Friday, December 19, 2014

Good-bye, NHL season?

The NHL season seems on the verge of being canceled after talks with federal mediators broke off on Thursday without any progress.

Good-bye, NHL season?

Representatives from the NHL and the players´ union have agreed to meet Saturday. (Chris Young/AP/The Canadian Press)
Representatives from the NHL and the players' union have agreed to meet Saturday. (Chris Young/AP/The Canadian Press)

The NHL season seems on the verge of being canceled after talks with federal mediators broke off on Thursday without any progress.

The mediators were dismissed for the time being, meaning they had two whole days to intervene.

Two.

"We are disappointed the mediation process was not successful," said Bill Daly, the NHL's deputy commissioner, on the 75th day of the lockout.

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On Twitter, fans roasted the owners and players.

Tweeted Flyer_Bully: "....flyer fan for over 35 years now, and I'm done, they can all shove it."

ESPN reported that NHL commissioner Gary Bettman proposed to Donald Fehr, the NHLPA boss, a meeting between owners and players _ without league or players' association officials.

Fehr and the players are apparently considering it.

Fehr did not address the issue when he released a statement, saying the mediators "informed the parties they did not think it was productive to continue the discussions further today." He added that the mediators would "stay in contact" and "call the parties back together when they thought the time was right."

This would be the second NHL season canceled in the last nine years.

There are numerous issues on the table, including how to divide hockey-related revenue _ it reached a record $3.3 billion last season _ free agency, arbitration, and length of contracts.

The NHL's latest offer was a 50/50 split of hockey revenue and $211million toward the "make whole" provision, which goes toward players' salaries. The players would agree to a 50/50 divide if it included $393 million.

But even if that issue is resolved, Daly said in an email, there are many other areas in which the sides are far apart.

There is a Board of Governors meeting Wednesday, during which more games could be canceled. As it stands, games have been canceled through Dec. 14.

Follow Sam Carchidi on Twitter @BroadStBull.

 

Sam Carchidi Inquirer Staff Writer
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