Gary Bettman Says NHL Will Not Play Under Current CBA
The vast differences between the NHL and NHLPA on major financial issues became more clear this afternoon after a meeting in N.Y. that lasted less than two hours. NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said after the meeting that the league has “no intention” of playing another season under the current CBA, which expires on Sept. 15. “The owners are not prepared to operate under this collective bargaining agreement for another season,” said Bettman. Training camps for the ‘12-13 season do not open for a few days after Sept. 15, but it is expected that the NHL will lock out the players that day if an agreement is not finalized. “This isn’t news,” said Bettman. “The union has been told this repeatedly for the last 9-12 months.”
NHLPA Exec Dir Donald Fehr said there was a “meaningful gulf” between the owners’ proposal of three weeks ago, which called for a cut in the players’ share of revenue from 56% to 47%. The players responded to the proposal in the meeting today with Bettman and the owners. Fehr said of the league’s proposal, “It didn’t look to us like the way to go. It seems to us that, overall and on a club-by-club basis, all of the revenue-sharing payments -- both the new ones and the existing ones -- would be paid for by player salary reductions.” Fehr said the union will make a presentation -- “call it a proposal, a counter-proposal, whatever you’d like,” he said -- to the owners on Tuesday.