It was a relatively quiet day on the NHL lockout front -- at least in terms of formal discussions and official statements from Don Fehr, Bill Daly and Gary Bettman -- as most of the hockey world gathers in Toronto for Monday's Hockey Hall of Fame induction ceremony.
But earlier in the day, NHLPA counsel Steve Fehr -- typically a quiet public voice -- spoke during the PrimeTime Sports Management Conference in Toronto on Monday, and he made a bit of news. According to Fehr No. 2, a lockout agreement might not be too far away. Via the Canadian Press:
"One thing (deputy commissioner) Bill Daly and I agree upon is that when the moment is right the deal could be done very quickly," Fehr said Monday during a panel discussion at the PrimeTime Sports Management Conference. "One days, three days or whatever."
Fehr also told the conference that three issues remain: player contracting rights, the split of revenue (obviously) and the newest issue of how to pay for the damage caused by canceling 25 percent of the season to date.
Fehr said that the sides aren't making progress on the contracting issues but also mentioned that losing the season over those issues is something he can't see happening. Fehr also noted that the sides are near a deal on a more robust revenue sharing system that will see teams pay more money into a larger pot.
The quote -- "when the moment is right" -- is obviously one of the more frustrating things that could possibly be said by somebody involved in these talks. The moment should have been right in August, before the season was ever in jeopardy.
But at its core, now that we're at this point where two months of games have been canceled and the Winter Classic is gone, Fehr's words indicate a season will happen at some point in 2012-13. We can all agree that's good news.