Clock is ticking on NHL agreement

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NEW YORK — The NHL’s collective bargaining talks are on hold until today.

Donald Fehr, the executive director of the NHL Players’ Association, had originally said he was “optimistic” the union would table a counterproposal Thursday. Fehr could extend a counteroffer today at the NHL’s New York office.

The current agreement expires Sept. 15, when the league has said it will lock out the players if a new deal is not in place.

The two sides are at odds over hockey-related revenue. The league wants to knock down the players’ percentage to 46. The players’ share of HRR was 57 percent last season. Fehr said changes in how HRR is calculated would see the amount of money players give up to escrow increase “significantly.” Under the NHL’s proposal, the union said current contracts would not be paid in full.

NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman issued his second proposal to the NHLPA on Tuesday in New York, an offering he called “meaningful” and “significant.” On Wednesday, the two sides met again, and broke the proposal down with several player representatives in attendance.

“We’re hopeful that it’s a meaningful proposal that we can continue to make progress from,” NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly said Thursday. “We feel like we made a good step in that direction earlier this week and we hope that they would make a step forward as well.”

Fehr was accompanied Wednesday by NHLPA special consultant Mathieu Schneider, as well as Mike Komisarek (Toronto), Douglas Murray (San Jose), George Parros (Florida), Chris Phillips (Ottawa), Kevin Shattenkirk (St. Louis), Kevin Westgarth (Los Angeles), Craig Adams (Pittsburgh), Nick Bonino (Anaheim), B.J. Crombeen (Tampa Bay), Alex Goligoski (Dallas) and Ron Hainsey (Winnipeg).

The NHL regular season is slated to begin on Oct. 11.

“Obviously, the clock is ticking,” Daly said. “We’re almost into September now.”


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