It’s no secret National Hockey League players are frustrated with the current lockout.
On Thursday, the NHL Players’ Association let a self-imposed deadline to dissolve their union pass, and the players have been asked to re-vote on whether or not to file a “disclaimer of interest” again if a new collective bargaining agreement can’t be reached.
Some believe the NHLPA’s filing a disclaimer of interest could speed up negotiations, but others say it would have the opposite effect.
Washington Capitals forward Jason Chimera is skeptical of any reported “progress” being made and had some choice words for NHL commissioner Gary Bettman.
Chimera told the Washington Post Thursday that the league “knew that deadline (to disclaim interest) was coming, so maybe they were bargaining in good faith up until that moment and maybe they’re going to shut it down today. I don’t dislike anybody, but I don’t trust Gary Bettman right now and what his motive is. He’s a nice man, I’ve met him numerous times, but I don’t trust what’s happened so far.
“If they’re working that late, last night was great and if they keep meeting it’s positive. I just don’t believe anything anymore until it’s done.”
Despite the uncertainty surrounding when the two sides will meet next and whether or not a deal can be reached in time to salvage a season, Chimera said there is something positive to look at.
“Four proposals in six days and no one’s stormed out of the room, no one’s looked at them in 10 minutes,” Chimera, an 11-year veteran of the NHL, explained. “You’ve just got to keep momentum rolling. That’s the big thing, you can’t let it stall. From what I’m hearing it could have stalled in the last couple days but it didn’t, and I think that’s a good thing.”
Thursday marks the 110th day of the lockout. Over three quarters of a billion dollars in player salary has been lost to date.
The deadline to reach a new CBA is Jan. 11. The NHL said getting a deal done by that date would allow a 48-game season to begin by Jan. 19.