June 22, 2012; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman on stage at the 2012 NHL Draft at CONSOL Energy Center. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-US PRESSWIRE

Bettman's take on the negotiations

OK, I admit it. I debated in high school and college. I got a scholarship for it. I really do enjoy a good argument as long as both sides can respect the opinion of the opponent. I am fascinated by the NHL/NHLPA labor talks. Partially because I see it as my on-going love of the support. If I get really interested in something, I like to see the whole perspective of it. What makes it tick, how it runs, and how ‘healthy’ the entity I am intrested in is.

I also admit that the labor talks are going to be what I dedicate a fair share of articles on. Granted, my two cents will not weigh as mightily as Doanld Fehr, Gary Bettman, or any current or former player. They are however, my two cents, and I’ll keep tossing them in the fountain till the fountain breaks or I do. The latest person to offer up anything on the closed door meetings (Oh, to be a fly on THAT wall) is the NHL commissioner Gary Bettman.

Bettman declared the first meeting  as “constructive.” “I won’t characterize the negotiations,” Bettman said after Fehr’s meeting with the media. “We met for about two hours and 15 minutes. This session was very much like previous sessions and we still have a lot of work to do in a relatively short period of time, but I think everybody’s working hard at it.” When asked if the league still could operate under the current CBA should a deal not be in place by September 15th, Bettman offered: “I’m worried about getting a new deal done, not what happens if we don’t. “The law doesn’t require that the industry shut down if you don’t have an agreement,” he said. “Somebody has to choose to shut it down.(He should know, he sounded the deathknell of the 2004-2005 season.) At the moment, I see no reason to do that from the players’ side. That’s what I said. Hopefully they won’t either. We’ll see.”  The NHL and the players union have meetings schedueled for today and tomorrow.

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