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NHL, players head back to bargaining table

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NHL, players head back to bargaining table

The negotiating committees for the NHL and the players’ union are scheduled to meet today in Toronto and this time they are expected to discuss the core economic issues that have delayed the start of the 2012-13 season.

Last week the two sides negotiated secondary issues such as grievance procedures, drug testing and players’ rights to second opinions from the medical community.

“I don’t want to comment on things like that,” Capitals forward Matt Hendricks said. “Just get the thing done and get us back to playing.”

NHL commissioner Gary Bettman and deputy commissioner Bill Daly have met with NHL Players’ Association executive director Don Fehr and his brother, special counsel Steve Fehr, several times since the two exchanged proposals on Sept. 12, three days before the expiration of the old Collective Bargaining Agreement.

Now, the league is seeking a new proposal from the players that can bridge the gap on revenue sharing. The players have offered their share be reduced from 57 percent to as low as 52 percent, based on a 7.1 percent growth in revenue.

The NHL’s proposal begins with the players getting a 47 percent share and gradually rising to 49 percent. It is apparent to everyone on both sides that a 50-50 split in league revenue is the likely to be the end result. It’s how to get there that remains the sticking point.

The owners want immediate salary reductions; the players want the owners to honor all current contracts. The most reasonable compromise would be for players to take a small reduction – say 1 or 2 percent – this season, with gradual rollbacks that achieve the 50-50 split at the end of the five- or six-year deal.   

So, why has more than a month gone by without a single proposal from either side?

“Just the concern that the union will do what its done with our last two offers -- pocket them and ask for more,” Daly told CSNPhilly.com in an email, “which could only lengthen the process, not shorten it.”

“They have an idea where our head is at,” said Steve Fehr, “and maybe we have a good idea where their head is at. Whether an offer is on the table or off the table won’t make as much difference.”

Meanwhile, the NHL is inching closer toward canceling games through the first week of November, pushing back any possibility of the season resuming before mid-November. Players felt the financial sting of the lockout on Monday when they did not receive their first of 13 checks issued every other Monday.

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10 changes that would make the NHL better

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USA TODAY Sports

10 changes that would make the NHL better

Hockey is one of the most incredible, compelling sports in the world. As fun as it is to watch on TV, it is even more compelling in person and fans in North America are treated to the best hockey in the world as played in the NHL.

But the NHL's not perfect.

SEE THE 10 CHANGES THAT WOULD MAKE THE NHL BETTER HERE

Just like every sports league, the NHL is always adjusting and making changes to the game in order to improve it through things like rule changes, expansion, playoff formats, etc.

No sport is perfect and hockey is not without its flaws, but there are a number of clear changes that could be made that would improve both the game and the league.

 SEE THE 10 CHANGES THAT WOULD MAKE THE NHL BETTER HERE

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Brian MacLellan got his day with the Stanley Cup over the weekend

Brian MacLellan got his day with the Stanley Cup over the weekend

Washington Capitals GM Brian MacLellan finally got his day. 

Over the weekend, MacLellan played host to the Stanley Cup, taking it home to his offseason house in Minnesota. 

MacLellan brought the Cup to Powderhorn Park, where a youth hockey tournament was being put on by the Herb Brooks Foundation. 

MacLellean talked with local media about the experience:

"It's a fun day, a fun day to see people react to the Cup," MacLellan told FOX 9 TV. "You know, it brings a lot of smiles to people's faces, people that sometimes don't get a chance to get close to it are getting an opportunity and it's fun to watch them enjoy it."

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