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Bettman on NHLPA proposal: “The sides are far apart and have different views of the world”


On Tuesday, there was optimism after the NHLPA submitted its CBA proposal to the owners.

On Wednesday, that optimism might’ve been dashed.

Following a two-hour meeting to discuss and analyze the union’s collective bargaining ideas, NHL commissioner Gary Bettman offered a stark view of negotiations.

“The sides are far apart and have different views of the world,” Bettman said. “There is still a wide gap between us with not much time to go.

“It takes two sides to make a deal, two sides to negotiate and two sides to make it go bad.”

Canadian Press reporter Chris Johnston was on hand in Toronto and tweeted a pair of updates:

Gary Bettman says he’s disappointed that the league still doesn’t have a full proposal from the NHLPA. Says a “wide gap” remains.

— Chris Johnston (@reporterchris) August 15, 2012

Bettman and Fehr won’t meet again until next Wednesday. Time is of the essence and the commissioner made it clear there’s much work to do.

— Chris Johnston (@reporterchris) August 15, 2012

It appears one of Bettman’s biggest issues is the players’ proposal wasn’t a response (Donald Fehr himself classified it as a “alternative view”) and didn’t address specific issues -- namely contractual ones.

Here’s video of Bettman:

One of the key points in the owners’ original offer was a reduced length of contract years and an increase in service before a player would hit unrestricted free agency. The NHLPA proposal suggested no change from the current format.

Another huge issue is timing. The current CBA is set to expire in 31 days and, according to TSN’s Sara Orlesky, there will only be sub-committee and NHLPA regional meetings before Bettman and Fehr meet again next Wednesday.

Tick, tick, tick, tick, tick....


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