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Outlook Grim for NHL season
After their last ditch effort to get something worked out last week, both sides seem convinced that the end is near. Atleast that is what we are hearing and unless there is are some ultra-secretive talks taking place. Last week's talks saw the NHL propose a deal that combined their last proposal with the player's December 9th offer - all be with a few caveats. The NHLPA rejected this outright and did not table a counter-proposal. Many reports indicate that this meeting in Toronto was one of the least productive, with NHL chief legal counsel Bill Daley describing it as "pointless". For its part the player's association weren't too pleased with the offer, especially the trigger points that would introduce hard salary caps.
Surely the NHLPA realizes that by simply rejecting this latest proposal out of hand, they also rejected their own last proposal though in a round-about way. It seems pretty safe to assume that the NHL season is most likely over. The league may become the first professional sports league in North America to have lost a whole season to a labour dispute. Barring any last minute miracles, Gary Bettman is supposed to make the official announcement early next week.
The U.S. Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service summoned the NHL and the NHL Players Association to Washington, D.C. for a last ditch negotiation. Nothing came out of the 5 hour meeting held on Sunday.