Today Seen As Pivotal Day: Can Final Obstacles Be Resolved?
The NHL and NHLPA met last night for over four hours with Federal Mediation & Conciliation Service Deputy Dir Scot Beckenbaugh until just before 1:00am ET. Although scant progress was believed to have been made, the union did not notify the league that it had filed a Disclaimer of Interest before a midnight deadline and negotiations continued. NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said more negotiations would take place today before Beckenbaugh. Chief among the issues still unresolved is player pensions (Chris Botta, SportsBusiness Journal).
Bettman said of talks, "There was some progress, but we are apart on a number of issues" (USA TODAY, 1/3). NHLPA Exec Dir Donald Fehr offered an analogy to describe the talks: "It's sort of like if you have a river to cross; you either have to build a bridge or you have to do something else if you're going to cross the river" (N.Y. POST, 1/3). The Toronto Star's Damien Cox previews today's talks by writing, "Big day today any way it goes" (TORONTO STAR, 1/3). The Ottawa Sun's Bruce Garrioch writes, "There's a long way to go to save the season" (OTTAWA SUN, 1/3).