"The National Hockey League deeply regrets having to take this action," NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly said in a statement Friday. "By presenting a proposal to the [NHL Players Association] that contemplated a fair division of revenues and was responsive to Player concerns regarding the value of their contracts, we had hoped to be able to forge a long-term Collective Bargaining Agreement that would have preserved an 82-game Regular Season for our fans. Unfortunately, that did not occur.
"We acknowledge and accept that there is joint responsibility in collective bargaining and, though we are profoundly disappointed that a new agreement has not been attained to this point, we remain committed to achieving an agreement that is fair for the Players and the Clubs -- one that will be good for the game and our fans."
The development follows the NHLPA's rejection of the league's latest contract offer calling for a 50-50 split between players and owners of hockey-related revenue and no pay cuts.
The league has rejected three counterproposals by the NHLPA.
After the league announced the latest round of cancellations, NHL Players Association Executive Director Don Fehr issued a statement saying the owners' latest offer amounted to a "take-it-or-leave-it proposal" and that the owners seem to be saying "if you don't give us exactly what we want, there is no point in talking."
Fehr said the players' offers "moved significantly" toward a 50-50 split, "with the only condition being that they honor contracts they have already signed."
"Honoring contracts signed between owners and players is a reasonable request," he said. "Unfortunately, after considering them for only 10 minutes they rejected all of our proposals."
An NHL cancellation of all games through Nov. 30 brings to 326 the total number of games canceled due to the lockout.
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