NEW YORK — Labor talks between the NHL and NHL Players’ Association have stalled, making a lockout increasingly likely with the current collective bargaining agreement set to expire Sept. 15.
After three days of discussions this week, the two sides decided to recess Friday after reaching a standoff on the core economic issues. No further talks are scheduled at this time.
The two sides have failed to forge common ground on several fundamental financial issues and could not even agree on who elected to cease negotiations.
NHLPA executive director Donald Fehr said the owners elected to recess, while NHL commissioner Gary Bettman disputed that claim.
“That’s an unfair and inaccurate characterization,” Bettman said.
The impasse resulted after discussions Friday, when the NHLPA responded to the league’s counterproposal submitted earlier this week. While the league’s latest offer featured concessions — however, the two sides disagree on the significance — it still proposes a decreased share of revenue for the players. The players do not want to entertain any offer that requires them to make any “absolute further reduction in their aggregate salaries,” whether it be through rollbacks or via escrow.
Source: ESPN, Katie Strang