The NHL appears to be headed for another lockout, as a session between the NHL and the NHL Players' Association reportedly ended quickly Thursday morning with no progress made. The Associated Press reports that the main issue between the two sides is simply a belief by the league owners that they are paying too much money for player salaries, while the players' union is arguing that without the players, the league cannot exist:
"We believe we're paying out more than we should be," Commissioner Gary Bettman said. "It's as simple as that."
"From the players' standpoint, they want a fair agreement, they want one that is equitable, they want one that recognizes their contribution," Fehr said.
Neither side has been able to get past those initial demands in negotiations, despite reports that during Wednesday's meetings, the room was cleared of everyone except for NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman, Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly and Players' Union heads Donald and Steve Fehr. The current collective bargaining agreement is set to expire Sept. 15. The NHL lost the entire 2004-05 season to a lockout.