NHL, NHLPA Still Far Apart On Contract Issues After Today's Talks
Straight talk followed a brief meeting between the NHL and NHLPA this morning. The sides agreed to meet Tuesday in N.Y., but that is about all they agreed on. NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman was atypically open with reporters in Toronto, explaining his frustration with negotiations in stark detail. “We are focusing on making a deal,” Bettman said. “The NHLPA wants to keep things the way they are, and that is slowing the process.” Bettman said the parties are far apart on contract issues and summed up what he would like to see changed. He said, “We believe that we are paying the players more than we should be.”
NHLPA Exec Dir Donald Fehr provided his take on the conceptual gulf with the league, saying, “We want more flexibility and the league doesn’t want that.” Still, Fehr tried to profess optimism heading into next week’s rounds of talks, with the CBA set to expire Sept. 15. “I believe there is still time,” he said.