Players previously had proposed they receive a guaranteed amount of income each year.
Fehr said players proposed they get $393 million over the length of the deal, while the NHL is at $211 million. Management wants a seven-year deal, which the union says is too long because less than half the current players will be active by the last season.
“To expect our best economic proposal to get better as the damage continues to increase isn’t particularly realistic,” Bettman said. “From an economic standpoint, we’ve given what we have to give. It was our best offer. And again, put it in the context that the business is probably losing between $18 and $20 million a day and the players are losing between $8 and $10 million a day.”
This is the league’s third lockout since 1994. The first settled on Jan. 11 and the last one led to Bettman announcing the cancellation of the 2004-05 season on Feb. 15.
The league has canceled 326 games through Nov. 30 plus the Jan. 1 Winter Classic between Toronto and Detroit at Ann Arbor, Mich. More cancellations are coming.
“That’s something that we’re going to have to look at on a daily basis,” Bettman said. “I think that becomes inevitable as time goes on.”