Q: ARE THE SIDES STILL TALKING?
A: After a week in which the sides got together multiple times over four consecutive days, they had an eight-day break before reconvening on Monday. They met again for about 2 1-2 hours on Wednesday before talks broke off. Negotiators spoke by phone on Friday before the NHL made its latest round of game cancellations and again on Saturday. Donald Fehr said there was chance they would speak again on Sunday or Monday.
Q: WHY HAS THERE BEEN SO MUCH LABOR UNREST IN AMERICA'S MAJOR SPORTS?
A: While the issues have varied somewhat among sports, it is notable that Major League Baseball — the only one among the four major sports without a salary cap — also was the only one among that didn't have a lockout. Some believe the absence of a salary cap gave baseball negotiators more wiggle room to bargain. Donald Fehr was the executive director of the Major League Baseball Players Association from 1983-09 before taking a similar position with the NHL Players' Association in December 2010 after a brief stint as a union adviser.
Q: WILL THERE BE HOCKEY THIS SEASON?
A: As more time is lost, additional games are canceled and the rhetoric on both sides increases, optimism wanes that a deal will be reached in time for the season to get going. History says that a deal can be made as late as January that will assure a season. While an 82-game-per-team schedule no longer is possible, a schedule of 60 games or 48 again can be salvaged. If so, those games will likely be limited to intra-conference matchups to cut down on travel and allow for more games to be crammed in.