After NHLPA head Donald Fehr indicated that both sides were rather close to a deal last Thursday night, NHL commissioner Gary Bettman quickly and vehemently denies the idea that both sides were within reach of a deal.
In what was more of a tantrum and a venting session, Bettman decried the NHLPA’s statements, claiming it was “the end of this process.”
And while such a gloom and doom scenario suggested the end of a potential hockey season, there were some admissions of progress hidden beneath the turmoil which truly do suggest things are closer than they appear.
The next step will be for the swollen egos to take time to recover from the intense and emotional nature of last week’s meetings. Pushing beyond any personal squabbles, the numbers and nature of the deal has taken a step closer to completion, all they need to do now is iron out the rough edges.
Speaking of rough edges, the remaining discussion points can still cause serious discomfort between the NHL and NHLPA but with dollars falling by the wayside daily, there is a strong underlying hint that beyond the drama may lie the start of the hockey season in January.