TORONTO (AP) - Union chief Donald Fehr is sticking to his belief that the NHL and the players' association were close to a deal before talks broke off Thursday night.
Fehr repeated his stance Saturday during a speech to the Canadian Auto Workers union. He then told reporters he thought the owners and players were ``very close'' to agreeing to a new collective bargaining agreement.
NHL commissioner Gary Bettman angrily disputed the claim on Thursday night.
Fehr says he hasn't spoken directly with NHL representatives, and that no talks are scheduled. He adds that negotiations are further ahead than a week ago, even after the collapse of talks.
The union executive director also says there is a tentative agreement on a pension plan, to be funded by the players, but other key issues, including salaries and contract lengths, are farther away from being settled.

Top NHL Public Bets

NHL Top Stories

Thumbnail Penguins vs. Lightning Game 6 Pick Can the Tampa Bay Lightning close out the Eastern Conference Finals when they host the Pittsburgh Penguins tonight at 8PM ET in...
Thumbnail Sharks vs. Blues Game 5 Pick Which team will take a key 3-2 lead in the Western Conference Finals tonight as the St. Louis Blueshost the San Jose Sharks...
Thumbnail Lightning vs. Penguins Game 5 Pick Will the Pittsburgh Penguins take care of home ice in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Finals against the Tampa Bay Lightning tonight...
Thumbnail Blues vs. Sharks Game 4 Pick Can the San Jose Sharks stay tough at home and establish a commanding lead in the Western Conference Finals when they host the St. Louis Blues at...
Thumbnail Penguins vs. Lightning Game 4 Pick Can the Tampa Bay Lightning even up the Eastern Conference Finals against the Pittsburgh Penguins when...
More inNHL Articles  

NHL Top Stories

Thumbnail Penguins vs. Lightning Game 6 Pick Can the Tampa Bay Lightning close out the Eastern Conference Finals when they host the Pittsburgh Penguins tonight at 8PM ET in...
Thumbnail Sharks vs. Blues Game 5 Pick Which team will take a key 3-2 lead in the Western Conference Finals tonight as the St. Louis Blueshost the San Jose Sharks...
Thumbnail Lightning vs. Penguins Game 5 Pick Will the Pittsburgh Penguins take care of home ice in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Finals against the Tampa Bay Lightning tonight...
Thumbnail Blues vs. Sharks Game 4 Pick Can the San Jose Sharks stay tough at home and establish a commanding lead in the Western Conference Finals when they host the St. Louis Blues at...
Thumbnail Penguins vs. Lightning Game 4 Pick Can the Tampa Bay Lightning even up the Eastern Conference Finals against the Pittsburgh Penguins when...
More inNHL Articles  

NHL Team Pages