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Hainsey: New CBA can “absolutely” be reached by Sept. 15

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)


Members of the NHLPA’s negotiating committee continue to preach optimism regarding a new collective bargaining agreement.

On Friday, Winnipeg Jets defenseman Ron Hainsey spoke on behalf of the committee and sounded confident a deal could be reached by Sept. 15 -- the date when the current CBA expires.

More, from ESPN’s Katie Strang:

Hainsey just spoke on behalf of NHLPA, said he “absolutely” thinks a new deal can be done by September 15.

NHL Deputy commissioner Bill Daly also “optimistic” a deal can get done but admits it will require a lot of “hard work.”

Yesterday, Hainsey’s fellow committee member -- Tampa Bay forward B.J. Crombeen -- expressed a similar level of optimism regarding CBA talks.

Crombeen told the St. Petersburg Times he’s hopeful the NHLPA’s counter proposal, to be presented on Tuesday, will go a long way in getting a new CBA.

“Our proposal is a good proposal,” he said. “With our proposal we feel we’ll be closer to getting that agreement done.”

Yesterday, Bettman said owners wouldn’t play another year under the current collective bargaining agreement, eschewing NHLPA boss Donald Fehr”s remarks that play could continue under the existing CBA while the two parties worked on a new deal.

Translation: No deal by Sept. 15? Lockout.

Crombeen said Bettman’s comments were “something you don’t want to hear,” but was “confident there’s still a lot of time left to get a deal done.”

Of note: Friday’s meetings dealt primarily with hockey-related issues, according to Strang. Among the topics discussed were supplementary discipline, travel and ice conditions.