NHL awaits a counter

NEW YORK -- Even as yet another day ticked toward the expiration of hockey’s Collective Bargaining Agreement on Thursday without a new proposal to mull from the Players Association, NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly remains hopeful next season will start on-time.

The NHLPA is expected to present a counterproposal on Friday in New York. The CBA expires just before midnight on Sept. 15.

“Well, obviously the clock is ticking,” Daly said. “We’re almost into September now. I would say the positive thing is I think both sides are committed, if there’s reasons to meet and continue to move forward, to meet as often as it takes to get a deal done.

“But obviously, every day that goes by, it’s less and less likely that we’ll be able to come to closure on all of the issues we need to come to closure on.”

The NHL is hoping to build on what it saw as progress from their proposal on Tuesday. It included a $460 million concession over a six-year term versus what the league originally proposed on July 13.

Donald Fehr, executive director of the NHLPA, was skeptical to characterize the offer from the league as a positive on Wednesday. 

Interestingly, Daly noted on Thursday that the league would be open to new possibilities. The NHLPA’s proposal on Friday does not necessarily need to be based on the same structure as the one built by the NHL this week.

“We’re not married to the structure,” Daly said. “So, if it’s a good proposal and takes a different route, we’re open to that.”

Fehr, hunkered down in the PA’s temporary Manhattan meeting space, declined comment on Thursday through an NHLPA spokesman. The league, meanwhile, is hoping for meaningful progress. The way they see it, the NHLPA can either make progress, keep negotiations in neutral, or regress from the current state.

Daly said the NHL is looking for a reason to continue talks over the appropriately-named Labor Day holiday.

“It’ll depend on the nature of the proposal, the structure of the proposal, how detailed it is,” Daly said. “Depending on what this is, we may need to take time [to analyze]. But there’s certainly nothing that would preclude us from meeting on Saturday if there is a reason to meet on Saturday. Let’s see their proposal. Hopefully, it’s a step forward.”

Pick up a copy of Friday’s Daily News for a glimpse into what the NHL’s latest proposal will mean for the Flyers’ roster.

For the latest updates, follow Frank Seravalli on Twitter: @DNFlyers