NHL owners, players to meet Tuesday

A view of the empty atrium of the First Niagara Center, home of the Buffalo Sabres. (David Duprey/AP)


The NHL Players’ Association has accepted the league’s offer to have some of its players meet with owners Tuesday in New York.

Originally, it was supposed to be a meeting of players and owners only, with no leaders from each side. But the meeting will now also include Bill Daly, the NHL’s deputy commissioner, and Steve Fehr, special counsel for the NHLPA, and perhaps some other lawyers.

Daly said six owners are expected to attend: Boston’s Jeremy Jacobs, one of the leading figures in the lockout, Pittsburgh’s Ron Burkle, Winnipeg’s Mark
Chipman, Calgary’s Murray Edwards, Toronto’s Larry Tanenbaum, and Tampa Bay’s Jeff Vinik.

The NHLPA was supposed to have six players at the meeting, but apparently the NHL has said the union could have an unlimited number.

Pittsburgh's Sidney Crosby, Chicago's Jonathan Toews and Buffalo's Ryan Miller are among the big-name players expected to be at the meeting.

Tuesday will be the 79th day of the lockout, and games have been canceled through Dec. 14.

“There will be owners attending this meeting who have not previously done so, which is encouraging and which we welcome,” said Don Fehr, executive director of the players’ union. “We hope that this meeting will be constructive and lead to a dialogue that will help us find a way to reach an agreement.”

On Wednesday, NHL owners will have a Board of Governors meeting, during which more games could be canceled.

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

In other words, both side shave a LONG road to travel before an agreement is reached, and the NHL is is danger of having its second season canceled in the last nine years.

Follow Sam Carchidi on Twitter @BroadStBull.