NHL to drop latest proposal when Thursday deadline expires
New York, NY, United States (4E Sports) – The NHL will pull its latest proposal if it receives no positive response from the NHL Players’ Association before Thursday’s deadline expires.
“When we delivered the proposal last Tuesday, we told them it would be on the table through today,” NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly told ESPN.com. “Having not reached agreement through today, I expect that we’ll formally notify the union Friday that the proposal is no longer on the table.”
The union has already rejected league’s latest proposal, which includes a 50/50 revenue split and a provision to “make whole” existing player contracts by using deferred payments.
NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said that if a deal could be in place by Thursday, teams would be able to have a one-week training camp prior to the season opening Nov. 2.
The union responded two days later with a trio of its own offers. However, all three were rejected by the league within 10 minutes.
Daly clarified that he wasn’t threatening the players in any way, but merely underscoring what the league expressed to the NHLPA last week when it delivered the proposal.
“This proposal no longer works because it was a proposal to save 82 games,” Daly said. “We have to re-think where we are, and what type of season we’re looking at, and we have to formulate and construct a proposal that makes sense for the reality of where we are.”
NHLPA executive director Donald Fehr said he was not surprised the league said it would withdraw the offer.
“This is a standard approach. I think it was done in the NBA in the same way,” Fehr said. “It takes two to negotiate. They seem to be really good at imposing deadlines and issuing ultimatums and having lockouts. It seems to be something they’re well-practiced at.”
After withdrawing the proposal, Daly said the NHL will study its next move, including the cancellation of more regular-season games.
“Obviously those decisions are imminent and we’re going to have to do what we have to do,” said Daly.
Sources said the league is expected to announce the cancellation of November games Friday while the shelving of the Winter Classic and All-Star Game could happen next week.