For a while it has seemed as though the NHL was headed for its third lockout in 18 years, and after three meetings between league and NHLPA officials this week there’s little reason to believe otherwise.
Labor negotiations between the NHL and NHLPA have stalled with the two sides unable to agree on anything, whether the issue is key economic issues or which group wanted the talks to recess. No additional meetings are planned with just more than two weeks to go before the collective bargaining agreement expires on Sept. 15.
The standstill comes after the NHLPA made a counteroffer in a 90-minute meeting Friday in New York. Comments from NHLPA Executive Director Donald Fehr and NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman reiterated that the main hangup in these talks is the league’s goal of decreasing the players’ revenue share.
According to Sports Business Journal’s Chris Botta, Fehr said that the NHL will not consider proposals that don’t include salary cuts. The players aren’t willing to see their salaries slashed whether by a rollback or increased escrow payments, which were included in the owners’ first and second proposals respectively.
“Someone needs to say something new,” Bettman told reporters in New York.
If you’d like to catch up on details from this week’s meetings, check out these posts. Minnesota Wild beat writer and veteran NHL reporter Mike Russo of the Minneapolis Star Tribune has a great look at the labor situation as it stands now as well.