New York, NY (Sports Network) - Representatives from the National Hockey
League and its players association met for three hours on Wednesday, without
significant progress in resolving a labor dispute which threatens to force a
lockout at the end of the week.
Both sides were able to submit new proposals aimed at keeping negotiations
alive, but there is no indication that a new deal is imminent.
"We made it clear in presenting (our) proposal that it was intended to lead to
a deal before the weekend, before the expiration of the current Collective
Bargaining Agreement, and that, if in fact, a deal is not achievable, what we
proposed would be off the table," stated NHL commissioner Gary Bettman.
TSN of Canada reported in late August that the league's original offer,
which was a six-year agreement, was meant to reduce the NHL's financial
demands. Players were in line to see a gradual reduction in revenue share
percentage, according to the report.
The first proposal by the NHL was to decrease the players' revenue share from
57 percent to 43, but TSN reported the percentage would drop to as low as
49.6 in 2014-15 before coming up to 50 percent for the final three years
of the deal.
That has been amended, according to RDS. The league's offer today stated that
players were to receive 49 percent of hockey related revenues in the first
year of the deal, before that number dropped slightly to 47 percent.
"They made a responsive proposal. It obviously has to be studied. We hope that
they will be studying our proposal further. It is too early to say whether or
this is going to represent any meaningful progress," said NHL executive
director Donald Fehr.
While details of the players' proposal have not been revealed, Fehr added in
his press conference that the union is prepared to see a drop in their cut of
revenues provided that large market clubs are willing to provide whatever
assistance is necessary to keep smaller teams viable.
That practice, known as revenue sharing, has gained a foothold in the other
three major professional sports in the United States.
Despite both sides inching closer together on the issue of how to properly
split revenues, the NHLPA is refusing to budge on the idea of another salary
rollback in light of continued record revenue growth the NHL claims since
2005. Players agreed to a 24 percent reduction seven years ago, and the league
is asking for another significant decrease this time around.
The expiration of the current CBA is midnight this Saturday. Bettman has
stated that the players will be locked out if a new deal is not struck by
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