Donald Fehr, Bettman meet as NHL negotiations resume

8:44 PM, Sep 29, 2012   |    comments
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New York, NY (Sports Network) - NHL commissioner Gary Bettman and Players' Association head Donald Fehr met Saturday as the two sides continue negotiations toward a new collective bargaining agreement.

"I spent a few minutes with Gary talking about the overall situation, and we agreed to keep in touch," Fehr said. "I am sure we will talk again tomorrow. I don't know whether will meet again tomorrow. That remains to be seen.

"I am not going to talk about the specifics, but in general we're trying to discuss how do we find a way to make an agreement. How do we bridge the gap on the major issues that are between us."

The crux of Saturday's discussions revolved around how hockey-related revenue is made up and not the core economic issues that have divided the sides.

"Today was basically on HRR issues, definitions, clarifications and so forth," NHLPA special counsel Steve Fehr said.

"The nature of what we were trying to do today was create certainty on interpretations we've had over seven years of this CBA operation," NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly said.

The league has already canceled the entire preseason, and next week regular- season games are likely to be on the chopping block. The regular season is slated to start Oct. 11.

The owners locked out the players when the previous CBA expired at 11:59 p.m. (ET) on Sept. 15. Friday brought the first formal negotiating session since the lockout began.

Money, specifically revenues earmarked to players, remains at the center of the controversy. Under the expired CBA, players received 57 percent of hockey revenue. Owners reportedly want to reduce that number to as low as 47 percent.

"Their position on the big stuff has been that a major move consists of changing the players' share from a reduction of 24 percent to 17 1/2 percent," Donald Fehr said. "Our initial proposal made a move in their direction. We have amplified that by giving them several different ideas to consider about how to lengthen the agreement to the kind of length more in line with what they wanted. I don't think it's anybody's turn. I think my brother said yesterday, 'it's not a ping-pong match.'"

The Sports Network

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