NHL Talks: Making Significant Progress
A wave of optimism gave way to tension as the NHL and NHL Players' Association spent a second straight day trying to hammer out a collective bargaining agreement.
The sides exchanged proposals, according to sources, during a series of meetings Wednesday that stretched past midnight in a bid to close the final gap in negotiations that have spanned more than five months.
The meetings broke off just before 1 a.m., with both sides scheduled to resume negotiations Thursday.
Even though the specific details of the new offers weren't known, one aspect revealed another hurdle the sides have to cross, the length of the deal. The league's proposal called for a 10-year term while the NHLPA continued to favour a shorter contract, according to sources.
According to sources, the owners discussed a possible season that would span 50-plus games. There had been talk of a 60-game schedule in the event of a labour settlement, but the feeling among the group was that it would be too ambitious at this stage.
The NHL's third lockout in the last 20 years has already resulted in the cancellation of 422 regular-season games through Dec. 14, plus the Winter Classic and all-star game. It remains the only North American pro sports league to lose an entire year to a work stoppage after having the 2004-05 season wiped out.
(The Canadian Press)