action:article | category:SPORTS07 | adString:SPORTS07 | zoneID:40

Home » Sports » Hockey

October 18. 2012 11:04PM

NHL calls union's offer 'a step backward'

TORONTO — Labor talks between the National Hockey League and locked-out players broke off Thursday with the two sides no closer to resolving their differences on key economic issues, putting hopes for a full 82-game season in serious doubt.

The NHL, which presented a six-year deal earlier this week that proposed an equal split of hockey-related revenue with the players, said the union discussed three different offers on Thursday that all failed to approach a 50-50 split.

“I am concerned, based on the proposal that was made today, that things are not progressing,” NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman told reporters. “To the contrary, I view the proposal made by the players' association a step backward.”

The proposal offered by the NHL, which is looking to cut the players' share of revenue from the 57 percent they got under the previous deal that expired a month ago, is contingent on an 82-game regular season starting on Nov. 2.

NHL Players' Association Executive Director Donald Fehr said the first scenario presented by the union would reach a 50-50 split in three years, the second would get to 50-50 by the fifth year, while a third option proposed a 50-50 split immediately, but only if owners honor all current contracts at 100 percent.

But after meeting with the NHL for several hours in downtown Toronto, Fehr said the league rejected all three scenarios and was willing only to “tweak” the offer it presented earlier this week, according to Fehr.

“I don't know what we will eventually do. I don't know what the owners will eventually do,” Fehr, flanked by several NHL players including Sidney Crosby, told reporters.

“But if you had been in the room the vibe you would have gotten is 'unless you are prepared to sign with very minor variations, don't bother us.'”

The dispute over how to split the NHL's $3.3 billion revenue pie represents the league's fourth work stoppage in 20 years and first since a 310-day lockout wiped out the 2004-05 season.

The current lockout, which has already cost the league about $250 million in lost revenue after it canceled the preseason and the Oct. 11-24 block of regular season games, could soon force the NHL to scrap another piece of the schedule.

Bettman, who called the NHL's latest offer a “best shot” deal to offer long-term stability for the league and its 30 franchises, said a signed deal is needed by Oct. 25 to ensure a full season is played.

“We indicated that we are prepared to have discussions, that we are prepared to look for tweaks or adjustments, but this is the deal that we believe this league needs to get the games going,” said Bettman.

“But the longer this goes, and particularly if we are not in a position to have an 82-game regular season, damage may in fact make it even more difficult as time goes on to make a deal.”


 NH Sports Angle Ľ more
Links to news and happenings around the world of sports with a Granite State connection, updated daily.

Heavyweight great 'Gentleman' Gerry Cooney on dramatic career and the hardest comeback of all

NASCAR: Logano interview makes UNH writerís dream come true

Nashua's Fayne moves from Devils to Oilers

Granite State Pro Stock Series to make debut at Lee Speedway

BRIAN McCLOSKEY

Ex-UNH hockey coach indicted on four charges

Growing up a hazard to golf: Real world claims talent from NHGA

Concord man wins National Javelin Championship at 2014 USA Track & Field Masters Championship

Conway's Locke happy with first half, believes best yet to come for Pirates

Court filing details prosecution's perjury allegations against Aaron Hernandez girlfriend

Is N.H. really home to longest mini golf hole on the planet?

Professional hockey coming to Berlin

van Riemsdyk setting high expectations for pro career

Life changes in an instant: Travis Roy shares story at Frank Monahan Foundation event

Improvements help, but traffic still a problem on race weekend in and around Loudon

Itís show time in Chicago for Dartmouthís Hendricks

State sells Windham golf course site for $3.06M

Ex-minor leaguers sue MLB over low salaries

$14M to beaten Giants fan returns security focus

Matt Bonner and brother bring rock show back to Redhook

GM: Twin State Speedway progressing with revival

Foot golf arrives on Seacoast

New Hampshire's Burns gets more than he could ever ask for

Pro runner's yoga class will raise money for clean Kenyan water

Menard wrecks as New Hampshire testing concludes

Lawyers try to bar Patriots from paying Hernandez $3.2M bonus

MORE

 New Hampshire Events Calendar
    

   Ľ SHARE EVENTS FOR PUBLICATION, IT'S FREE!

Upcoming Events

 New Hampshire Business Directory

  

   Ľ ADD YOUR BUSINESS TODAY!