By Ira Podell
The Associated Press
NEW YORK — Traditional labor talks have made little progress in the ongoing NHL lockout, so the league and the players’ association are going to try something different in an attempt to save the season that is slipping away.
A crew of six owners will meet with a handful of players on Tuesday in New York — one day before the league’s board of governors meeting — without Commissioner Gary Bettman and union executive director Donald Fehr. Bettman proposed the unique meeting on Wednesday when talks broke off following two days of negotiations with federal mediators, and it wasn’t agreed to until Sunday.
Originally the thought was no one other than owners and players would be in attendance, but each side will have staff and counsel there. Deputy commissioner Bill Daly will likely participate for the NHL, along with union special counsel Steve Fehr.
Ron Burkle (Pittsburgh Penguins), Mark Chipman (Winnipeg Jets), Murray Edwards (Calgary Flames), Jeremy Jacobs (Boston Bruins), Larry Tanenbaum (Toronto Maple Leafs) and Jeff Vinik (Tampa Bay Lightning) will take part in the talks for the league, Daly said.
“No further details have been confirmed at this point,” Daly said in a statement announcing the meeting. “We will provide further details when available and as appropriate.”
Six players will be picked for the meeting, but that list wasn’t expected to be announced on Sunday, a union spokesman said. Neither the NHL nor the players’ association had input on who would attend on the opposite side, Daly said in an email to The Associated Press.
All games through Dec. 14 have already been wiped off the schedule, along with the outdoor Winter Classic on New Year’s Day and All-Star Weekend that was slated for January in Columbus, Ohio.
The lockout reached its 78th day on Sunday, and at best, there will only be a shortened season if there is any hockey at all.
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