The National Hockey League and its players’ union will take a break from talks today after three straight days of negotiations failed to produce an agreement on a new labor contract.
“We covered a lot of things over the last three days and we each have a lot of homework projects to do and things to get together, drafts we owe each other on certain things,” NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly told reporters last night.
The NHL locked out its players just over two weeks ago when a new collective bargaining agreement couldn’t be reached before the Sept. 15 deadline. The preseason has been canceled while the league and the union try to reach an agreement to start the season on time Oct. 11.
“It’s good we’re talking,” NHLPA Special Counsel Steve Fehr told reporters. “It’s true that we could have done this last week or the week before or the week before that, but it’s a lot better than doing it three weeks from now. So I think it’s some progress and hopefully it will continue.”
Daly said yesterday’s meeting included a discussion about CBA legal issues and continued negotiations on health and player-safety issues, including drug testing and medical care.
League Commissioner Gary Bettman and NHL Players Association Executive Director Donald Fehr didn’t participate in talks after holding one-on-one discussions the previous two days.
“We’re really talking about micro issues, issues that we deal with on a day-to-day basis that don’t necessarily rise to the commissioner’s level or the executive director’s level,” Daly said. “They will be at the table when we’re talking about the issues that are really going to get this deal done or not.”
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