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“It might be the best day we’ve had” (video)

Dec 5, 2012, 12:49 AM EDT

Steve Fehr Getty Images

Mark Tuesday, Dec. 4 on your calendars. It might end up being one of the most pivotal dates of the NHL season.

After a marathon labor meeting between six owners and 18 players, NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly and NHLPA special counsel Steve Fehr held a joint press conference — a remarkable statement in itself — before announcing what many hockey fans longed to hear:

It was a good day.

“We had a long day,” Fehr said. “We thought it was a constructive day. We had a good dialogue. In some ways I’d say it might be the best day we’ve had, which isn’t too overly optimistic of a picture. There is still a lot of work to do and a lot to be done.”

Fehr relayed that message after the sides gathered at 2 p.m. ET and met for over five hours before breaking for dinner, only to reconvene at 10 p.m. for another two-hour session.

That was followed by Daly and Fehr standing side-by-side to address the media.

“I appreciate the efforts of the players,” Daly said. “Everybody is working hard. I think everybody wants to get a deal done, so that’s encouraging. We look forward to hopefully making more progress tomorrow.

“Hopefully, we’ll have more to update you on tomorrow. We are going forward with our board meeting. Hopefully be back at it after that, as well.”

The 18 players involved in today’s talks were Craig Adams, David Backes, Michael Cammalleri, Sidney Crosby, B.J. Crombeen, Mathieu Darche, Shane Doan, Ron Hainsey, Shawn Horcoff, Jamal Mayers, Manny Malhotra, Andy McDonald, Ryan Miller, George Parros, Brad Richards, Martin St. Louis, Jonathan Toews and Kevin Westgarth.

The players spent the afternoon and evening in labor discussions with six different owners — Jeremy Jacobs of the Boston Bruins, Ronald Burkle of the Pittsburgh Penguins, Mark Chipman of the Winnipeg Jets, Jeffery Vinik of the Tampa Bay Lightning, Murray Edwards of the Calgary Flames and Larry Tanenbaum of the Toronto Maple Leafs.

The two sides are expected to meet again on Wednesday, prior to the NHL’s Board of Governors meeting.

NHL commissioner Gary Bettman is also scheduled to speak tomorrow at 1 p.m. ET.

  1. zetaone - Dec 5, 2012 at 12:59 AM

    Why did it take 4 months for this to happen again?

    • woodstakes - Dec 5, 2012 at 1:11 AM

      My guess is because both sides have people (Bettman/Fehr) hired and paid a large salary to get these things done so they don’t have to. But they failed and so here we are, I agree its a little late, but if it gets us some hockey back it can’t be a bad thing.

      • somekat - Dec 5, 2012 at 1:37 AM

        Or because the people paid those high salaries are more worried about beating the other guy than they are about getting a deal done. The framework was there for a deal once a 50/50 split is agreed to (a 50/50 split with contracts guranteed is not a 50/50 split), this should of been done 2 months ago. But Bettman wants to beat Fehr, and Fehr wants to beat Bettman more than they want to help the league, or the players (I don’t think fans enter the equation for either of them)

      • badintent - Dec 5, 2012 at 4:50 PM

        We have AHL and CHL to watch on TV Sportsnet. with players that play not for $$millions but the Love of the game ! WE don’t need to watch guys that “need” another $20 million for cars, clothes, hoes and stereos.I’ll even take curling over the NHL $$ whores both owners and players.

    • antkowiak666 - Dec 5, 2012 at 9:08 AM

      nothing has happened yet.i have no faith in the league getting a deal done.not saying i don’t want them too,but i’ve just become numb to the whole situation.

    • valoisvipers - Dec 5, 2012 at 9:15 AM

      Why,what happened. Much ado about nothing. More bla bla bla.

  2. Stiller43 - Dec 5, 2012 at 1:16 AM

    Pathetic you have to remove the two idiots placed in charge of negotiating to actually make progress. But glad to hear it!

    • lostpuppysyndrome - Dec 5, 2012 at 10:04 AM

      That was my initial reaction too…

  3. blomfeld - Dec 5, 2012 at 1:33 AM

    Final scene of “All’s Well That End’s Well” … take one and “action” !

    I just knew it from day one that this entire business was by “design” and that we would have a season in the end. What I didn’t know however, was that Bettman would be willing to push this charade right into December, which is kind of “crazy” to say the least. Nonetheless, it appears that this silliness is now finally coming to an end. And thank God for that eh ? I don’t know about you guys, but I was personally “seriously” starting to wonder about things here ? Regardless, good times are now just a few hours away in the form of yet another “fake” press conference tomorrow, which will have us know this time that our beloved game is back in business ! It’s funny in a way as this is just like an Elvis movie, where the “good guy” always prevails in the end, walking away with the girl into the sunset and closing credits ! :)

    • windmiller4 - Dec 5, 2012 at 2:52 AM

      wow another elvis video… didnt see that one coming..

    • jhunter21 - Dec 5, 2012 at 3:05 AM

      I hope you’re right the positivity is nice, but like the old saying goes, “Don’t count your chickens until they hatch”.

    • jhunter21 - Dec 5, 2012 at 3:06 AM

      I hope you’re right and the positivity is nice, but like the old saying goes, “Don’t count your chickens until they hatch”.

    • valoisvipers - Dec 5, 2012 at 9:19 AM

      Welcome back Blomfeld

    • kyzslew77 - Dec 5, 2012 at 11:40 AM

      Blomfeld rules.

  4. orangeandblack67 - Dec 5, 2012 at 1:35 AM

    I think this just proves that both Fehr and Bettman should either step down or be relieved of their duties after a new CBA is reached. (Ha I said Duties)

    • ravenscaps48 - Dec 5, 2012 at 7:55 AM

      When referring to stool, it’s spelled “doodies”… But nonetheless, I appreciate your type of humor. Carry on

    • millertime30 - Dec 5, 2012 at 10:16 AM

      Goodell actually lowered his own salary to $1 during the NFL lockout.. is anyone actually surprised that Bettman didn’t follow suit, here?

      • kyzslew77 - Dec 5, 2012 at 11:42 AM

        Goodell is the worst commissioner any of the four big sports have had in the last 50 years. Yes, worse than Bettman, I said it. He serves as an example for absolutely nothing.

      • phillyphanatic77 - Dec 5, 2012 at 1:47 PM

        kyzslew77, there is no way Bettman is a better commissioner than Goodell. I hate Goodell, and I think he’s been screwing up the NFL with all his initiatives to unfairly protect offensive players, restrictions on player conduct, and the whole “Bountygate” fiasco, but what separates him from Bettman is that it’s obvious Goodell truly cares about the sport of football. I don’t get that feeling from Gary Bettman about hockey. When the NFL locked the players out last year, Goodell did not hold the entire sport hostage so his constituents could gain a few extra million; no, he worked with the Union to reach a fair and equitable deal to ensure the continued success of the league he represents. When it comes to the last three CBA negotiations, it could be argued that Bettman has done the opposite of what’s best for the health of the NHL. Bettman and his cronies have totally ignored the record revenues and unprecedented fan support the NHL has enjoyed over the past few seasons, as they continue on their quest to raid the NHLPA of all their fundamental negotiating rights and contractual obligations. Bettman (and a few select owners) are attempting to pull the union over a cliff and raid the players pockets before they hit the ground.

  5. northstars17 - Dec 5, 2012 at 3:57 AM

    I hope you’re right and the positivity is nice, but like the old saying goes, “Don’t count your chickens until they hatch”.

  6. tatdue - Dec 5, 2012 at 5:42 AM

    I’m with northstars17 and jhunter21 on the “no chicken counting thing” but to all the prediction makers just shut up already because none of us have any f’n idea what really happened today…..All we know is there was some progress. Maybe the players gave in some more or maybe the owners finally started to actually negotiate, either way we’ll have to wait and see……….Although I am hoping beyond hope that the presser that Bettman called the other day (scheduled for tomorrow) isn’t just about more games being cancelled but instead will be him finally announcing that he’s stepping down as commissioner………We can all hope!

  7. thedavesiknowiknow - Dec 5, 2012 at 5:55 AM

  8. raiderufan - Dec 5, 2012 at 7:33 AM

    I don’t get how some people continue to have jobs in these leagues….Fehr is never looked at as a guy that works for the better of the game. EVER! Bettman? Same friggin thing! The only time things get better is when these guys get out of the way. The job they are hired to do is represent the will of the players and owner respectively. If the players and owners get together and get a deal done these 2 clearly have failed epicly at the job they’re hired to do.

    And yet at the next labor negotiation for some other league you’ll somehow here Fehrs name and Bettman will still be getting booed at EVERY SINGLE GAME HE ATTENDS. THey must talk an incredible game out side of negotiating tables because they do literally nothing when it become job doin time.

    • atwatercrushesokoye - Dec 5, 2012 at 9:37 AM

      Fehr was never supposed to work for the betterment of the game, he was a mercenary hired by the players for this showdown and this showdown only, so they wouldn’t have the same results as last time. He’ll step down as head of the PA in the 6-12 month range after the new CBA is agreed to, not because of anything he did but because that was always going to be the way it worked.

  9. ravenscaps48 - Dec 5, 2012 at 7:52 AM

    Hey Hey! What do you say? There was actual progress where the toolbags weren’t in attendance?…. Noooo! You don’t say? Get the deal done, then get rid of the four whoresmen (Bettman, Daly, Don and Steve Fehr

  10. spicyjimbolaya - Dec 5, 2012 at 8:02 AM

    “We had a long day,” Fehr said. “We thought it was a constructive day. We had a good dialogue. In some ways I’d say it might be the best day we’ve had, which isn’t too overly optimistic of a picture. There is still a lot of work to do and a lot to be done.”

    What exactly got accomplished? What are the exact action words in that statement that would lead anyone to believe the lockout is over or close to being over?

    Honestly, it sounds like a PR statement respectfully thanking the people who normally don’t sit at the negotiations for their participation. Now it is back to the adults (Bettman, Daly, Fehrs) to get back to table for REAL negotiations.

  11. id4joey - Dec 5, 2012 at 8:10 AM

    That was followed by Daly and Fehr standing side-by-side to address the media.

    Is this a sign of things to come.Personally, I have been very and perhaps too optimistic. I’ve had that every they they talked was an opportunity to make a deal as I thought the players were ready to limit their loses. Are they ready now? One thing for sure they are trying to push the schedule out as much as possible to get in as many pay cheques as possible.

  12. tfaltin - Dec 5, 2012 at 8:15 AM

    It was always going to be this way. The owners had a date in mind that worked for them. This time of year the air is getting colder, college football has wrapped up except for the Bowls, freeing up interest and viewers in southern markets. Many NFL teams are out of the running, and fans are looking for their next outlet. The owners have their best money-making months ahead of them still, and have missed a few player pay cycles. The more I think about it the more this reality makes sense, it was Bettman’s/the owner’s plan the whole and Fehr couldn’t do anything to fight it but try to make them look bad in the press. I’d like to see the season extended a few weeks, and 60 games played.

  13. id4joey - Dec 5, 2012 at 8:36 AM

    tfaltin, what you wrote makes a lot of sense. Your missing information about how owners come to these conclusions. Where do they get the data required to make their business decision, and devise a plan that will benefit them? Historical data for sure, and the law firm of Proskauer Rose LLP. Former employer of David Stern and Gary Bettman. They do all the research.

    “Our approach is not simply to “represent” our clients but to get into their heads; to understand their business and to know their industries as well as they do.”

  14. sizzle299 - Dec 5, 2012 at 8:45 AM

    It is a good thing Craig Adams was there- in case Crosby starts a fight with someone, he can jump in and pull their hair.

  15. bills4 - Dec 5, 2012 at 8:49 AM

    Shawn Horcoff, seriously!!! He is the one guy that needs at least a 20% rollback! What a hack!

  16. ironmike778 - Dec 5, 2012 at 9:38 AM

    Too little too late. Cancel the season and come back in October.

  17. kodyknight2821 - Dec 5, 2012 at 1:13 PM

    Progress :)

  18. fortwaynekomets - Dec 5, 2012 at 4:25 PM

    Guys, don’t get your hopes up about hockey starting soon. I don’t mean to be negative, just a realist. we’ve been slapped, drugged, and run over by the league, then spit on by Bettman. don’t ever forget this, fans. I also have helped other fans get through this time of shame, so ill share a lil secret of the best place to watch hockey (College, CHL, ECHL, etc.) its all on America One Sports online. Best thing ever during a NHL lockout!!!

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