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NHL, NHLPA no closer to agreement after Friday meeting, no plans to meet again

Bettman and Fehr

Today’s CBA negotiations in New York City between the NHL and NHLPA resulted in little, if any, progress.

In fact, they may have only served to ratchet up the rhetoric between the two sides.

According to union chief Donald Fehr, the players’ counter-proposal that was presented to the owners “did not bear fruit” and that “at this point, the talks are recessed.”

When recess will be over is unclear. The current agreement expires on Sept. 15, after which the league has said it will lock out the players.

“What I thought was a promising week ended with disappointment,” said NHL commissioner Gary Bettman.

Bettman accused the NHLPA of focusing too much on revenue sharing instead of what the owners are paying out to the players.

Another point of contention is the length of the CBA. The NHL wants a six-year deal; the NHLPA wants four, with the fourth year snapping back to the current split of 57 percent of revenue going to the players.

Fehr said he’d be willing to reconvene talks over the weekend and that it was the owners that cut off today’s meeting.

However, Bettman denied it was the owners who recessed the meetings and said the league was “stonewalled” by the union today.

Bettman also said a deal will be harder to make once the CBA expires and that there “doesn’t seem to be a rush” from the union to reach an agreement.

“I wish I had better news everybody,” said Bettman. “Have a good day.”