Official: League must resume play by mid-January
By Rob Rossi
Published: Wednesday, Dec. 19, 2012, 7:26 p.m.
The NHL season is within a month of being canceled, the league's No. 2-ranking official said Wednesday.
Deputy commissioner Bill Daly, during an interview with “Hockey Central” on Sportsnet in Canada, said games must begin by “mid-January.”
“I don't think there is a date circled,” Daly said, noting that commissioner Gary Bettman has stated no fewer than 48 games would constitute a season.
“We have a general sense of when we have to be playing hockey by. It's fair to say it's sometime in mid-January.”
A shortened 1995 season began nine days after the NHL and Players' Association agreed to a new labor contract Jan. 11 of that year. The 2004-05 season was canceled Feb. 16, 2005.
Owners have locked out players since Sept. 15, when the last labor contract expired. Games are canceled through Dec. 30, and Daly said another cancelation would “probably” come before Christmas.
The NHL is considering canceling games through either Jan. 10 or Jan. 14 as part of its next round of cuts.
Contract rights and length of the next labor contract are sticking points for the NHL and union.
Also, owners will not increase money from outside the system, which will take the players' share of future revenue closer to their 57 percent from the last labor contract, Daly said.
The sides have essentially agreed on a players' pension plan, revenue sharing, adjustments to the salary-cap system, training-camp schedule alterations, on- and off-ice discipline, facility standards and a healthy/safety plan, Daly said.
Players have through Thursday to authorize the union executive board to “disclaim interest” — a legal maneuver that, if enacted, would disband the NHL Players' Association and allow players to file antitrust lawsuits against the NHL.
Daly said he expected players to “overwhelmingly” vote in favor of granting that authorization. Two-thirds of more than 700 players must vote in favor for the executive board to receive clearance to “disclaim interest.”
“I don't think it would be anything positive to the process, and it could prolong resolution,” Daly said.
No bargaining sessions are scheduled, Daly said. He and union special counsel Steve Fehr spoke Tuesday.
Union executive director Donald Fehr said on Sportsnet's “Jeff Blair Show” that players are ready to do a deal.
“They know we're not far apart,” Fehr said.
Daly vehemently disputed the notion the sides are close.
“There are a lot of open issues,” he said. “What we're prepared to do is shut down the industry over doing a deal that is not right for our owners.”
Rob Rossi is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 412-380-5635.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Garden Q&A: Firecracker vine OK for trellis?
- Three ejected after Pirates, Brewers brawl
- Starkey: Penguins’ arrogance astounding
- Egg decorating turns to fight, charges in Brookline, police say
- Cool chemistry: Programs at Springdale library take inspiration from late science professor
- Choral concerts planned in Dawson church
- Bridge work planned for Route 68 in Brady’s Bend
- Plum man revels in Keystone hall of fame induction
- Study to target pool use at Belmont Complex
- Six NA students finalists in Musical Kids competition
- Matt Calvert’s goal in double OT evens series for Blue Jackets