The NHL, while making a collective bargaining proposal last week, set a deadline of Thursday to have the deal completed in order to have a full 82-game season. Sabres players said today they think that deadline has wiggle room of up to seven days.
It doesn't matter either way. Bill Daly made it clear another week likely isn't enough to save a full season.
Responding to an email from The Buffalo News as to whether the NHL's schedule included an All-Star Game and if canceling it would give the league and NHL Players' Association extra time to negotiate, Daly said yes but that one wouldn't necessarily lead to the other.
"But, in any event, it looks like it doesn't matter now," Daly wrote during an exchange of messages. "Because it's clear we aren't going to have a deal any time soon.
"Just disappointed in where we find ourselves. I thought 50-50 deal and mechanism to pay players back for reduced value of their contracts in early years of CBA would garner some traction. I guess players want more. Not sure where this goes from here."
The Sabres' Jason Pominville and Jordan Leopold, two of nine locked-out players who skated in Northtown Center at Amherst today, remain hopeful that a CBA can be reached quickly and that 82 games are possible.
"I honestly think that’s a deadline they set in stone," Pominville said of Thursday's cut-off date, "but I don’t know if it’s that realistic. I think there might an extra week maybe where you can still find a way to fit in an 82-game season. Hopefully, we can get something done in the next couple of days and get it figured out."