Bettman suggests players, owners meet without league or union leaders

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Would these negotiations go any smoother if NHL commissioner Gary Bettman, NHLPA executive director Donald Fehr, and those that work directly under them weren’t in the room?

We might find out.

Bettman has suggested that the owners and players meet directly, without league or union personnel being present, according to TSN’s Darren Dreger. Fehr and the NHLPA are believed to be considering that option.

Given that the union hasn’t even made a commitment to this hypothetical meeting, it’s not clear when it would occur. However, if it does happen, it sounds like not all of the owners would be present.

“We want to find a way to get to a deal,” NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly said, according to ESPN and TSN’s Pierre LeBrun. “Nothing else has worked. The Commissioner felt that we might as well propose something different. We will see how they respond.”

The two sides already tried speaking to a federal mediator, but unfortunately that didn’t go well.