Gary Bettman: Hope Of Preserving 82 Game Season Is Low
With labor negotiations stalled, there does not appear to be any hope of preserving a full 82-game season by Thursday’s deadline. NHL commissioner Gary Bettman said as much Wednesday.
“Unfortunately, it looks like an 82-game season is not going to be a reality,” Bettman said at a news conference from Barclays Center in Brooklyn, where the Islanders announced they would be relocating starting with the 2015-16 season.
Bettman painted a bleak picture on the state of negotiations with players and said the union “has chosen not to engage on our proposal.”
The league made its last offer to the NHLPA on October 16, one that included a 50/50 revenue split and a provision to “make whole” existing player contracts by employing deferred payments. Bettman had said that if a deal could be reached by Thursday, a full season still could be achieved.
The union responded last Thursday with a trio of its own offers. However, all three were rejected by the league within 10 minutes.
The union requested a formal meeting with the league Tuesday night but was rebuffed. The NHL maintained that if the NHLPA was unwilling to work off the league’s last proposal, then a meeting wasn’t necessary.
Bettman said he had no indication as to when the league and union would resume negotiations.
Asked what it would take for the two sides to get back to the negotiating table, Bettman said “a reason to get back to the table. There’s always a reason because, of course, we want to be playing, but in terms of the negotiations themselves, as we indicated, we made our best offer to save an 82-game season and it was not something that the players’ association demonstrated any interest in.
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