When the owners and players of the NHL met on their own in an attempt to hammer down a deal, the reports of progress flooded the media.
Unfortunately for fans, once Commissioner Gary Bettman and the Fehr brothers representing the Union rejoined, talks have broken down. The two sides traded proposals Wednesday night in what was reported to be the best night of talks since the lockout began. Both sides appeared to be optimistic, but the Union's leaders threw a curveball by requesting federal mediation to rejoin the discussions. The owner's declined the motion immediately and left the table.
"We're going to take a deep breath and look at where we are and what needs to be accomplished, but we have moved dramatically and we are proposing a long-term system that will pay the players billions and billions of dollars over its term, but we have to have a system that works right," Bettman said during a press conference at the Westin Hotel, reported by NHL.com. "It's all part of the package. I am disappointed beyond belief that we are where we are tonight and we're going to have to take a deep breath and regroup."
The fact that the league had called yesterday's negotiations make or break in terms of getting a deal done doesn't give fans much to be optimistic about. Instead, the two sides got close, again, and allowed their own selfishness to break the talks down, giving false hope to fans who are more than eager to begin watching NHL hockey.
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