Sunday, September 16, 2012

Lockout is on

With the passing of the midnight deadline to renew the Collective Bargaining Agreement, the National Hockey League is officially in a lockout situation.

It is the third time since 1994 that a work stoppage has occurred under the rule Commissioner Gary Bettman.

"We spoke today and determined that there was no point in convening a formal bargaining session in light of the fact that neither side is in a position to move off of its last proposal," said NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly. "I'm sure we will keep in touch in the coming days and schedule meetings to the extent they might be useful or appropriate. We are sorry for where we are. Not what we hoped or expected."

Despite Bettman's repeated public assertions that he is more than willing to negotiate, that apparently wasn't the case on Saturday.

"Today we suggested that the parties meet in advance of the owners' self-imposed deadline of midnight tonight. Don Fehr, myself and several players on the Negotiating Committee were in the city and prepared to meet. The NHL said that it saw no purpose in having a formal meeting. There have been and continue to be private informal discussions between representatives of both sides," stated NHLPA special counsel Steve Fehr.

The next milestone on the league's calendar for the 2012-13 season is Friday, September 21. That is the day training camps are scheduled to begin, and also the day the Alberta Labor Relations Board will hear a case on behalf of the NHLPA, questioning the legality of the lockout in that province.

Regular season play is set to commence on October 11.

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