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Fehr on CBA negotiations: “Sept. 15 is not a magic date unless someone wants to make it so”

Donald Fehr

NHL Players Association executive director Donald Fehr speaks at a news conference after a meeting of the NHLPA executive board in Chicago, Wednesday, June 27, 2012. (AP Photo/Sitthixay Ditthavong)


While the early stages of CBA negotiations have been met with some pessimism, NHLPA boss Donald Fehr isn’t worried about a potential timeline to get a deal done.

In fact, there might not be a timeline at all.

“All I’ve said is Sept. 15 is not a magic date unless someone wants to make it so,” Fehr told the Globe and Mail about the current CBA expiration date. “There’s nothing that happens on Sept. 15 if we don’t have an agreement, provided nobody says we’re going to go on strike or says we’re going to lock the doors.”

Fehr has stated in the past that, despite the fact the current agreement expires midway through September, 2012-13 play may go on without a new deal -- so long as both sides are willing to keep negotiating.

“There’s nothing magic about Sept. 15. The law is that if you don’t have a new agreement, and as long as both sides are willing to keep negotiating, you can continue to play under the terms of the old one until you reach an agreement,” Fehr said back in late June. “All I know is that in baseball, there were any number of occasions in which we played while the parties were continuing to negotiate.”

It’s unclear if the NHL and its owners are of the same mindset.

Speaking of the NHL, commissioner Gary Bettman reportedly submitted 76,000 pages of financial information to the NHLPA on Monday evening. It’s the latest in what both sides are calling “amicable” and “constructive” negotiations thus far.

“We’re doing our best to comply with all of their requests regardless of whether we think they are relevant,” Bettman said.