As the NHL lockout reached Day 69, representatives from the sides had no plans to continue negotiations as there still seems to be a big difference between how the owners and players see the situation.
Appearing on Sportsnet 590 radio in Toronto, NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly and NHL Players’ Association special counsel Steve Fehr provided an update on the lockout, which is to say there’s nothing new to report.
Talks broke off Wednesday after the league rejected an NHLPA proposal. There are still wide gaps in player contracting rights, dollars, arbitration rights and other issues.
“We moved a couple of miles, and they moved a couple of inches,” Fehr told Sportsnet 590. “If it was Thanksgiving dinner, they gave us a relish tray but no turkey.”
Daly said the process hasn’t played out how the league hoped and expected.
“We hate where we are and we wish we were in a better place,” Daly said. “We feel badly for everybody involved in the game. It’s unfortunate.”
The biggest development in recent days has been the invocation of the union decertifying as a way to get the process moving forward. The NFL and NBA players did it, and soon after got new CBAs done.
Daly said he was not scared of the possibility, adding decertification would be a “time-consuming process” that would “likely lead to the end of the season.”
Fehr was more tight-lipped about the situation. He did not want to talk about options discussed internally.
“We haven’t decertified, we haven’t talked publicly about decertification,” he said, pointing out that the players want to make a deal.
Fehr said the sides were $182 million apart on “transition payments” to players, otherwise previously known as the NHL’s “make whole” provision. In reality, the league wants contract limits and other changes to the system that make the difference much larger.
“I guess I underestimated the magnitude of the gulf between us,” Daly said. “We continue to be far apart.”
Daly and Fehr lobbed similar sentiments through each one’s respective interview about the other side’s willingness to make a deal.
“We have our doubts. How’s that?” Fehr said.
He’s not the only one. More cancellations were expected later Friday, including the NHL All-Star Game and some of the December schedule