September 12, 2012; New York, NY, USA; NHLPA executive director Don Fehr (right) flanked by Vancouver Canucks player Manny Malhotra (to his left) and Winnipeg Jets player Ron Hainsey (to his right) during a press conference at the 2012 NHLPA summer player meetings at the Marriott Marquis. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

NHL and NHLPA to Continue Negotiations on Thursday

After meeting into the wee hours of Thursday morning, the NHL and the NHLPA are set to be back at the bargaining table at 10am EST Thursday morning; this according to NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman.

When asked about the progress the two sides have made he had this to say,

There has been some progress, but we’re still apart on a number of issues,” Commissioner Bettman said. “But, as long as the process continues, I am hopeful.” ~

During these negotiations, members from both sides of the table sat down with Deputy Director Scot L. Beckenbaugh of the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service for approximately 4 hours. This stretch of meetings started around 8:15pm.

When asked about his view of the process, NHLPA Executive Director Donald Fehr was almost as cryptic as Bettman.

“The parties moved closer together on some issues but there is still a ways to go if an agreement can be reached, and we’ll consider where we are in the morning and figure out what we do next. That’s about all I can say about the process.” ~

As you all already know, Commissioner Bettman has been very adamant in his belief that there will be no hockey season if that season were to be less than 48 games. Unfortunately, the date for this hard limit is approaching almost as fast as a Stamkos slap shot. If a season does not start by January 19th, a 48 game season will not be possible. The NHL has already cancelled all games through January 14th.

At this point, one can assume that if the negotiations break down again, it may very well be the end of the 2012-2013 hockey season.

All we can do at this point is sit back and hope that they can work out their differences, and that our boys in blue will be back on the ice soon.



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