Pessimism surrounding NHL labor talks worsened on Wednesday when a meeting between the NHL and NHLPA was cancelled.
But for union boss Donald Fehr, the cancellation was nothing out of the ordinary.
“This is one of the normal things that happen,” Fehr told Chris Johnston of the Canadian Press following Wednesday’s aborted session. “Sometimes you schedule things and they don’t come off, sometimes you don’t schedule things and you end up with much longer or more involved meetings, sometimes you change the format”
Wednesday was the latest example of Fehr exhibiting calm in the face of rising pressure. He insisted things is how things unfold — “an ordinary part of the process” — even though the two sides moved a day closer to the Sept. 15 CBA expiration date without any meaningful negotiations regarding key economic issues.
The two sides agreed to meet again on Thursday morning, perhaps with a more specific and/or focused approach on what issues to tackle.
When asked if Wednesday’s cancellation was a sign of how negotiations were going, Fehr was quick to warn that nothing should be read into the decision.
“I’m not going to try and characterize it,” he said. “I think it would be not conducive to the process for me to try and do that. So, you just (have to) bear with me on it.”