characterized the gap between the two sides' proposals as being as much as $900 million.