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Bettman May Be Prepared to Cancel the Season Next Thursday

garybettman2Yesterday was a strange day on the labor front talks, and the sides appear to be no closer to a deal.

Wednesday night the Don Fehr decided to let the disclaimer of interest deadline to pass. So, on Thursday they started the process over again. The players now have until Saturday at 6:00 pm EST to vote on giving the executive board the authority to file for a disclaimer of interest.

There is also a report from Gary Lawless in the Winnipeg Free Press that the season could be cancelled as early as next Thursday.

A veteran member of the NHL Board of Governors, who requested anonymity, said that Gary Bettman is prepared to cancel the remainder of this season next Thursday if a deal hasn’t been agreed upon or does not appear to be imminent.

The governor added that the NHL feels that Don Fehr is unwilling  to get a deal done until after Bettman has cancelled the season. They also think that Fehr may be slowing down the process to put more pressure on Bettman. The governor also thinks that if Bettman does cancel the season next Thursday, Fehr would wait a day or two before going back to Bettman with one last push that would benefit the players more.

If the season is lost, the NHL may pull what they currently have offered off the table.

Some think that the players may now have realized that it might have been a mistake for letting the first disclaimer deadline to pass, which is why there was a quick turnaround for another vote.

The NHL’s January 11th deadline to get a deal done to save a 48 game season starting on January 19th is just over a week away.

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Mark is the NHL editor for Sports City and myNHLtraderumors.com. Lives north of Toronto in the snow-belt, not a big fan of snow. Despises lockouts.

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