The NHL and the NHL Players Association are making progress in working towards a new collective bargaining agreement, but that progress is slow and still hasn't addressed key questions, reports the Pioneer Press. The two sides have come to an agreement on what constitutes hockey-related revenue, but as of Wednesday they had not yet settled how to split that revenue.
NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman made it clear their offer to the players was of a limited nature, and if the NHLPA did not agree to it before the Sept. 15 lockout deadline it would be off the table. Though no meetings were officially scheduled on Wednesday, the two sides did expect to meet sometime Thursday to continue discussions.
The owners and the NHLPA have traded a new round of offers related to the revenue split, but sources on both sides weren't impressed with the other. Bettman said the players' offer wasn't much different from ones they made earlier, and NHLPA executive director Donald Fehr made it clear he felt the owners' proposal was unfair to the players:
"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."
In the expiring CBA, players were entitled to 57 percent of hockey related revenues. New proposals from the NHL have ranged from 43 to 46 percent.