New York, NY, United States (4E Sports) – In a renewed effort to reach a fresh agreement with the league, NHL players have agreed to return to the negotiating table and face several team owners Tuesday without the presence of commissioner Gary Bettman and players’ union executive director Donald Fehr.
“There will be owners attending this meeting who have not previously done so, which is encouraging and which we welcome,” Fehr said. “We hope that this meeting will be constructive and lead to a dialogue that will help us find a way to reach an agreement.”
The NHL earlier announced that several team owners will be present during negotiations, including Ron Burkle (Pittsburgh Penguins), Mark Chipman (Winnipeg Jets), Murray Edwards (Calgary Flames), Jeremy Jacobs (Boston Bruins), Larry Tanenbaum (Toronto Maple Leafs) and Jeff Vinik (Tampa Bay Lightning).
Jacobs and Edwards are familiar faces in the negotiations but the remaining four team owners can bring a new perspective to the table.
Tanenbaum, for his part, owns the NHL’s richest team with value estimated at $1 billion, while Vinik owns a team losing money.
Fehr has indicated that each side will have a limited number of staff or counsel present. The NHL Players Association hasn’t yet divulged the list of players that will attend the meeting.
The two sides are $182 million apart on major economic issues and have a wide gap in their positions on individual player contract rights.
Last week, federal mediators have failed to find a common ground for the two sides, dragging the lockout further.