Season on brink as NHL negotiations break down
New York, NY, United States (4E Sports) – The NHL and NHL Players’ Association couldn’t come to a resolution in labor negotiations Thursday.
NHL commissioner Gary Bettman and deputy commissioner Bill Daly announced that the offer made to the players in the make-whole provision and other key elements is off the table.
The owners offered to increase its make whole payment to $300 million and maintain the unrestricted free agency eligibility age and salary arbitration requirements.
In return, the owners wanted the players to agree on three other issues: a 10-year CBA, a five-year term limit on individual player contracts and no transition issues — no escrow limits and no compliance buyouts.
Bettman described the offer as a “total package”, which he essentially called a take it or leave it deal.
To those three issues the players countered with proposals of an eight-year CBA that included an option in the sixth year, individual contract limits of eight years and a variance rule that Fehr said addressed the league’s concern of back-diving contracts.
The league rejected the NHLPA’s counteroffer, with Daly calling the individual contract limits as “the hill we will die on”.
“What we got today, quite frankly and disappointingly, missed the mark in all three respects,” Daly said.
Bettman vehemently denied that they were nearing an agreement with the NHLPA and criticized Fehr for suggesting it and creating false hope
He added it was terribly unfair to the fans to say they we’re going to be playing hockey soon.