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.
Advertisement

Top NHL Public Bets

NHL Top Stories

Thumbnail Toews & Co. rounding into form On Friday, the Blues showed center Patrik Berglund the money. Will they make Central Division rival Chicago pay the price tonight?
Thumbnail East barn-burner on tap in nation's capital Connor McDavid has already accomplished a great deal during his brief career. But can the 20-year-old wunderkind power Edmonton past the league-leading...
Thumbnail New York still has work to do down the stretch The Rangers’ recent power-play drought is well-documented. Nonetheless, special teams issues certainly haven’t curtailed New York’s charge up the...
Thumbnail Gibson and Co. in need of bounce-back effort Fans and pundits alike raised their eyebrows when the Bruins relieved coach Claude Julien of his duties on Feb. 7. Now, though, any and all apprehension...
Thumbnail Stastny should give Note a jolt Over the weekend, St. Louis suffered an expected loss to one of the Eastern Conference’s bottom-feeders. Will Mike Yeo’s bunch regain its groove against the markedly...

NHL Team Pages