They’re baaaaack: Fehr, Bettman returning to talks

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It had to happen at some point, and that point is today.

Indeed, NHLPA executive director Donald Fehr and NHL commissioner Gary Bettman will be back at the negotiating table after sitting out the last two days of collective bargaining.

The change was a union request, which shouldn’t come as a surprise given the six owners that have been representing the league are seasoned businessmen. The players do their jobs on the ice, not in boardrooms. On paper, it was always a negotiating mismatch.

How the presence of Fehr and Bettman affects talks remains to be seen. The last two days have produced progress, but now it’s getting down to the short strokes. If the sides haven’t been willing to budge on the remaining issues up to this point, clearly they feel strongly about their positions.