NEW YORK — NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly and players’ association special counsel Steve Fehr spoke to each other on Saturday, but the sides still have no plans to meet face-to-face as a deadline to preserve a full hockey season draws nearer.
No details of what Daly and Fehr discussed on Saturday were released, but both sides said there were no new developments on the 35th day of the lockout.
On Friday, the NHL canceled all games through Nov. 1. The league said in its most recent proposal to the players that a deal must be reached by Thursday in order for the season to start on Nov. 2 and for each team to play a complete 82-game season.
Talks broke off quickly on Thursday after the NHLPA made three counterproposals that were rejected by the NHL, two days after the league’s latest offer to the union.
A day after the NHL turned down three counterproposals from players, the league wiped out 53 more games. A total of 135 games through Nov. 1 have been scratched, which amounts to 11 percent of the season.
“As expected,” New York Rangers goalie Martin Biron told The Associated Press in a text message. “We continue to work hard to find an agreement and get back to playing hockey.”
These lost games could still become mere postponements. If a new contract is reached with the union by Thursday, the NHL will be able to get the season under way on Nov. 2, and each team will play all 82 games after a weeklong training camp.
However, a quick settlement to end the lockout sure seems like a long shot. Without a new deal, more games will be eliminated along with the hope of playing a full season.
In its third lockout since 1994, the NHL is sticking to its most recent proposal that stated an 82-game-per-team schedule could be played if the season begins by Nov. 2.