NEW YORK —
After a few days of wrangling, following the conclusion of talks between the sides and a pair of federal mediators, the NHL and the union agreed on parameters for talks that will keep the respective leaders on the outside.
Bettman proposed such a meeting on Wednesday when talks broke down and the mediators left the process. Originally, the thought was that only owners and players would get together for the next round of discussions, but the roster was expanded Sunday to include staff members and counsel on each side.
“Ultimately, we are just trying to find some meeting format that can gain some traction,” deputy commissioner Bill Daly said.
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 79th day on Monday, and at best, there will only be a shortened season if there is any hockey at all.
The union has allowed any players who wanted to attend previous bargaining sessions to come, but the NHL has limited the owners who could take part.
“The NHLPA has agreed to a meeting on Tuesday in New York that should facilitate dialogue between players and owners,” Fehr said Sunday in a statement. “There will be owners attending this meeting who have not previously done so, which is encouraging and which we welcome. We hope that this meeting will be constructive and lead to a dialogue that will help us find a way to reach an agreement.”
Jacobs, considered one of the hardline owners, and Edwards are the only members of the NHL’s group of six to have taken part in previous negotiations.