It’s day 63 of the lockout, and the two sides seem to be no closer to a deal that would have even a shortened season back in play by January 1st.
Both sides have been balking at the idea that those they represent should be the ones to fold.
With Donald Fehr fighting for the purposed rights of the players, Gary Bettman is the steadfast voice for the owners.
The Vancouver Sun reported on November 17th that a proposal was issued for the two sides to be once more taking a break from negotiations for two weeks.
If the negotiations do not resume before November 30th, there will be more games cut from the season.
At the beginning of November, Gary Bettman cancelled the Winter Classic (NHL.com). If more games need to be cancelled, the next big attraction to be cancelled will be the All-Star Game.
There are a number of fans who feel that this game is no longer relevant in the NHL of today. There are others, including sponsors who helped the NHL see record earnings in the 2011-12 season, who disagree.
Should the All-Star game get cancelled, the owners will lose out not only on the money brought in by the fans, but on the large sponsorship deals they get for that game.
With both Gary Bettman and Donald Fehr taking a hard line stance to the proposals from their respective counterparts, it seems that there are only two people truly trying to make a deal work.
According to CTVNews.ca, one day after Bettman suggested a break, Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly and union special counsel Steve Fehr met.
While Bettman and the owners wait on a response from Donald Fehr, it seems that Daly and Steve Fehr are at least attempting to find common ground to end the lockout.
The two spoke Friday after negotiations reached an apparent standstill on Thursday. While the two sides are no closer to a deal, the fact that they resumed talks is a good sign.
If negotiations can continue next week without interruption, there is a chance that the NHL could be back by mid-December or the beginning of January.
If the two sides do, in fact, want to get a deal done, then taking a break for two weeks will only be counterproductive.
The painful truth of the 2012 lockout has been that this lockout has been filled with possibilities that prove to be fruitless.
So far the attempts to salvage the season have been pushed aside by long breaks on both sides.
Bill Daly and Steve Fehr, on the other hand, make it seem as though the two sides do want to have a deal in place to start a season before the start of 2013.
Should the two sides manage to come to terms before the end of November, it will more than likely be due to these two men. Not Gary Bettman and Donald Fehr.
Fans of the NHL are watching these negotiations, waiting for the owners to announce the 2012-13 season will be cancelled.
Though these words will come to the fans through Commissioner Gary Bettman, it will be the doing of the owners.
The fans will blame Bettman, should this season be cancelled, but they also need to remember that Donald Fehr was just as much to blame.