NHL Lockout: Sides Meet Separately In New York As Deadline Approaches Fast

NHL Lockout: Sides Meet Separately In New York As Deadline Approaches Fast

The NHL lockout has less than a week before it wipes out the entire season, and the league and players appear to be spinning their wheels in negotiations to bring hockey back.

The sides met separately with a mediator on Friday, but didn’t set up a time to come back together at the bargaining table. The lockout reached its 111th day, and sources say the time until the season must be cancelled is approaching faster than initially expected.

Though NHL commissioner Gary Bettman has said that Friday January 11 is the last date an agreement can save the season, a source close to the NHL said the season could be called off on Thursday if it appears not deal is imminent, the Buffalo News reported.

Hope is fading that the NHL lockout will end. From ESPN:

“Representatives from the league and the union met twice Thursday for small meetings, one dealing with the pension plan, but never got together for a full bargaining session.

“A long night of talks Wednesday that stretched into the early morning hours didn’t end well and likely kept the sides apart most of the day Thursday. No new full-scale negotiations took place, and outside of a few relatively brief, small sessions on specific topics, it was basically a lost day.

“The sides can’t afford many more days like that.”

Scott Burnside of ESPN said that the setback on Thursday could spell disaster for the NHL lockout, meaning that the reality of a second lost NHL season in the past eight years could be a reality.