NHL lockout 2012: Bettman, Fehr to hit sidelines as players, owners meet

Bruce Bennett

Players and owners will meet face-to-face this week without Gary Bettman and Donald Fehr.

More voices will get to share their feelings on the NHL lockout on Tuesday.

Both the NHL and NHLPA announced on Sunday evening that a face-to-face meeting between owners and players, originally the suggestion of NHL commissioner Gary Bettman after federal mediation failed last week, will occur. Several owners who have not participated in talks to date will be in the room, although lockout lightning rod Jeremy Jacobs, owner of the Boston Bruins, will still be on hand.

"We have confirmed with the union that we will attempt to schedule a players and owners-only meeting for some time on Tuesday afternoon in New York," NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly said. "No further details have been confirmed at this point."

The league expects Jacobs, Murray Edwards of the Calgary Flames, Ron Burkle of the Pittsburgh Penguins, Mark Chipman of the Winnipeg Jets, Larry Tanenbaum of the Toronto Maple Leafs and Jeff Vinik of the Tampa Bay Lightning to attend the meetings. Jacobs and Edwards are the only members of the owners group who have been part of meetings to date.

The NHLPA has yet to announce which players will take part in the meeting from their side.

"Neither the Commissioner nor I will be present," NHLPA executive director Don Fehr said, "although each side will have a limited number of staff or counsel present. 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."

The NHL's Board of Governors meets on Wednesday, which is an interesting wrench in the timeline.

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