NEW YORK — As the NHL on Friday continued steadily down the path to its fourth work stoppage since 1992, teams made a flurry of moves to sign players under terms of the current labor deal and set up young players for AHL playing time.
Brief conversations late Thursday and Friday between leaders on each side failed to spur formal talks for a new collective bargaining agreement. The current one expires at midnight tonight; commissioner Gary Bettman has said a lockout would kick in immediately if a new deal hasn't been reached by then.
The biggest player move of the day was the Coyotes — a team in bankruptcy and owned by the league — re-signing captain and face of the franchise Shane Doan, 35, to a four-year, $21.2 million deal with a $2 million signing bonus. Players don't get paid salary during a lockout, but they do get signing bonuses.
Also, 63 players were put on waivers. Players who are subject to clearing waivers and who are waived before the labor deal expires can be assigned to the AHL and can return without re-entry waivers if they are recalled three days before play resumes. The AHL isn't governed by the NHL labor deal.
Also, the Quebec labor relations ruled the lockout can go into effect for the Canadiens pending a hearing on the players' petition arguing that because the union isn't certified with the province, its members can't be locked out under Quebec labor law.
A similar request was filed with the Alberta labor relations board for the Oilers and Flames. A hearing was scheduled for Sept. 21.