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Surprise: Bettman, Daly, and Fehr brothers meet in Toronto

Oct 5, 2012, 3:56 PM EDT

Gary Bettman, Donald Fehr Getty Images

Yesterday’s news and press releases surrounding the cancellation of the first two weeks of the season did nothing to soothe anyone’s ill feelings on how the lockout was going.

You can picture the surprise today with the news John Shannon of Sportsnet broke reporting that Gary Bettman, Bill Daly and the Fehr brothers, Donald and Steve, all met quietly in Toronto. Daly was straight to the point saying, “Yes we had a meeting. Nothing else to report at this time.”

Daly tells Tim Panaccio of a bit more about what they discussed.

“General discussion of where we were and how to try to move process forward from here. We talked about possibly scheduling some meetings for next week, but mostly to deal with the other issues.”

While it’s just a meeting, yesterday’s tough talk from both sides made it feel like it would be a while before the two sides chatted again. Seeing them get together today can only be seen as a positive sign.

The NHLPA confirmed Friday’s gathering and also announced that both sides will continue to speak during the weekend.

With the trust being so seemingly fractured between the owners and players, baby steps like these are encouraging especially when they could just not talk at all instead.

Read more:

Fehr sounds off on NHL for canceling games

Daly calls canceled schedule “extremely disappointing”

Report: NHLPA working on new proposal

  1. ninjasports - Oct 5, 2012 at 4:02 PM

    I’d say this is a good sign. Hopefully. Would love to see hockey back soon.

  2. sjsharks66 - Oct 5, 2012 at 4:08 PM

    I don’t see anything coming out of this. I guess my optimistic attitude went away as soon as they cancelled the first 2 weeks.

  3. steverolley - Oct 5, 2012 at 4:09 PM

    Owners wanted players to take a 10% rollback this year. They cancelled 82 games meaning players will miss %6 percent of their wage this year. If two more weeks get cancelled it will be a 12% loss of wages for players.

    Basically owners have already accomplished a salary roll back this year, its now up to the players how big of the deduction they will take. Fehr didn’t really think this through

    • noisetheorem - Oct 5, 2012 at 4:23 PM

      Ah, but the NHL is losing too! No games means they don’t sell as much merchandise, they have to refund tickets (which costs money in addition to giving the money back) and they are creating ill will among the fans. A lockout doesn’t really help anyone save money (except the fans, if you think about it).

      I think it’s the NHL that didn’t think this through. I think Bettman locked them out because that is the ONLY way he knows how to negotiate. I think there is more pressure on Bettman from the owners to get a deal done than anyone really knows. He can’t keep all 30 owners in line forever. He also can’t just capitulate to the players without looking like an ass. At some point, it’s Bettman who has to find a way out to save his own skin.

      • steverolley - Oct 5, 2012 at 8:47 PM

        This is true of major franchises, but they know they will have fans come back no matter what.

        Make no mistake there are at least 10 – 12 teams who are saving money by not playing. With the high salary cap floor do you really think Dallas, Phoenix, Columbus, Florida or any other marginal team isn’t saving by locking out players?

        Don’t mistake revenue with profit

    • travishenryskid - Oct 5, 2012 at 4:27 PM

      Yeah, that would make sense if arenas were still being filled. Owners aren’t seeing any revenue right now either.

      • steverolley - Oct 5, 2012 at 8:49 PM

        You assume that arenas around the league were being filled, New Jersey didn’t fill thier arena till round 3.

        Plus most owners are billionaires not relying on NHL profits to live thier lifestyle.

    • chiadam - Oct 5, 2012 at 5:09 PM

      Neither did you. Your elementary math only adds up if the player has a one-year contract. If he has a multi-year deal, he loses 10% of the total value, not 10% of this one year. Tey again.

      • steverolley - Oct 5, 2012 at 8:59 PM

        The owners will get a 10% roll back this year for games missed, when the revenue split is lowered to 50 / 50 after this lockout players will still have to pay 8.5% of thier salary into escrow. Because the players will be accepting lower percentage of revenue there is a good chance growth could be affected by the lockout, dropping the salary cap and allowing the owners to recoup money from the escrow

        the fact they have had 0 revenue for 82 games pretty much ensures growth will decline this year.

    • greatminnesotasportsmind - Oct 5, 2012 at 5:56 PM

      Who’s to say that this doesn’t get resolved within a month and they compact games into an 82 game schedule?

      • steverolley - Oct 5, 2012 at 9:01 PM

        This could be true, as a fan I hope they play sixty, think it will make everyone fresh for the playoffs

    • eyeh8goodell - Oct 5, 2012 at 6:06 PM

      Oh, they thought it through. They know Bettman planned the last lockout years in advance. They know it’s a negotiating tactic for him, not a last resort. They know he’s a bully. So they brought in a guy to smack the bully in the mouth and settle the score. The players are prepared for a long fight. That’s why they’re bolting and getting paid to play hockey elsewhere. And they get a 10-15K check every month in NHLPA warchest money. That’s more than plenty to live off of for a year. So, the players ARE getting paid. It’s the owners that are missing checks.

      Bettman and his ilk miscalculated badly. And they are regretting it big time. The players don’t need Bettman and the owners to get paid to play hockey. They can just do it elsewhere.

  4. irokkit - Oct 5, 2012 at 4:52 PM

    I like noise’s point. Maybe we should mock fan pro-strike club. Thanking all the owners for saving us, the fans, lots of money this year. Gas, food, merch, tickets, missed income from calling in sick on Saturdays. I haven’t purchased any tickets yet or NHL Ice. I have cancelled the sports package as well. Niiiiiice!!!

  5. bennywuh - Oct 5, 2012 at 4:58 PM

    Bettman – this is your job, plain and simple. How are you not meeting everyday until this is resolved?!

  6. jmbates10 - Oct 5, 2012 at 5:19 PM

    Ah…..a clandestine meeting. Always a good sign and hopefully cooler heads will prevail…….finally. No reason this can’t be resolved swiftly. Too much at stake for it not to be.

  7. blomfeld - Oct 6, 2012 at 1:09 AM


    Apparently that’s so, though I do suspect that a few of them are now finally starting to come around …

  8. mountainmantride - Oct 6, 2012 at 9:55 AM

    Can you imagine what the owners reaction would be if all NHL fans united and did NOT show up to attend games if and when the season starts. That would be hilarious, the owners putting the game back on the ice with all the usual brew-ha-ha and the ice painted with “Thank You Fans,” but nobody showed up. Empty seats. Now that would send a message.

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