Bettman: Two sides 'are still far apart' after NHLPA offer

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Bettman: Two sides 'are still far apart' after NHLPA offer

The NHLPA had a good feeling about their soup-to-nuts Wednesday offer to the NHL in an attempt to end the lockout, but that was quickly crushed by NHL commissioner Gary Bettman. The NHL leader along with deputy commissioner Bill Daly and several owners announced to the media they are still far apart on a new Collective Bargaining Agreement despite the players offer.
The new deal went to a strict percentage share of Hockey Related Revenue rather than any links to spikes in revenue, upped the make whole pot from the owners to nearly 400 million and included a provision designed to eliminate the back-diving contracts the league is looking to outlaw.
Were still far apart, said Bettman, who was speaking to the media outside the NHL offices while a Flyers fan heckled the NHLs CEO. But hopefully theres some momentum so we can bring this to a conclusion.
"I think it's frustrating for everybody and disappointing for everybody that's it's taken this long and we're still far apart.
Meanwhile, the New York Post is reporting that there is an NHL Board of Governors meeting scheduled for Dec. 5, and both sides have agree to talk on Friday about what the next steps in negotiations will be. NHLPA Executive Director Donald Fehr said there was no reciprocity from the league after the NHLPA opted to get on the same wave length with the league, and appeared frustrated that the league essentially rejected their offer out of hand.
"On the big things there was as of today no reciprocity in any meaningful sense, no movement on the players' share, no movement on salary-arbitration eligibility, no movement on free agency eligibility, no agreement on a pension plan, said Fehr. We moved more than halfway. Thats about as good as we can do.
Both sides said they will continue to discuss things internally on Thanksgiving while more than 700 NHL players remain out of work, and the lockout reaches Day 68 of the regrettable proceedings. While things look pretty grim at this point in time for hockey, its important to remember that its a negotiation and neither side is going to give away what theyre holding for cards.
Nobody expected Bettman or Bruins owner Jeremy Jacobs to be performing handstands after Wednesdays offer, but both sides are admitting theyre less than 200 million away from each other over the course of a five-year document to govern the NHL.
Thats not exactly a far distance away, and they still sit at least a month away from thinking about cancelling the entire season. But the NHL is expected to cancel games through Dec. 15 and ax the NHL All-Star Game in the next round of cuts that could come at the end of this week.

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