As we previously reported, the union and NHL met on Saturday to continue the CBA negotiations. However, NHLPA boss Donald Fehr and NHL commissioner Gary Bettman also talked in private on Saturday, according to the Detroit Free Press.
“I spent a few minutes with Gary talking about the overall situation, and we agreed to keep in touch,” Fehr said.
Fehr later added, “I am not going to talk about the specifics, but in general we’re trying to discuss how do we find a way to make an agreement. How do we bridge the gap on the major issues that are between us.”
Fehr said the union has given the NHL “several different ideas to consider about how to lengthen the agreement to how to be more in line with what they wanted.”
On Friday, NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly said, “We need some kind of sign that they are prepared to compromise their economic position because we haven’t had that since Aug. 14.”
The NHL is seeking to reduce the player’s share of hockey-related revenue, which was at 57% in the old CBA. Saturday’s meeting touched on the definition of hockey-related revenue, which Fehr feels is significant because it gives them an indication of how big of a pie they’re splitting.
Those private talks might end up being what pushes us towards a new CBA, but only time will tell. Either way, them meeting is better than the alternative.