Bettman 'glad to see' continued CBA negotiations
by Christian Arnold/Correspondent
NEW YORK – Is no news good news in the NHL CBA negotiations?
The NHL and the NHL Players Association met late Tuesday in New York as the two sides continue to try and work towards a new collective bargaining agreement. On Monday, the union made a new proposal to the league, which came back with what NHLPA Executive Director Donald Fehr called a “comprehensive response.”
“We asked a couple of questions,” Fehr said during a brief media scrum outside the league’s Sixth Avenue offices. “Now what we have to do is go through the documents and try to make some sense out of it. Compare it and see what the appropriate thing to do next and that’s what we’re going to do.”
Prior to the larger negotiating session, the two sides met in smaller group sessions to clarify and understand issues on both sides.
NHL commissioner Gary Bettman said that the league had started to move towards the players’ position on certain issues.
“In our response, there were certain things that the players’ association asked for that we agreed to,” Bettman told reporters. “There were some things that we moved in their direction and there were other things that we said no, but that’s part of the process.”
The two sides have until Jan. 11 to come to an agreement in order to salvage the season. The NHL has said that a season could start no later than Jan. 20 for a 48-game campaign to be possible.
The players also have until 11:59 Wednesday night to file a disclaimer of interest and disband their union. However, Bettman said that it was not an issue that the NHL is focused on.
Neither side provided much detail to the media that braved the cold New York weather, but the commissioner seemed pleased that the process was “ongoing.”
“The fact that we’re involved in a continued process is something I’m glad to see,” he said. “But we’re clearly not done yet.”
The two sides plan to be in touch Wednesday morning and reconvene sometime later that day.