Fehr told Rosen that he’s “reasonably certain” the two sides will meet on Wednesday while Gary Bettman made a similar prediction to RDS’ Renaud Lavoie. A phone call tomorrow morning is expected to determine if more face-to-face discussions will happen, though.
Fehr’s brief response provided basically zero details, while ESPN’s Katie Strang captured Bettman’s more verbose – but still quite vague – description.
As of this time, there is no word on whether the NHLPA will go forward with a disclaimer of interest, which carries a Wednesday deadline.
Ultimately, the most important dates probably remain Jan. 11 (Bettman’s admitted drop-dead date) and Jan. 19 (the probable goal to start the season). Some say that an agreement must be made by Thursday if they want to start on Jan. 12 instead, though.
The discussions are beginning to feel like a Ping-Pong match to many outside observers, whether the offer-trading has been productive or not.
To review the last few days:
The NHL made some concessions in a new offer on Friday. The NHLPA took some time to review the league’s lengthy (some might say “comprehensive”) 288-page offer before presenting a counter-offer on Monday. Finally, the two sides conducted internal meetings on Tuesday until the NHL came back with tonight’s counter-proposal to a counter-proposal.
Overall, the back-and-forth discussions might be a good sign even if the delays made tonight’s dealings feel a bit anticlimactic.