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NHL Season in Murky Water?


In what may appear to be standstill in the NHL labor talks after weeks of non-stop negotiating, both the union and the NHLPA are slowly moving forward with hopes to salvage at least part of the hockey season.  At least, according to Steve Fehr, the special counsel to the NHL Players’ Association.

Fehr alluded to the fact that the collective bargaining agreement can be wrapped up in the next week or so.

“One thing (deputy commissioner) Bill Daly and I agree upon is that when the moment is right the deal could be done very quickly,” Fehr said Monday at the PrimeTime Sports Management Conference panel discussion.  “One day, three days or whatever.”

While Fehr was hesitant to give an exact date, it is progress that the NHL world is glad to hear, especially after hearing either side was incapable of caving in to the others demands.

Still, representatives from both the NHLPA and NHL met almost every day during the past week, but nothing has been signed nor are there future talks in place.

So what separates the two sides?

Fehr explained at the panel that there are still three issues still yet to be resolved: player contract rights, the split of money and who is financially responsible for the damage caused by the lockout.

Though player reaction to the lockout has varied, there is one sentiment that is shared with the majority about the proposed changes the NHL has issued (entry-level deals, arbitration, free agency and contract limits) and Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby sounded off on the dispute.

“The question I’d ask is: Why would we change that?”  Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby said.  “I think we all know it’s the most competitive league in the world.  So why would you go change that — the way contracts go and thew ay teams can operate?”

On Monday, Fehr had a chance to comment on Crosby’s sentiments regarding the proposed changes, but stated that he doesn’t think that it will ultimately keep them from striking a deal.

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