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Daly says “sometime in mid-January” is point of no return

Dec 19, 2012, 1:37 PM EDT

Bill Daly

NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly confirmed today on Toronto radio that the point of no return for the cancelation of the season is “sometime in mid-January.”

Daly’s assertion is consistent with what happened after the 1994-95 lockout when a 48-game schedule started on Jan. 20. (Granted, the 2004-05 season wasn’t officially canceled until Feb. 16.)

Daly also said it was a “crap shoot” how the NHL recovers from yet another work stoppage:

“There’s nobody fooling anybody that what’s going on right now and the fact that we’re not playing hockey is a good thing for either the sport or the brand.”

Other highlights of the interview:

—- No talks between the NHL and NHLPA are scheduled.

—- Daly identified a defined benefit pension plan as well as a “far more robust revenue sharing system” (with NHLPA input) as things the players said they wanted and the league has agreed to.

—- Daly expects the players to vote “overwhelmingly” to authorize the NHLPA executive board to file a disclaimer of interest. However, that’s not the same as actually dissolving the union. (Translation: not a particularly big deal.) However, if the union does ultimately choose to file, it could “prolong any resolution.”

—- Daly said for the union to “suggest we have a 50-50 split is wrong” without first addressing issues like compliance buyouts and caps on escrow.

—- More games will probably be canceled before Christmas. (The schedule has already been canceled through Dec. 30.)

You can listen to the full interview here.

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