NEW YORK -- After a full day of negotiations toward a new Collective Bargaining Agreement, National Hockey League Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly expressed his disappointment in the lack of progress being made between the NHL and National Hockey League Players' Association.
"I'd have to say overall today we didn't really move the ball forward that much," Daly said Wednesday night outside the League office.
In hopes of moving the process forward, Daly said the League is urging the Union to make a proposal on the fundamental economic issues dividing the two sides.
He said those issues were not discussed Wednesday.
"We hear, we understand that they've been working on some concepts, some ideas -- we've suggested to them just make the proposal," Daly said. "Any movement is better than no movement at all. Hopefully we've moved it forward, but even if we move backwards it might be better than where we are now. That was our message to them."
The NHL has already cancelled the first two weeks of the 2012-13 regular-season schedule and Daly estimated the result is a shared revenue loss between the League and the Players' Association of approximately $140 million. He previously estimated a shared loss of $100 million as a result of not playing the preseason schedule.
"So, we're up to $240 or $250 million in jeopardy. It's unfortunate for both of us," Daly said. "It's a significant amount of money that the players share in on a significant basis. Whatever percentage that basis ends up being, it's a significant basis. Even more disappointing from our perspective -- and should be from our collective perspective -- is obviously we felt like over the last seven years we've built up a lot of momentum in the business, had a lot of growth, and who knows what a work stoppage like this will do to that momentum."
Prior to a late-afternoon bargaining session focused on health and safety issues as well as various legal issues, NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman and Daly met privately with NHLPA Executive Director Donald Fehr and Special Counsel Steve Fehr for approximately 50 minutes Wednesday afternoon. Commissioner Bettman, Daly and the Fehr brothers also met in Toronto on Friday.
Daly said the purpose of those meetings was to attempt to generate some ideas to move the process forward.
Steve Fehr said it was "hard to tell" if any progress was made in the private meeting Wednesday.
"Having done this for a number of disputes over a number of years you often don't know whether you're making progress until you look back on it," Steve Fehr added. "I don't want to get too much into detail of that discussion, but we were just sort of discussing the overall status of the bargaining, where the parties are."
The two sides are currently meeting again Thursday at the League office.
Daly said Donald Fehr was expected to be in touch with Commissioner Bettman either Wednesday night or Thursday morning to discuss the possibility of another meeting.
"I won't suggest or say what Don said to us, but I can tell you our proposal for moving the process forward is 'we understand you're working on a proposal, make it to us,'" Daly said. "'Let's not stand on formalities; if you have a proposal, make it.'"
Daly said the sides are also having some disagreements on the health and safety and various legal issues that were discussed in the late-afternoon session Wednesday. He said these are some of the same issues upon which they hadn't previously reached agreement.
"I suppose when you get to this point in the discussion on some of those areas that's to be expected, so we're kind of refining some of the things we continue to have disagreements on," Daly said. "But we had no discussion of the major economic issues or system issues, so that continues to be a disappointment from our perspective. Hopefully we can get to that at some point."
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