NHL CBA negotiations continue today with federal mediators in an undisclosed location. Read on for the latest.


Back to the negotiating table.

NATIONAL POST: Chris Johnston of Canadian Press reports the NHL and NHLPA will meet today with federal mediators in an undisclosed location to continue CBA negotiations. NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly said he’s heading into these talks with “no expectations”.  Canadian Press also reported Canada could have a well-stocked team of stars for the upcoming Spengler Cup in Switzerland. “Tyler Seguin, Jason Spezza, Patrice Bergeron and John Tavares are among the Canadian players who have spent the lockout playing in the Swiss league and would be eligible to compete in the historic club team tournament. Hockey Canada has been in touch with all of them.”

ESPN.COM: Pierre LeBrun reports sources claiming moderates on both sides were working the phones over the weekend pushing the two sides back to the negotiating table. No owners are expected to be at this week’s meeting but some players could be involved on the PA side.

YAHOO! SPORTS/CSNNE.COM: Nicholas J. Cotsonika and Joe Haggerty both believe it’s time for both sides to end the rhetoric and posturing and work toward a season-saving deal.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The two sides are close enough now to get a deal done if they’re willing to work at it. To me, it’s apparent there is significant interest on both sides in doing so. The respective leadership of the league and the PA must put aside their personal differences and work toward an agreement.

CBC.CA: In his weekly “30 Thoughts” blog, Elliotte Friedman speculated over the possibility of sports legal counsel James Quinn, who brokered a deal last year ending the NBA lockout,  being brought in to do the same for the NHL.

TSN.CA: Eric Macramalla explains the difference between decertification and disclaimer of interest. Of the two, the latter is the quicker option if the NHLPA decides to go that route.

VANCOUVER PROVINCE: Yesterday was the 20th anniversary of Gary Bettman becoming NHL Commissioner. Tony Gallagher looks back at the highs and lows of Bettman’s tenure.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: In many ways, Bettman has done a lot of good for the NHL, but it’s the legacy of three lockouts which sticks in the craw of most NHL fans. He also gets blamed for things which weren’t his fault, which I addressed in a Soapbox post several months ago. Contrary to what his critics believe, Bettman isn’t out to destroy NHL hockey, but there have been decisions made on his watch (like the lockouts) which haven’t helped the product. For a better understanding of what makes Bettman tick, I highly recommend “The Instigator: How Gary Bettman Remade the League And Changed The Game Forever”, by Jonathan Gatehouse.

CSNPHILLY.COM: Flyers winger Scott Hartnell took issue with Roman Hamrlik’s critical comments about NHLPA director Donald Fehr.

THE GLOBE AND MAIL: Bruce Dowbiggin reports Calgary Flames owner Murray Edwards has emerged as an unusual hardliner in these CBA negotiations. “What makes Edwards participation in this process curious is that his own team, the Flames, are poster boys for the kind of spending the league is trying to curb”, writes Dowbiggin.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: In other words, Edwards wants to save the league from owners like himself…;)

NBCSPORTS PRO HOCKEY TALK: Former Vancouver Canucks owner Arthur Griffiths believes the NHL’s stance in this lockout disregards the growth in the game.