Had the NHL season started last Thursday as scheduled, players would have received their first paychecks on Monday. Instead, the league-imposed lockout continued and the prospects of playing a full schedule grew smaller.
Representatives of the league and the NHL Players' Assn. did agree to convene on Tuesday in Toronto, where a meeting is expected to take place involving the "Big Four" of NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman, Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly, NHLPA Executive Director Donald Fehr and NHLPA Special Counsel Steve Fehr.
"Hope to have further dialog and discussion about how to move forward and get out of the place we are in," Daly told The Times via email. "Seems like we're stuck right now. Need to get 'unstuck.'"
That's one way to put it.
The two sides' last few meetings have largely involved issues such as player safety and drug testing, certainly vital matters but not the core disagreements that have kept them apart and led the league to lock out players on Sept. 15 and later cancel games though Oct. 24.