TORONTO, Oct. 18 (UPI) -- Commissioner Gary Bettman said Thursday the NHL Players Association and owners are "not speaking the same language" after owners rejected three union offers.
The players offered the proposals after Bettman had proposed a six-year contract Tuesday calling for a 50-50 split of hockey-related revenue, entry-level contracts of two years' duration, a five-year maximum for all other contracts, and unrestricted free agency after eight accrued seasons in the league or at 28 years of age.
The league said its offer would also allow for a full 82-game season to be played beginning Nov. 2.
Bettman said the three proposals submitted by the NHLPA on the players' share of revenue were "all variations, to some degree, of the one proposal that they made over the summer and really haven't deviated from since."
"And none of the three variations of players' share that they gave us even began to approach 50-50 (revenue split) either at all or for some long period of time and it's clear that we're not speaking the same language in terms of what they came back to us with," he said.
The commissioner said he was "concerned based on the proposal that was made today that things are not progressing. To the contrary, I think the proposal that was made by the Players' Association was in many ways a step backward."
The NHL lockout of players began Sept. 16 and has caused 82 games from Oct. 11-24 to be canceled.