NHL, players' association exchange offers, but to no avail

While the NHL and its players now agree on what qualifies as hockey-related revenue, the two sides still haven't figured out how to split up the money the sport generates.

With only three days remaining to work out a new deal before NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman follows through on a vow to lock out the players for the second time in eight years, league executives returned to the bargaining table with the union on Wednesday and traded new proposals.

The owners weren't particularly pleased with the new offer they received - with Bettman saying it wasn't much different from earlier proposals - and they ended up countering with one the commissioner said was drafted on the fly Wednesday.

NHLPA executive director Donald Fehr, speaking for the second time Wednesday before a meeting with several hundred players, wasn't overly impressed with what he was given, either.

"We did not make a proposal which mirrored the owners' proposal," Fehr said. "We did not say let's go back to when we didn't have a salary cap. We said, "Look, there is a meaningful disparity in revenue between the teams, and in recognition of that, there is a way we think we can fix the system so we don't end up in the same problem all over again.

"If you look at what happened in all the cap sports ... it doesn't matter what the sport is, and it doesn't matter what the claimed economics are, the proposal is always the same: it is always players will take a lot less money, and if not we will lock you out. It's regrettable, but that is the world we seem to live in."

After the players made their offer Wednesday morning, Bettman met with Boston Bruins owner Jeremy Jacobs, and Murray Edwards of the Calgary Flames to craft a new NHL offer that was handed back to the players' association with a shelf life on it.

- Associated Press


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