NHL and union continue talking on an uncertain path


Progress, apparently, is in the eye of the beholder.

Does talking equal progress? That isn’t always the case when it comes to labor negotiations.

The NHL and the NHL Players’ Assn. met for three consecutive days and yet another session was scheduled for Friday in New York. In fact, in the last two days there have been about 11 hours of negotiations between the parties.

But an individual with knowledge of the proceedings but not authorized to comment said that the talks with the union were not just slow but “very slow.”

The Canadian Press reported that the NHLPA made offers Wednesday on revenue sharing and the make-whole provision and that there was a response from the league Thursday. There were no additional details provided by NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman or union Executive Director Donald Fehr in their respective media sessions.

“I don’t really have much to say,” Bettman said, via a video clip posted on the league’s website. “But I’m not going to discuss the negotiations or the substance of what we’re talking about. I really don’t think that would be helpful for the process.

“Every day that passes I think is critical for the game and our fans.”

Bettman later said that there was “a lot of work to do.” He would not say the length of the meetings indicated progress.

Said Fehr: “It’s always better to be meeting and talking than not.”