NHL’s Bettman disappointed with union’s proposals

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“The proposal contemplates paying the players approximately $650 million outside of the players’ share. In effect, the union is proposing to change the accounting rules to be able to say `50-50,’ when in reality it is not. The union told us that they had not yet `run the numbers.’ We did.”

Fehr said the players would sacrifice nearly $1.8 billion in revenue under the league’s proposal. He added that concessions made by the players in the last round of bargaining have cost them $3.3 billion over the term of the last agreement.

The players received 57 percent of revenues in the collective bargaining agreement that expired last month.

NHL players showed up in force Thursday as the union made its various offers.

Among the 18 players at the talks were Crosby, Jarome Iginla, Jonathan Toews and Eric Staal. The scene looked similar to one in August when the union made its first proposal.

The lockout _ the third of the Bettman era _ began Sept. 16, and the league canceled regular-season games through Oct. 24. Bettman, in announcing the new proposal, called it “a fair offer for a long-term deal” and “one that we hope gets a positive reaction.”

It didn’t, and now the clock is an even bigger factor.

There is only one week to strike a deal for the season to start by Nov. 2, three weeks behind schedule. If those deadlines are met, teams would be able to hold makeshift training camps for one week, and then play one extra game every five weeks to make up for the lost time and complete a full slate.

“I don’t know what the next step is,” Bettman said. “I’m obviously very discouraged.”

In releasing the details, the NHL confirmed the offer was for six years with a mutual option for a seventh. The plan includes a 50-50 split in hockey-related revenue, which is a step forward. The NHL had proposed in July to cut the percentage of HRR from 57 percent to 43, then increased its offer in September to about 47.

Management included a provision to ensure players receive all money promised in existing contracts, but the union is concerned with what management termed the “make-whole provision.” If the players’ share falls short of their $1.883 billion in 2011-12, the players would be paid up to $149 million of deferred compensation in the first year of a new deal and up to $62 million in the second.

However, the union believes that money would be counted against the players’ share in later years.

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