No Collective Bargaining Agreement Talks To Happen Satruday
The NHL says there will be no bargaining with the players union Saturday, leaving nothing to stop a lockout, according to ESPN.
NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly told The Associated Press in an email that the sides have spoken by telephone, but no negotiations will happen before the midnight deadline.
This was the third straight day the sides spoke by phone but avoided the negotiating table. By early afternoon it became clear the league was heading to its fourth work stoppage since 1992.
For nearly a year, NHL commissioner Gary Bettman has vowed to lock out players if a Collective Bargaining Agreement wasn’t set by the time the current one expires.
It now appears unlikely that training camps will open next week. The regular season had been scheduled to begin Oct. 11, but that is also in peril.
Once the previous lockout was imposed in September 2004, the sides didn’t get back together again until December.
Players absorbed a salary-cap system and took an immediate 24 percent rollback of existing contracts in 2005 in exchange for 57 percent of hockey-related revenues. The NHL now says that figure is too high, and is willing to have another league shutdown to reduce that share to 49 percent to 47 percent.
Its original offer was to cut it to 43 percent, and an updated proposal raised it to 46 before another new offer pushed it a little higher Wednesday, the last time the sides met at the negotiating table.
The most recent proposal from the league — with a six-year term — came in direct response to one put forth by the union earlier Wednesday that was rejected as being similar to the players’ two previous offers.
Instead of making a percentage-based offer, the union is seeking a deal that would guarantee players annually at least the $1.8 billion in salaries paid out last season
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