Sources told WBZ-TV’s Steve Burton that an unannounced meeting was held Monday with a high-ranking official from each side, and significant progress was made toward salvaging the hockey season. It’s possible an announcement could come as soon as Wednesday.
No other news organizations reported anything like this and many questioned the validity of this report.
Comcast SportsNet’s Joe Haggerty called to talk with 98.5 The Sports Hub’s Toucher & Rich about his thoughts on the report, what the schedule could look like if the season started soon and players getting back to game shape.
Haggerty has stated before that he believed that the owners had a date in mind where the could salvage some money out of the season and that they would start playing hockey on that date.
“I was talking to someone yesterday and they said that they thought as part of the thinking and part of the factoring in was the college football angle because that’s part of what kills attendance at hockey games early in the season in places like Florida and Carolina and in other areas in non traditional markets.”
NHL commissioner Gary Bettman is holding a press conference at 1pm Wednesday after a meeting at 9am. What does Haggerty think the presser could be about?
“I foresee it being about progress toward a deal being made. I don’t foresee it as being an announcement that there’s a done deal and that the season’s going to start in seven to ten days or anything like that.”
If a deal does get done sooner rather than later what kind of a season will fans get. Will the league cram as many games as they can in the time they have left or will they just play out the number of game that are left on the schedule?
“I think they’re definitely going to create some kind of new schedule. It’s going to be just Eastern Conference teams against the Eastern Conference teams and West against West and they’ll meet in the Stanley Cup Finals. If they get it done soon they could potentially still play a 55 to 60 game schedule, somewhere in there, and what they’d probably do is extend the regular season a few weeks and the playoff would probably go until the end of June.”
Plus, the guys discussed the players and how long it could take for them to get in game shape?