The National Hockey League and the NHL Players’ Association each blamed each other after a Saturday meeting yielded no results in an attempt to “un-cancel” the 2004-05 NHL season.
Leading up to the meeting, it was widely reported that the two sides were close to a deal that had been hammered out by Wayne Gretzky and Mario Lemieux. At the meeting, it appears that neither side actually offered a proposal and both the league and the players left frustrated.
NHL commissioner Gary Bettman placed the blame for the rumors fully on the shoulders of the NHLPA.
“I think this was a setup, I think it was done intentionally to try and cause the type of reaction that we saw all weekend.”
Bettman said that the league did nothing to deny the rumors circulating on Friday because the league had nothing to do with starting them.
Bob Goodenow, NHLPA chief executive, responded by noting that the league called the meeting and that the NHLPA never suggested that they were going to make an offer.
The league will regroup on March 1 when the Board of Governors meet. The Players’ Association is scheduled to meet next week.