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NHL, Players Let Last Try to Start Season on Time Fade Away; Talks to Pick up Tuesday

October 1st, 2012 at 7:30 PM
By Paul Lane Sabres 101

Three days of talks between the NHL and its players association over the weekend got the two sides no closer to a new CBA – and, with that, the last chance to realistically start the season on time vanished.

The two sides opted not to continue negotiating Monday, with league officials saying they needed more time to discusses matters internally. Pension issues were to be discussed by phone late Monday, while in-person bargaining will resume Tuesday.

Economics came up over the weekend but not Sunday, meaning there are still sizable gaps in revenue that need to be hurdled before a CBA can come to fruition. Most of the weekend's talks centered around smaller issues such as discipline and safety.

NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly said the league expects the NHLPA to make the next offer. No offers have been made by either side since the lockout began Sept. 16.

"The issues we talked about (Saturday) we need to address again, and the ball sits in their court with respect to coming to us with a response, so I'm sure they've been working on that, as well," Daly said.

The union responded that it's open to talking finances at any time.

After three days in the same room – literally – it's disappointing neither side came close to crunching the numbers that have caused this divide. Their dedication to the sport and its fans can clearly be questioned if – after two weeks apart – they couldn't even to begin diving into core issues.

This lack of results all but guarantees that the regular season will be postponed; it's slated to start Oct. 11. Once again, the actions of both sides show they're more concerned with how big their slice of the pie is than playing the game their fans covet.

Talks Tuesday are expected to pick up on the issue of revenue. The formal cancelation of regular season games could come this week.

Tags: Buffalo, Buffalo Sabres, Hockey, NHL

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