NHL lockout talks end with no progress

Nov. 21, 2012 at 5:44 PM
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NEW YORK, Nov. 21 (UPI) -- NHL owners and players Wednesday broke off contract talks with no new progress toward ending a 2-month-old lockout, Commissioner Gary Bettman said.

Bettman, meeting with reporters at the NHL's New York headquarters, said the two sides remained deadlocked on core economic issues and how to deal with mounting financial losses from the work stoppage.

"We are still far apart. It's frustrating for everybody," the commissioner said.

Canadian broadcaster TSN reported the NHL Players Association made a significant move toward the owners' position by dropping its demand for guarantees or fixed targets for the players' share of hockey-related revenue, or HRR, which last year was more than $3 billion.

But the sides remained deadlocked on "make-whole" provisions meant to cushion the blow from players' share of HRR falling from 57 percent to 50 percent, the Los Angeles Times reported.

"To think our offer will be better as time goes on is not accurate," Bettman said.

No new talks were scheduled.

NHLPA Executive Director Donald Fehr said the players have made major concessions in Wednesday's new proposal.

"We've moved in their direction previously on a couple of the player contracting issues; the rest are very, very, very important to the players," he told the Times.

The league has been without a collective bargaining agreement since Sept. 16 and the league has canceled all scheduled games through Dec. 1, as well as the Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic.

The league is expected to extend the cancellations.

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