from Pat Leonard of the NY Daily News,
(Marc) Staal attended last week's collective bargaining sessions and was in the room Wednesday when the NHL responded to the players union's latest proposal, witnessing just how damaged the process has become.
"I don't really know how to describe it. It's a lot different of a game than hockey is," Staal said. "It's a lot of talking. It's just frustrating that they can't come to some kind of agreement. You just sit there and shake your head at how they can't come to an agreement."
Whether the NHL and union schedule more meetings this week or not, the next pivotal juncture likely will be the Dec. 5 Board of Governors meeting in New York City. There, Garden chairman James Dolan will have an opportunity to echo the sentiment of his players and hope many more of the 30 owners feel the same way – that it's time for hockey to come back.
One player made an interesting admission Saturday – while the players are fully informed on the negotiations, the union's plan for how to proceed "is not clear." Staal, meanwhile, said that while it will take both parties to resolve the conflict, it's difficult to figure out what the owners are thinking.
"You don't know what their mindset is because they don't say anything," Staal said, referring to commissioner Gary Bettman's gag order that carries the threat of million-dollar fines.
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