NHL Rejects NHLPA Request To Meet, Ending Hope For 82-Game Season
BOSTON (CBS) — The emotional roller coaster in the hockey world over the past two weeks regarding the potential of preserving a full 82-game NHL season appears to be reaching its conclusion that it simply is not going to happen.
Following a conference call with NHLPA executive board members, the NHLPA requested a meeting with the NHL. The league, however, said that unless the meeting was to accept the NHL’s proposal from last week, there was no reason to meet.
“I don’t anticipate any taking place for the balance of the week,” NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly told The Associated Press. “The union has rejected the proposal we made last Tuesday and is not offering another one. We see nothing to be gained at this point by meeting just to meet.”
The refusal to meet essentially ends the hope for the preservation of an 82-game season, as that plan would require the season to begin on Nov. 2. For such a scenario to take place, it was widely believed that a deal would have to be agreed upon this week.
“They say they want a deal but then they say they only want to meet if it is on their terms,” Steve Fehr, the NHLPA’s special counsel, told The Canadian Press. “Strange. That is not the way to reach an agreement. Bargaining is give and take — not just take.”
The two sides most recently met last Thursday, two days after the NHL offered a 50-50 split of hockey-related revenue. Optimism for a potential agreement spread throughout the hockey world, but when Donald Fehr and the NHLPA made three counteroffers last Thursday, they were quickly dismissed by commissioner Gary Bettman and the NHL.