The NHL is just hours away from locking out the players and heading into what is surely to be at the very least a partial delay to the season. Many feel that the "true" deadline of this issue was never Sept. 15 but actually in the middle of October, when games would actually be lost and both sides would start to feel the financial constraints of the lockout.
As it is, we have two sides that appear to be world's apart on several significant issues. In this day and age of social media, it's also clear that the PR battle is in full swing -- not that it matters that much -- and both sides are taking public punches at one another. With the lockout looming, the NHL and NHLPA released separate statements:
NHL Debuty Commissioner Bill Daly:
"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 latest proposal," Daly said. "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.
"It looks like we are heading into a work stoppage that neither the League nor any NHL Clubs wanted. We will continue to work hard to minimize the damage of this development, but ultimately, the Players Association and Players need to take responsibility for future growth of the game & the damage that they are causing with the hardline position they are taking."
NHLPA's Steve Fehr:
"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 it saw no purpose in having a formal meeting. There have been and continue to be private, informal discussions between representatives of both sides."