Executives from the NHL and NHL Players' Association expressed optimism about their communication so far in what they described as the early stages of negotiations toward a Collective Bargaining Agreement.
"The discussions have been cordial and constructive, even though they're preliminary," NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said. "We're not looking for a fight."
The current CBA, a 10-year agreement that was ratified in January of 2013, expires after the 2021-22 season. But without an extension in place, each side would have to determine in September whether to trigger their respective reopener options, which then would cause the CBA to terminate in September of 2020.
Commissioner Bettman would not speculate on if either side would be interested in triggering the re-opener if there is no extension in place by Sept. 15, 2020.
The NHL has lost games because of work stoppages prior to ratifying the past three CBAs, including losing the entire 2004-05 season and the first three months of the 2012-13 season.