Gary Bettman: League Will Lock Out Players If No New Collective Bargaining Agreement By September 15
NHL commissioner Gary Bettman said that the league will lock out its players if there is no new Collective Bargaining Agreement by the time the old one expires on September 15.
“I reconfirmed something that the union has been told multiple times over the last nine to 12 months, namely that the time is getting short and the owners are not prepared to operate under this CBA for another season, so we need to get to making a deal and doing it soon,” Bettman said outside of the league’s offices in midtown Manhattan. “And we believe there’s ample time for the parties to get together and make a deal, and that’s what we’re going to be working toward.”
The two sides, which have been engaged in labor talks for six weeks, have five weeks to broker a new deal and a significant divide on a number of issues.
“Our efforts are going to be devoted to making a deal, but as I said the owners are not going to operate under the economics of this collective bargaining agreement,” Bettman said.
NHLPA executive director Donald Fehr has previously addressed the possibility of playing even while a deal is in negotiation, although that does not appear to be an option the league is willing to entertain.
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