NHLPA executive director Don Fehr was in Toronto to attend a charity event put on by locked out NHLers at the site of the old Maple Leaf Gardens. The Gardens is now a grocery store on the lower levels, with a rink up by the rafters.
Fehr went on Jeff Blair’s morning show on the Fan 590 to talk about the Disclaimer of Interest that the players on voting on and the current state of the lockout. You can listen to the complete interview here.
Shortly after Fehr talked to Blair, it was Bill Daly’s turn to take to the air waves and put his spin on where the NHL lockout stands.
“I don’t think there is a date circled,” Daly said of a potential drop-dead date for a new deal. “Obviously as we’re moving towards end of December, we have to get realistic on how many games we can play. (Gary Bettman) is on record saying we’re not looking to playing less than 48 games.”
More games could be cancelled by Christmas, and that the point of run for a NHL season could be mid-January. There are no talks scheduled at this point, and frustration is growing on both sides.
“I will tell you tell this,” Daly continued. “The owners told them that we needed three issues. Not only didn’t get any of those issues. They didn’t get a single one of the issues they asked for… What we found out is they still want to negotiate over the issues. Haven’t moved on any of them.”
“They proposed compliance buyouts. They proposed a cap on escrow. Those are all money outside the system. In addition to the $300 million that we’re giving on top of the 50-50 that makes it not 50-50, they’re asking for more dollars outside of the system … Until we settle all the financials, to suggest we have a 50-50 split is wrong and not accurate.”
Don Fehr then held a little media gathering before the charity game.
”(We aren’t talking) because the owners have not indicated a desire to resume,” the NHLPA’s executive director said Wednesday night before a charity game. “We’ve indicated any number of times that we’re willing to resume when they are (and) we’re willing to resume without preconditions. …
“So we’re waiting to hear back from them.”
Winnipeg Jets defenseman Ron Hainsey suggested to have another players-owners with the same people involved, with the addition of Don and Gary, and Fehr like the idea, ”that seems like it might work if the owners are interested in it.” Daly said it didn’t hold much appeal to the NHL.
Daly went on CBC’s HNIC radio and gave the answer “yes” when asked if he thinks there will be a deal done in time to save the season.
”That’s good news,” said Fehr. “I’m glad to hear that. I certainly hope he’s right. That’s the players’ goal, that’s what we want to try and do.
“Hopefully, we’ll get back together and negotiate out the remaining issues as soon as possible.”
The spin continues. Below are two of the interview sessions for Daly and Fehr.
Bill Daly on Hockey Central @ Noon.
Don Fehr media scrum last night.