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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Time running short for NHL labor deal

NEW YORK — The clock is ticking on the NHL and the players’ association to reach a deal on a new collective bargaining agreement and avoid a work stoppage.

Not long after the conclusion of a union meeting Thursday in New York during which NHLPA executive director Donald Fehr updated around 300 players on the status of negotiations, NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman met with the Board of Governors.

Bettman said the owners—including Chicago Blackhawks Chairman Rocky Wirtz—showed unanimous support of a lockout of the players if a new CBA is not in place by the time the current one expires Saturday. It would be Bettman’s third work stoppage since becoming commissioner and the first since the 2004-05 season was cancelled. The sides are still far apart on core economic issues and there are currently no formal plans to meet.

“Nobody wants to make a deal and play hockey more than I do,” Bettman said. “This is very hard and I feel terrible about it.”

Bettman said the NHL is waiting on a response from the union on the league’s latest proposal, but the NHLPA was not fond of the offer that slightly increased the percentage of hockey-related revenue players would receive and didn’t significantly change revenue sharing between teams.

“We’re trying to make a fair deal out of this and you can’t say the same about the other side,” former Hawks and current Panthers winger Kris Versteeg said. “It can get to be frustrating at times. Especially when … you put two and two together you know what’s fair and what’s not. We’re trying to better the league with our proposal and we’re trying to find a way out of it and they’re almost looking to take cash and do it that way. We’re trying to make the problems better and fix it.”

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