Bettman Suggests Two-Week Moratorium

Katie Strang at ESPN.com reports that Gary Bettman suggested to NHLPA executive director Donald Fehr on Wednesday that the two sides take a two-week moratorium from negotiations.

Fehr informed Bettman he'd like to speak with his membership first and should have an answer today.

Here's NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly on the talks…

"I find it incredible that the Union is suggesting that we are somehow 'close' to a deal. They have utterly refused to negotiate for months. They have made essentially one proposal — five times. They continue to request a 'guaranteed' Players Share as part of the next agreement and we repeatedly tell them maybe they should get a reality check. And in the mean time, maybe they can make their position clear to us on 50-50, on the make-whole and on Player Contracting issues.

"I'm more discouraged now than I have been at any point in the process."

To which NHLPA's special counsel Steve Fehr responded…

"Of course everyone on the players' side wants to reach an agreement," he said. "The players have offered the owners concessions worth about a billion dollars. What exactly have the owners offered the players? We believe that it is more likely that we will make progress if we meet than if we don't.

"So we are ready to meet. If indeed they do not want to meet, it will be at least the third time in the last three months that they have shut down the dialogue, saying they will not meet unless the players meet their preconditions. What does that tell you about their interest in resolving this?"

…good to see everyone is acting like adults here (sarcasm). Would rather they just cancel the season at this point instead of playing with the fans emotion like this. To me, dragging us along is forcing more fans to re-think their allegiance to the NHL than if they would have just ended it a month ago.

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Kevin

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