NHL, players’ union resume negotiations

Fitzgerald Cecilio – 4E Sports Reporter

New York, NY, United States (4E Sports) – The National Hockey League and the National Hockey League Players’ Association have resumed negotiations in a renewed effort to end the labor impasse and salvage a 48-game season.

The NHL earlier received documents from the players’ union in response to the comprehensive proposal presented by the league last week.

League negotiators have spent Monday to review the union’s proposal while the two sides have already started conference calls to discuss various provisions of the CBA offerings at approximately 12 p.m. ET Tuesday.

These conference calls could for most of the afternoon before large-group negotiations begin in the evening.

NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said that for a 48-game season to be played, the “puck needs to drop” by Jan. 19.

The league has already cancelled games through Jan. 14, along with the 2013 NHL All-Star Game. In total, 50.8 percent of the regular-season schedule has been scrapped.

The union made its counter-offer after the league submitted a “comprehensive proposal for a successor CBA”, which includes a revised offer on players’ contracts from five years to six years.

“We are hopeful that once the union’s staff and negotiating committee have had an opportunity to thoroughly review and consider our new proposal, they will share it with the players. We want to be back on the ice as soon as possible,” NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly earlier said in a statement.

According to sources, the league has revised its five-year offer on players’ contracts to six years and seven years if a team is re-signing its own player.

The five-year limit has been a major sticking point with players, who countered Dec. 6 with a willingness to limit deals to eight years.

The new offer also includes year-to-year salary variance moves from 5 percent (NHL’s previous offers) to 10 percent.

Each team will be also allowed one compliance buyout before the 2013-14 season that will not count against the salary cap but will count against the players’ share while the Make Whole provision stays at $300 million.

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