After four straight days of negotiations in New York last week, talks broke off angrily Friday night. Discussions resumed on Sunday, solely regarding player contract terms, but that meeting ended after only 90 minutes.
At this point, no decisions have been made to call off any more games, Daly said. So far, 327 games — all those scheduled through Nov. 30 and the New Year’s Day outdoor Winter Classic — have been cancelled by the NHL.
That is starting to look unlikely because of the mere fact that the sides are unable to find common ground on the big issues keeping them apart. It’s more than just finances preventing a deal. The disagreements over player contract terms have emerged as just big an impasse.
The NHL wants to limit contracts to five years, make rules to prohibit back-diving contracts the league feels circumvent the salary cap, keep players ineligible for unrestricted free agency until they are 28 or have eight years of professional service time, cut entry-level deals to two years, and make salary arbitration after five years.
A lockout wiped out the entire 2004-05 season.