NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly admitted on Friday that the regular-season games could be at risk for cancellation if the NHL Players' Association and National Hockey League cannot come to terms on several core issues in CBA talks.
"We really need to hear from the Players' Association on those," Daly said, according to NHL.com, when asked why the sides can't get to a discussion on those issues. "Again, we need some kind of sign that they're prepared to compromise their economic position because we haven't had that since Aug. 14. We'll see if we get there."
NHLPA rep Steve Fehr, the brother of Executive Director Donald Fehr, stated the same sort of frustration with the current stalemate, even if he appeared more optimistic regarding the current status of talks. The sides spent much of Friday discussing smaller issues such as drug testing policy.
"We had hoped we could have dealt with the more critical fundamental issues," Fehr said, "and we actually thought that would put us in a better position to compromise a lot of these sub issues, for lack of a better term, but it didn't happen that way. The calendar is ticking away and we might as well use our time somehow."
The league locked out the players on Sep. 16 following the expiration of the previous CBA. On Thursday, the league announced that it was canceling the remainder of the preseason. The regular season is scheduled to begin on Oct. 11.
Further talks have been scheduled between the two sides for Saturday and Sunday. According to Daly, the conversation will involve hockey-related revenue issues.
"I don't think it can be any more urgent than where we are now," he said.