It may be 1 minute to midnight for NHL talks | Hockey | CBC Sports

NHLIt may be 1 minute to midnight for NHL talks

Posted: Wednesday, January 2, 2013 | 12:04 AM

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Getting the NHL from the lockout stage back to bringing the nets out of storage is down to a few days, if it's going to happen at all. (Associated Press file) Getting the NHL from the lockout stage back to bringing the nets out of storage is down to a few days, if it's going to happen at all. (Associated Press file)

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By 11:59 p.m. (ET) Wednesday night, we're going to know if the players think a deal is getting done.

That is the deadline for the NHLPA to file its Disclaimer of Interest in court. And, if the union sees an end to this gong show, the chances decrease, significantly, that the filing gets made. If things devolve into a Fugitive-style train wreck, well, the lawyers get even busier.

By 11:59 p.m. (ET) Wednesday night, we're going to know if the players think a deal is getting done.

That is the deadline for the NHLPA to file its Disclaimer of Interest in court. And, if the union sees an end to this gong show, the chances decrease, significantly, that the filing gets made. If things devolve into a Fugitive-style train wreck, well, the lawyers get even busier.

Tweeters have asked several questions about this process. Here are some answers:

  • The document does not need to be filed by 5 pm because it can be done online
  • Even if the NHLPA allows this deadline to pass, its members can always vote again to allow the executive committee to use this process. But this mandate ends at the stroke of midnight Wednesday.
  • Donald Fehr is not "jobless" if the motion is filed. He can still work in an advisory capacity. The National Basketball Players' Association's executive director, Billy Hunter, was not excluded from negotiations after his union used this tactic 14 months ago.

Commissioner Bettman did not want to list how many outstanding issues remain, but there still appear to be some core economic differences.

That would be escrow, cap in 2013-14, that kind of stuff. But, it's clear that both sides are seriously trying -- the rhetoric is gone and a lot of work is being done. There is probably a lot more contact between the two parties than we realize.

But before we hit the season's drop-dead date, we have another deadline -- this one belonging to the players.

Do they think enough progress is being made to forego this maneuver?

Tune in tonight. Same bat-time, same bat-channel.

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