Leaders of the NHL and the NHL Players' Assn. traded barbs instead of labor proposals Friday as the league extended its cancellation of regular-season games through Dec. 14 for a total of 422, or 34.3% of the schedule. It also canceled the All-Star game, scheduled for Jan. 27 at Columbus, Ohio.
NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly said in an interview on Toronto radio station The Fan 590 that he has doubted the NHLPA's willingness to make a deal. "I would hope the players want to play and want to have a season but I'm not so sure at the end of the day that unless it's on certain terms that union leadership necessarily shares that goal," he said.
Daly also took an ominous view of a possible vote by players to decertify their union, as NFL and NBA players did in recent labor disputes. "I think it's a time-consuming process that would likely lead to the end of the season," he said.
Steve Fehr, the NHLPA's special counsel, declined to say if the decertification process has begun but said all options are being considered. He said the union wants to complete a deal but has questioned the NHL's intentions. "We have our doubts, how's that?" he said in a separate interview on the same station.