No further meetings are scheduled between the National Hockey Leagye and the NHL Players’ Association after a Thursday meeting that was referred to as being “pointless.” With a collective bargaining agreement unlikely to be reached by Sunday, the league is looking at the cancellation of the 2004-05 season.
The Thursday meeting came after a Wednesday night dinner at which the NHL offered to accept the players’ most recent proposal, as long as four “triggers” were added that, if reached, would switch the deal to the salary capped offer that the league proposed a week ago.
The NHLPA contends that at least one of the three triggers would be met automatically, thus allowing the league to enact a salary cap at the end of a shortened 2005 season.
After Thursday’s meeting, the two sides traded shots through the media.
“Their outright rejection of our proposal yesterday I think speaks more to the fact that the union is never, ever, ever, ever – under any circumstances – prepared to play under any kind of cost-certain, economic partnership, salary cap – you pick the term – type of system,” NHL executive vice president Bill Daly told reporters in a conference call.
“They have made it clear they have only one way of doing things, and that’s through their hard-cap system,” NHLPA senior director Ted Saskin responded. “Their position has not changed from the outset.”