NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly and the NHLPA’s Steve Fehr actually spoke today, according to Sportsnet’s John Shannon. That’s newsworthy because it represents the first direct contact between the two sides since last Tuesday.
The union and NHL aren’t expected to meet before Christmas, but Shannon speculated that the negotiations should resume on Wednesday or Thursday at the latest.
Daly recently predicted that the two sides would need to come to a CBA agreement by mid-January if the season is to be saved.
Meanwhile, the players have authorized the NHLPA board to file a disclaimer of interest. It’s not clear when or if the union will exercise its new powers, but they reportedly have until Jan. 2 to decide.
The threat of the union dissolving might put pressure on the NHL to further compromise, but Daly previously warned that it might have the opposite effect.
“It makes it more difficult,” Daly said before the results of the player vote were known. “It changes the dynamic pretty significantly and, quite frankly, will have to change the focus short-term to a more adversarial focus than a bargaining focus. That can’t be helpful to the process in such a short time frame.”