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No, thanks: NHL lockout talks break off again
Fehr nearly said players found the day’s two bargaining sessions, which totaled 2 1/2 hours, to be a waste of time.
“A lot of the people that were there today, given the response we got, thought they had a lot better things to do on the night before Thanksgiving than hear what we got,” he said.
The NHL on Oct. 16 proposed a 50-50 split of hockey-related revenue, down from the players’ 57 percent portion of $3.3 billion last season. With guaranteed contracts likely to push the players’ share over the halfway mark at the start of the next deal, management wants that money to come out of future years to bring the overall percentage down to an even split over the length of an agreement.
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.”
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