NHLPA doesn't make new offer; talks to resume Tuesday
The NHL and its Players' Association met Monday night in New York, but no new proposals were made.
Donald Fehr, the executive director of the Players' Association, initiated the meeting with the league. The NHL was not pleased that Fehr, who called for the meeting, did not offer a new proposal.
“I'm frustrated,” said NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly, who maintains that the league never has received a complete proposal from Fehr.
Although no proposals were made and nothing was decided, the sides agreed to meet Tuesday in New York.
Penguins player representative Craig Adams and defenseman Brooks Orpik were among 18 players at the meeting. Adams told the Tribune-Review on Monday night that, although negotiations broke off, the players and other members of the NHLPA team decided to meet internally to discuss the latest developments.
The NHL brought aboard two high-profile figures to the meeting. Brendan Shanahan — the NHL's head disciplinarian and a favorite of many players — and Toronto Maple Leafs general manager Brian Burke were present, along with NHL commissioner Gary Bettman and Daly.
Earlier in the day, Penguins captain Sidney Crosby was unsure how to feel about the latest round of meetings.
“I'm trying not to get too optimistic,” Crosby said. “When that's happened, it hasn't really developed into anything. I'm just waiting to see. Hopefully, we'll get good news from New York.”
The most pressing issues in the labor dispute — namely core economic issues like the splitting of league revenue, a decision regarding payments of previously signed contracts, a maximum length of new deals and free agency — were on the agenda Monday.
Should the labor dispute be settled in the near future, time remains for a partial season. As far as the players are concerned, a shortened season is better than no season.
“Anything that would get decided by early next month would allow us to play a good chunk of games,” Crosby said.
That the sides are meeting gave some of the Penguins working out Monday at Southpointe a glimmer of hope.
“There's always a cautious optimism when they meet,” Penguins defenseman Ben Lovejoy said. “We're hoping to hear good news.”
Josh Yohe is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 412-664-9161 Ext. 1975.