A five-hour meeting in Gary Bettman's office between the commissioner, his assistant Bill Daly and five NHLPA representatives Friday night turned out to be a significant step in the right direction, according to Minnesota Wild forward Zenon Konopka.
"It was very educational," Konopka, who represented the NHLPA along with union executives Don and Steve Fehr and two other players, told NSSradiotv.com in an exclusive interview after the meeting. "We explained our last offer and gave a chance to (Bettman) to explain the owners' last offer. Did we solve the problem? No, but it was definitely a positive meeting and a step in the right direction. Hopefully, we established some common ground that we can start building on." Konopka said he is hopeful that the same seven men will meet again in Bettman's office Saturday, Sunday or Monday. "There are gaps," Konopka said, "and we have to think of ways to bridge the gaps. . .But we're cautiously optimistic now that this can be done." Bettman has said the owners will lock out the players if there isn't a new collective bargaining agreement in place by Sept. 15, 2012.
Sat, Sep 8, 2012 10:04:00 AM