Will they or won't they? NHL players, owners talking on Wednesday
Published Wednesday, September 12, 2012 9:07AM EDT
Labour talks are back on between the NHL and its players.
Both sides will meet Wednesday at the league's New York offices.
The Players Association will convene after the meeting to discuss the issues brought up, while the owners will meet Commissioner Gary Bettman on Thursday.
The meetings were arranged after Bettman's second-in-command, Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly told reporters that both owners and players were to blame for the failure to reach a deal.
"To this point, we have received no indication that the union has anything new to say to us. And right now, we have nothing new to say to them," he wrote to the Associated Press on Tuesday. "It's unfortunate, but it's the reality of the situation."
If an agreement cannot be reached by Saturday, the owners will lock out NHL players.
Many Montreal companies took a hard hit during the last NHL labour dispute and they expect the area about the Bell Centre to become a ghost town if the season never begins.
The La Cage Aux Sports restaurants, with one location in the Bell Centre and another within walking distance, depend on fans.
"People coming in for the game, before and after, everything that's around is pretty much based on hockey and that's a big part of our culture," said Samuel Trudeau. "I think if they decide to have no game this year it's going to be really a great loss."
Khalid Maskour of Crescent Sports expects a 60 percent drop in sales, mainly because that's what he lost during the last lock out seven years ago.
"It's going to be like a crisis for the business," said Maskour.
During the 04/05 season, some businesses along Crescent St. closed, and Ziggy Eichenbaum of Ziggy's Pub expects he would have to reduce the number of employees.
"Usually hockey starts our winter and I hire a couple of students because it gets really, really busy. And this year if they walk out it means I have to let one person go," said Eichenbaum.
Taxi drivers and hotels say they also see many tourists who come to Montreal just for hockey.
Managers at Le Crystal Hotel spent Tuesday discussing contingency plans such as showing classic games.
"For example doing nostaligic hockey nights with special menus going back to playing the 1972 Russian-Canadian series, or playing some great playoff games between Boston and Montreal, simply to create an excuse for people to come out and enjoy hockey in Montreal," said Geoffrey Allan.