NHL Lockout 2012: Lightning owner Jeff Vinik to join labor talks

Bruce Bennett

Tampa Bay Lightning owner Jeff Vinik along with four other NHL owners will meet with a select group of players on Tuesday to try and move negotiations forward.

With the season slipping away by the day, Tampa Bay Lightning owner Jeff Vinik will join four other NHL owners and a group of five players for a meeting on Tuesday in New York to try and spark labor negotiations. So far, games are cancelled through Dec. 14, as well as the Jan. 1 Winter Classic and the Jan. 27 All-Star Game.

The meeting is not expected to be a negotiating session, but an exchange of ideas. NHL commissioner Gary Bettman and NHLPA executive director Donald Fehr will not participate in this session.

Lightning players, such as captain Vincent Lecavalier, are happy to hear that he will be a part of negotiations:

"I'm happy he's going," Tampa Bay captain Vinny Lecavalier said Sunday after the meeting was announced. "He's a guy who will listen and talk and have a conversation and see where things go."

Vinik will be in a group including Boston Bruins owner Jeremy Jacobs, Pittsburgh Penguins' Ron Burkle, Calgary Flames' Murray Edwards, Winnipeg Jets' Mark Chapman and Toronto Maple Leafs' Larry Tanenbaum. The group of players has yet to be decided. Lightning right winger B.J. Crombeen, who is part of the negotiating committee says that "a long list of players" want to participate

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