National Hockey League Commissioner Gary Bettman speaks to reporters… (Kathy Willens / Associated…)
One day after the NHL delivered a hit to players’ wallets by canceling the first two weeks of the schedule, the top leaders of the league and the players’ union met in Toronto on Friday to discuss where they are in their dispute.
At least they’re talking. But the question is whether they can have substantive and continuing negotiations and find a way to resolve the economic roadblocks that jeopardize the season and lift the lockout imposed by the NHL on Sept. 15.
The league was represented by Commissioner Gary Bettman and Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly. Don Fehr, executive director of the NHL Players’ Assn., and his brother, Steve, the union’s special counsel, represented the players.
Asked to characterize what occurred, Daly said via email: “A general discussion of where we were in the process and how we might be able to move the process forward. Plan to touch base by phone over the weekend. Nothing more to report for now.”
In the last few days, the league has held meetings in Toronto with top sponsors to update them on the state of the labor talks.
Also on Friday, ESPN announced a deal with Russia’s Kontinental Hockey League to live stream at least seven games on ESPN3. The games will focus on matchups involving NHL players who have signed to play there for the duration of the lockout.
Here’s the schedule for the first games, with all times Pacific:
Tuesday: Lev vs. Dynamo Moscow (Alexander Ovechkin) 10 a.m.
Oct 14: Dynamo Moscow vs. Amur, 6 a.m.
Oct. 16: Dynamo Moscow vs. Sibir, 8:30 a.m.
Oct. 18: SKA (Ilya Kovalchuk) vs. Sibir, 8:45 a.m.
Oct. 22: Dinamo Riga vs. Metallurg (Evgeni Malkin and Sergei Gonchar), 9:30 a.m.
Oct. 29: Dynamo Moscow (Ovechkin) vs. Dinamo Riga, 8:30 a.m.
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