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Fehr claims sides were “very close” to a deal

Dec 8, 2012, 5:22 PM EDT

Donald Fehr, Kevin Westgath, George Parros AP

NHLPA head Donald Fehr addressed the Canadian Auto Workers on Saturday, but many – including CSNPhilly.com’s Tim Panaccio – believe that his messages were really aimed at the owners.

Most notably, Fehr said that the two sides were “very close” to getting a deal done, but after saying that it was more or less rhetoric time again (via Sportsnet).

“All I can tell you is there had been some movement,” Fehr said. “We responded with some movement, we think we’re done on the dollars or close to it … It seemed to me that we ought to be able to move forward and finish things off (but) they have not indicated a willingness to move forward.”

Fehr goes on to say there has been some communication since things blew up on Thursday, yet nothing substantial.

There are the occasional players who seem to speak out sporadically, but Chris Campoli ranks among those who emphasize the support Fehr generally enjoys.

“He’s our guy, he’s our leader and we believe in him,” Campoli said. “There’s not going to be a deal without him.”

Ryan Kesler also expressed his approval, claiming that Fehr’s leadership has “never been stronger.”

So Fehr claims that the sides might be close and the players seem firmly behind their leader, but what’s next?

“You keep negotiating,” Fehr said.

It’s just unclear when that may resume.

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