At Yahoo, Nick Cotsonika writes that the NHL’s move to cancel games through January 14th has created a “soft” deadline for when the season needs to be saved.
Setting a hard deadline of January 15th would leave the NHL with little room for flexibility if Donald Fehr thought that the deadline was artificial and they would have to then follow through with cancelling the season.
He says that the NHL isn’t likely to go through the same process they did in 1995 when they had a deal in principle, started the season, but didn’t finalize the deal until later on when it didn’t turn out exactly like the NHL wanted it to.
Now, even after a deal is agreed upon in principle, there will need to be a week to draft documents and papers that have the precise language that will go into the CBA.
Adam Rotter: I have to think that the NHL, or at least Gary Bettman and the hard line owners, are serious about cancelling the season if a deal doesn’t get done.They may even take extra joy in doing so if the NHLPA thinks that it is only an artificial deadline and talks would continue after. The owners want to do what they can to hurt Donald Fehr and the PA, instead of doing the right thing which would be to embrace them as partners in a big effort to grow the game, and they may make another drastic move to get what they want.