Looks like Gary Bettman’s two-week moratorium on CBA talks got the attention of the NHL players’ union.
A few days after Bettman said it might be a good idea to take a hiatus from labor negotiations that hit a stone wall last weekend, the two sides have arranged to meet again Monday in New York.
Bettman will be joined by deputy commissioner Bill Daly and a handful of NHL owners. Don and Steve Fehr will represent the players.
Bettman’s comments triggered a firestorm of criticism from players who missed their third of 16 paychecks on Thursday.
“I don’t understand it, because time is of the essence,” San Jose Sharks defenseman Dan Boyle told CSNBayArea.com. “I’d rather hammer away at it than waste another two weeks when time is so crucial.”
That’s compared to what Detroit Red Wings defenseman Ian White had to say about the NHL commissioner.
"I got to be honest, I personally think he’s an idiot,” White said last week. “Since he's come in I think he’s done nothing but damage the game.”
Of course, Bettman has heard worse over the years.
During the 1994-95 lockout, former Blackhawks defenseman Chris Chelios sounded like a mafia member when he said Bettman should be “worried about [his] family and [his] well-being. Some crazed fans, or even a player … might take matters into their own hands and figure they get Bettman out of the way.”
The NHL has canceled games through Nov. 30, bringing the total number of games lost during this lockout to 326, or 26.5 percent of the season. If progress is not made before Wednesday the league is expected to cancel games through Dec. 15.