Just when hockey fans were getting their hopes up, talks between the NHL and the Players Association have broken off. After three days of meetings in New York City, Players Association Executive Director Donald Fehr says the latest proposal offered by the players yesterday was quickly shot down by the owners. “We were advised in a voice mail message that the moves the players made were not acceptable.” Fehr says he believes “the two sides are clearly very close if not on top of one another in connection with most of the major issues.”
But NHL commissioner Gary Bettman says he’s baffled by that comment and insists the two sides aren’t even close. With the hockey lockout almost at the 3 month mark, Bettman says he doesn’t have a drop deadline for cancelling the season right now. “We will get to a point, and at that point we’ll conclude we can’t have a season with integrity and then we’ll have to make a tough decision. I’m certainly hoping we don’t get to that place.” Bettman says any new offers the league made during this week’s meetings in New York are now off the table.