Michael Russo has covered the National Hockey League since 1995. He has covered the Minnesota Wild for the Star Tribune since 2005, after 10 years of covering the Florida Panthers for the Sun-Sentinel. He uses “Russo’s Rants” to feed a wide-ranging hockey-centric discussion with readers, and can be heard weekly on KFAN (100.3 FM) radio and seen weekly on Fox Sports North.

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NHL's Bill Daly: "Maybe they should get a reality check"

Posted by: Michael Russo under Wild off-season news Updated: November 15, 2012 - 10:13 PM

It appears as if the NHL and NHL Players' Association are about to take a two-week moratorium.

After NHLPA Executive Director Donald Fehr reportedly told NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman he didn't know how to proceed from here, Bettman suggested taking a two-week break from negotiations.

In an email to the Star Tribune, Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly said: "I find it incredible that the Union is suggesting that we are somehow "close" to a deal. They have utterly refused to negotiate for months. They have made essentially one proposal -- five times. They continue to request a "guaranteed" Players Share as part of the next agreement and we repeatedly tell them maybe they should get a reality check. And in the mean time, maybe they can make their position clear to us on 50-50, on the make-whole and on Player Contracting issues."

I sent an email to the NHLPA seeking response. From special counsel Steve Fehr:

"Of course everyone on the players' side wants to reach an agreement. The players have offered the owners concessions worth about a billion dollars. What exactly have the owners offered the players? We believe that it is more likely that we will make progress if we meet than if we don't. So we are ready to meet. If indeed they do not want to meet, it will be at least the third time in the last three months that they have shut down the dialogue, saying they will not meet unless the players meet their preconditions. What does that tell you about their interest in resolving this?"

Talks broke off Sunday after a 90-minute meeting in New York. It followed four days of meetings last week that ended poorly Friday during a short meeting and heated exchange between a few players and owners.

Games have been canceled until Nov. 30. Next week, the NHL will likely have to cancel a fresh slate of games -- likely at least the first half of December.

Players missed their third paycheck Thursday.

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