Negotiations between the league and the Players’ Association broke off dramatically Thursday after the union’s latest proposal was rejected by the NHL. Here are some quotes following the break down in talks:
“The idea to put players and owners together in the same room was a refreshing idea. Commissioner Bettman should be thanked for proposing it and the Fehrs should be thanked for agreeing to it.
The players came with a strong desire to get back to playing hockey. They were professional and did a good job of expressing their concerns and listening to ours.
“We made substantial movement on our end quickly, but unfortunately that was not met with the same level of movement from the other side.”
Ron Burkle, co-owner of the Pittsburgh Penguins
“Regrettably, we have been unable to close the divide on some critical issues that we feel are essential to the immediate and long-term health of our game.
“While I sense there are some members of the players association that understand our perspective on these issues, clearly there are many that don’t.”
Mark Chipman, Chairman and Governor of the Winnipeg Jets
“I must admit that I was shocked at how things have played out over the last 48 hours. The sessions on Tuesday felt cooperative with an air of goodwill. I was optimistic and conveyed my optimism to the Board of Governors at our Wednesday meeting. However, when we reconvened with the players on Wednesday afternoon, it was like someone had thrown a switch.
“I am very disappointed and disillusioned. Had I not experienced this process myself, I might not have believed it. Like all hockey fans, I am hopeful this situation can be resolved as soon as possible. I miss our game.”
Larry Tanenbaum, Toronto Maple Leafs minority owner
“While trust was built and progress was made along the way, unfortunately, our proposal was rejected by the Union’s leadership. My love for the game is only superseded by my commitment to our fans and I hold out hope we can soon join with our players and return the game back to its rightful place on the ice.”
Jeff Vinik, Tampa Bay Lightning chairman and governor
“There has been collective bargaining give and take on a whole host of things but we’ve been unable to get the traction necessary to resolve the fundamental issues.
“We have moved dramatically, we are proposing a long-term system that will play the players billions and billions of dollars over its term, but we have to have a system that works right. It’s all part of the package. I am disappointed beyond belief that we are where we are tonight. We’re going to have to take a deep breath and try and regroup.
“The things that we added to the table this week are off the table.”
Gary Bettman, NHL commissioner
“There has been a development. It’s not a positive one. We have been advised in a voice mail message that the moves the players made were not acceptable; there was no reason to stay around tonight or tomorrow; that they would be in touch. And that something/everything is off the table … we don’t know what that means.”
“We are clearly very close if not on top of one another in connection with most of the major issues. I don’t know when discussions will resume.”
Donald Fehr, NHL Players’ Association executive director.