Marianne Helm

NHL lockout is over!

Talks broke down on Thursday, but the tireless efforts of federal mediator Scot Beckenbaugh have brought talks back on the rails.

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316 Total Updates since October 13, 2011
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NHL lockout finally ends

The NHL and NHLPA have come to terms on a new collective bargaining agreement, which will effectively end the lockout.


NHL, NHLPA make "slow progress" as talks continue

The league and union continue to meet well into the early hours on Sunday.


CBA talks continue into late Saturday night

Negotiations between the NHL and NHLPA are ongoing Saturday as the sides are tantalizingly close to securing a shortened NHL season but have final details to work out first.


NHL, NHLPA meet again as optimism grows

Federal mediator Scot Beckenbaugh has brought the NHL and NHLPA face-to-face after spending much of the last 24 hours searching for common ground on remaining issues.


Lockout mediator works streets, board rooms

It appears as though mediator Scot Beckenbaugh is helping CBA talks move along, and he spent much of his time shuttling through the cold NYC streets to do so Friday.


NHLPA again looks for authority to dissolve union

The NHLPA will again look for the authority to dissolve their union.


No disclaim: Why the NHL wants to preserve NHLPA

What happens when a league has bludgeoned its players' association nearly to death? Why, it must use the courts to save the union, of course.


NHL, NHLPA to resume talks Thursday

CBA talks will resume Thursday morning in New York.


NHLPA still at bargaining table as deadline passes

Don Fehr is still at the bargaining table, representing his players following the NHLPA's deadline to file a disclaimer of interest.


NHLPA tables counter-proposal to NHL

The NHLPA has tabled a counter proposal to the NHL's most recent collective bargaining proposal.


NHL waiting for NHLPA response

The NHL is waiting for the NHLPA to respond to their most recent collect bargaining proposal.


NHLPA expected to present counter-offer

The NHL Players Association is expected to table a counterproposal to the NHL on Monday afternoon during face-to-face negotiations.


NHL Lockout: League, players plan conference call

The two sides are set to come together over conference call in ongoing negotiations.


NHL Lockout: Jan. 11 is drop-dead date

The NHL reportedly has a drop-dead date of Jan. 11 to come to terms on a new collective bargaining agreement with the NHL Players Association.


NHL makes new CBA offer

The NHL has made another CBA offer, making positive movement on all previous positions. Could it lead to the end of the lockout?


NHLPA votes in favor of disclaimer of interest

The NHLPA has overwhelmingly voted in favor of allowing the executive board to file a disclaimer of interest.


NHL cancels games through mid-January

The NHL announced Thursday that all games through mid-January have been canceled.


Daly: 'Yes,' there will be an NHL season

Bill Daly may have shown the NHL's hand a bit on Wednesday, saying there will be a 2012-13 season.


Daly implies date for cancelation of NHL season

Bill Daly stated in a radio interview on Wednesday that the NHL has a drop-dead date to cancel the 2012-13 NHL season around mid-January.


Sidney Crosby not making Europe plans yet

Sidney Crosby has not yet made a decision on whether he will sign overseas while waiting for the NHL lockout to end. However, he plans on making that decision by early January if a new collective bargaining agreement is not in place.


NHL's reputation worse than BP after oil spill

The NHL will have a major image problem once it finally ends the lockout.


Pens calendar wallpaper is sad, sponsored

It's just like August!


NHLPA: League lawsuit 'without merit'

In utterly shocking news, the NHL and NHLPA disagree about this whole lawsuit thing.


NHL lawsuit says players negotiating in bad faith

The NHL has filed a lawsuit hoping to preserve the legality of the ongoing lockout. It's a preemptive move after news leaked that the NHLPA is considering the option of dissolving their union.


NHLPA moves closer to disclaimer of interest

The executive board of the NHLPA has passed a vote, which will allow the players to determine whether the union will pursue a disclaimer of interest.


Obama chimes in on NHL lockout

President Obama talked about the NHL lockout. He didn't say much, but he talked about the lockout!


Is this the NHL or Congress?

Flip on CNN lately? You might find that the discussion about the "fiscal cliff" feels a whole lot like the NHL lockout.


NHL/NHLPA meet with mediators

The NHL and NHLPA met at an undisclosed location on Wednesday with federal mediatiors.


Think Bettman's bad? You don't know Gil Stein

For many reasons, NHL fans can't stand Gary Bettman. Incredibly, his immediate predecessor was worse.


NBA lessons for the NHL lockout

It's all rather tedious for NHL fans, but the NBA went through this last year and they still had a season.


NHL cancels games through Dec. 30

The NHL has officially canceled games through Dec. 30.


NHL to reportedly ax games through Dec. 30

The NHL will cancel games through Dec. 30 as the long lockout marches along with no end in sight.


NHLPA may see split between stars, others

With the lockout posing more of a financial challenge for some players than others, the NHLPA may see a split in the ranks.


NHL governor 'can't believe' lockout isn't over

One member of the NHL's Board of Governors seems to think there's no reason for the lockout to continue.


Four NHL owners speak

Hear from four NHL owners after lockout talks go south.


CBA talks explode into pieces

One side thought it was a negotiation. The other did not. And that's how we're back to an apparent Square One in NHL lockout talks.


NHL shoots down proposal -- via voicemail

Nearly immediately after its announcement, the NHL shot down a union proposal. They apparently did it via voicemail.


NHLPA proposal to draw deal closer?

Despite a mountain of rhetoric on Thursday, the NHLPA put forth a new CBA proposal, and it appears the sides are closer than they've ever been.


NHLPA requests federal mediation ... again

The NHLPA has reportedly asked for federal mediators to be reintroduced into the negotiations with the NHL.


Tensions rise in CBA talks

Gary Bettman and Donald Fehr will be in the room when CBA talks resume Thursday. Tensions are high.


NHL lockout negotiations in 'delicate' phase

The NHL lockout could be ending in the very near future, but the marathon negotiations have reached a very delicate phase, according to multiple reports.


Owners make proposal, details leak

Details of the NHL's latest CBA proposal leaked early Thursday.


Another marathon day of CBA talks

Wednesday was another marathon day of CBA talks, with little divulged in about nine hours of meetings between owners and players. Lots of podium face time, though.


The many faces of the NHL podium

The NHL has a new celebrity. It's an inanimate object.


NHL, NHLPA trading proposals, actually negotiating

The NHL and NHLPA have exchanged proposals on Wednesday in the first true negotiations of the lockout.


Lockout optimism reaches all-time high

Another day of talks is scheduled after the NHL updated the Board of Governors on Wednesday morning.


NHL, NHLPA granted adjournment by labor board

The NHL and NHL Players Association received an adjournment by the Quebec Labour Board on Wednesday, which will suspend their scheduled meeting on Thursday and Friday. This will allow the two sides to continue CBA negotiations through the week.


CBA meetings wrap: 'Might be best day we've had'

Owners and players met for nearly nine hours on Tuesday. It was characterized as perhaps the "best day" of CBA talks so far.


NHL lockout 2012: 18 players to meet with 6 owners

The NHLPA announced that 18 players will be meeting with six owners on Tuesday as part of a players/owners meeting.


Ovi's change of heart

Alex Ovechkin threatened to stay in the KHL. He's changed his tune.


3 possible outcomes for players, owners meeting

There are three possible outcomes for this week's NHL CBA meeting without Gary Bettman and Donald Fehr. The most likely is the one that's all too familiar.


Players, owners to meet without Bettman, Fehr

Players and owners will meet face-to-face this week without Gary Bettman and Donald Fehr.


Could James Dolan settle the NHL lockout?

James Dolan was key in negotiating an end to the NBA lockout, and reportedly believes he can do the same for the NHL.


NHL, NHLPA mediated negotiations already over

The mediation process between the NHL and NHLPA lasted two days before it was ruled unsuccessful.


NHL, NHLPA to meet with mediators again Thursday

The NHL and NHLPA met on Wednesday for the first of a series of meetings with federal mediators.


Obvious rift between NHL owners

It's pretty obvious that there's a rift in the NHL's Board of Governors.


Mediators to get involved with lockout talks

Government mediators will finally get involved in NHL CBA talks.


Where does the lockout script end?

Judging by its reluctance to seriously negotiate, the NHL owners have a scripted date or milestone in mind when they'll stop demanding the world or else. Is that date this season? Can that milestone come with NHLPA decertification?


More cancellations for NHL

The NHL officially announced the cancellation of the 2013 All-Star Game on Friday afternoon, in addition to all regular season games through Dec. 14. The cancellations are due to the ongoing collective bargaining negotiations between the NHL and NHL Players Association.

The All-Star Game was scheduled to be held at Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio on Jan. 27, 2013. In addition to the game, the league will also be canceling the weekend's worth of events, including the annual skills competition and player draft. This was going to be the first time that the Columbus Blue Jackets franchise has ever hosted the event.

In the official announcement, NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly stated that the league will work to return the All-Star Game to Columbus as quickly as possible.

With Friday's announcement, the NHL has now canceled 423 regular season games including the 2013 Winter Classic, which was going to be played between the Detroit Red Wings and Toronto Maple Leafs at Michigan Stadium.

As of Friday afternoon, the NHL insists a significant gap still remains between the owners and players union on the terms of a new collective bargaining agreement.


Hamrlik not happy with Fehr, NHLPA leadership

Roman Hamrlik is sick of the lockout and he's taking out his frustrations on NHLPA chief Don Fehr.


No progress in CBA talks; NHLPA steps up rhetoric

The NHL summarily dismissed the NHLPA's offer on Wednesday, stating that it was not enough to get a deal done. The lockout continues.


NHL expected to cancel All-Star Game

Black Friday will be a dark day for NHL fans this year, as the league is expected to cancel the 2013 NHL All-Star Game on Friday.


NHLPA: We've made significant movement

The NHLPA says they've made significant movement on core economics. Will the NHL agree?


NHLPA to plan economic proposal?

The NHL wants the NHLPA to present a proposal on core economic issues, and it looks as though the union will meet internally Tuesday to discuss doing just that.


League, union to meet again Tuesday

The NHL and NHLPA will meet again Tuesday, and it's the league's hope that a union proposal will be put on the table.


NHL players, owners to meet on Monday

A small group of representatives, from both sides of the dispute, are expected to meet despite commissioner Gary Bettman's suggestion of a moratorium on talks.


Bettman suggest 2 week break in NHL labor talks

Recommendation for two-week hiatus comes after negotiations stall.


Bill Daly pours pessimism on negotiations

NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly's words Thursday confirmed every hockey fan's biggest fear: this lockout is going nowhere, fast.


No CBA in next 7 days could have dire consequences

The NHL is set to cancel all games through Dec. 15 if a new deal is not reached in the next week, with the entire season likely being canceled next.


NHL lockout: federal mediator would work for free

The judge that presided over the negotiations between the NFL and NFLPA has stated he'd work for free in order to save the NHL season.


Mark Recchi advises players to sign CBA

Retired NHL player Mark Recchi, who's currently a minor league hockey owner, is advising players to quickly agree to a new CBA.


NHL lockout 2012: No talks scheduled Tuesday

After a week of meetings, the NHL and NHLPA will not meet on Tuesday, according to a report.


Ovechkin on CBA: 'Hahaha Whata clowns!!!"

Ovi sticking it to the NHL after the latest contract setback with the players.


NHL lockout: Momentum lost as frustrations rise

Representatives of the NHL and NHLPA appeared to be doing so well in negotiating an end to the lockout and a new CBA. Friday, all those gains may have been lost as tensions rose across the bargaining table.


Gary Bettman on negotiations: 'We're working hard'

NHL commissioner Gary Bettman spoke briefly after collective bargaining agreement negotiations on Thursday.


NHL, players to resume negotiations on Friday

After the NHL Players' Association made two offers on Wednesday, the sides have remained quiet publicly and will resume negotiations on Friday.


NHLPA reportedly submits new offers

The NHL Players Association reportedly submitted new offers on revenue sharing and the "make whole" provision.


Crucial NHL lockout talks continue Thursday

It's another important day in NHL lockout negotiations as the players and owners take up the contentious 'Make Whole' provision.


CBA talks go long again Wednesday

The NHL and the NHLPA spent another five and a half hours speaking on Wednesday in New York, and they'll meet again on Thursday.


NHL, NHLPA to meet again on Wednesday

With the league and the players unable to come to an agreement, talks will continue again Wednesday.


CBA talks expected to run late into the night

Talks between the NHL and NHLPA are expected to go late into the night on Tuesday.


NHL lockout: Don Fehr speaks before meeting

NHL Players' Association executive director Donald Fehr said meeting will focus on 'issues that divide' league and union.


NHL is better off than 4 years ago

There's ANOTHER lockout in the NHL and public opinion is at its lowest point in years, but all things considered, it's tough to argue that the league hasn't grown over the last four years.


NHL lockout: Sides resume talks Tuesday

After months of stagnation, CBA negotiations may finally be picking up steam in the NHL.


Optimism returns to NHL CBA talks

NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly and NHLPA general counsel Steve Fehr had a productive negotiating session over the weekend.


Bill Daly, Steve Fehr set to meet

NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly and NHLPA special counsel Steve Fehr are reportedly meeting Saturday.


NHL amends 'make whole' provision

The NHL has amended its "make whole" provision, long considered a sticking point in negotiations to end the lockout.


Refund policy for 2013 Winter Classic

The NHL has announced the refund policy for the 2013 Winter Classic, which was canceled on Friday.


'Next' Winter Classic to be held in Detroit

The 2014 Winter Classic will be hosted by the Detroit Red Wings at the University of Michigan's football stadium, just as it was supposed to be in 2013.


Report: Winter Classic canceled

The 2013 Winter Classic will be canceled on Friday.


NHL, NHLPA to resume negotiations soon

The NHL and NHLPA have agreed to schedule more negotiation dates.


Report: NHL tells sponsors Winter Classic is off

The NHL is informing sponsors of the 2013 Winter Classic that it will be canceling the event on Friday, according to a report.


Canceling Winter Classic? A hasty, stupid move

The 2013 Winter Classic could hit the history books Friday as the NHL makes what would be an incredibly hasty, stupid decision.


NHL lockout: Mediator not on the horizon

Neither the NHL nor the NHL Players' Association has pushed hard for a mediator to be involved in the lockout discussions.


NHL will not cancel Winter Classic on Thursday

The NHL will not be canceling the 2013 Winter Classic on Thursday.


Phoenix Coyotes lay off employee due to lockout

The Phoenix Coyotes relieved their media relations manager due to the lockout.


NHL, NHLPA ponder next moves

The NHL and NHLPA are considering their next moves in the collective bargaining negotiations.


NHL to cancel Winter Classic on Thursday: report

The NHL will cancel the 2013 Winter Classic on Thursday, according to a report.


Hurricane Sandy's impact on the NHL lockout

Hurricane Sandy has forced the closure of the NHL's offices in New York. Will this impact the NHL lockout?


Donald Fehr rips the NHL

NHL Players Association executive director Donald Fehr expressed his frustration with the NHL following the league's official announcement that all regular season games through Nov. 30 had been canceled on Friday.

Fehr acknowledged that the announcement came as no surprise given the NHLPA's rejection of the owners most recent collective bargaining proposal, which contained a 50/50 split of hockey related revenue with no salary rollbacks.

However, he made it clear that the NHLPA is not happy about the way the league has decided to negotiate throughout this process, labeling their most recent deal as a 'take-it-or-leave-it' proposal. He added that when the players made a counterproposal with three separate deals that all worked down to a 50/50 split, the league dismissed them after 10 minutes of the presentation.

He continued by discussing the players willingness to meet and negotiate without any pre-conditions. Fehr's conclusion is that the owners believe there is no point in talking unless they get everything they want. As of this time there are no future negotiations scheduled but Fehr hoped the two sides would meet soon.

Here is his full statement, via the NHLPA's official website:

"The league officially informed us today that they have withdrawn its latest proposal and have cancelled another slate of regular season games. This is deeply disappointing for all hockey fans and everyone who makes their living from hockey, including the players. But it comes as no surprise.

Last week the owners gave us what amounts to a "take-it-or-leave-it" proposal. We responded with the framework for three proposals on the players' share, each of which moved significantly, towards their stated desire for a 50-50 split of HRR, with the only condition being that they honour contracts they have already signed. Honouring contracts signed between owners and players is a reasonable request. Unfortunately, after considering them for only 10 minutes they rejected all of our proposals.

Since then, we have repeatedly advised the owners that the players are prepared to sit down and negotiate on any day, with no pre-conditions. The owners refused. They apparently are only interested in meeting if we first agree to everything in their last offer, except for perhaps a few minor tweaks and discussion of their "make whole" provision.

The message from the owners seems to be: if you don't give us exactly what we want, there is no point in talking. They have shown they are very good at delivering deadlines and demands, but we need a willing partner to negotiate. We hope they return to the table in order to get the players back on the ice soon."


NHL officially cancels games through Nov. 30

The NHL has officially announced the cancellation of all regular season games through Nov. 30 due to the ongoing collective bargaining negotiations with the NHL Players Association.

The announcement was merely a formality as it was clear the league would cancel more of the schedule when the NHLPA failed to accept the league's most recent proposal prior to Thursday's deadline. The deal, which included a 50-50 split of hockey-related revenue with no salary rollbacks, has since been withdrawn by the league.

NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly stated that the withdrawal of the proposal was not a negotiation tactic because the offer was made in the hope of playing a condensed 82-game schedule, which would have started on Nov. 2. However, reports have stated that not all of the owners agreed with the most recent proposal and wanted to change it.

With this most recent cancelation, the league will lose a total of 326 regular season games (26.5 percent of the schedule) from Oct. 11 through Nov. 30.

Now it seems unlikely that an 82-game schedule can be played this year, according to Daly's statement on Friday:

"The National Hockey League deeply regrets having to take this action. By presenting a proposal to the NHLPA that contemplated a fair division of revenues and was responsive to Player concerns regarding the value of their contracts, we had hoped to be able to forge a long-term Collective Bargaining Agreement that would have preserved an 82-game Regular Season for our fans. Unfortunately, that did not occur.

"We acknowledge and accept that there is joint responsibility in collective bargaining and, though we are profoundly disappointed that a new agreement has not been attained to this point, we remain committed to achieving an agreement that is fair for the Players and the Clubs – one that will be good for the game and our fans."


Winter Classic cancellation next week?

The Winter Classic could be on the chopping block next week.


Winter Classic next to be cut

The NHL could cancel the Winter Classic as early as next week.


NHL expected to cancel more games

The NHL informed teams on Friday that the league has canceled all games through Nov. 30 due to the ongoing collective bargaining negotiations with the NHL Players Association, according to a report by Elliote Friedman of CBC.

This announcement is expected later on Friday as the league is likely to cancel more games following the NHLPA's decision to reject their most recent proposal, which was presented last Tuesday. The league proposed a new collective bargaining agreement that contained a 50/50 split of hockey-related revenue with no salary rollbacks.

The NHL expressed that the proposal was made in the hopes of fitting in a condensed 82-game season for the 2012-13 year. This meant that a deadline was set for this past Thursday for the players to accept the deal.

Now that the deadline has passed, the NHL has formally withdrawn the proposal.

The NHL All-Star Game will not be canceled as part of this set of cuts, according to NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly. However, some have reported that the All-Star Game and the Winter Classic could potentially be canceled as early as next week if no progress is made in negotiations.


Anonymous NHL exec talks lockout on Reddit

An anonymous team executive discussed the NHL lockout on Reddit Wednesday, offering unique insight into the owners' side of the ongoing negotiations.


NHL to pull proposal

The NHL will pull their most recent proposal to the NHLPA after the Thursday deadline passes.


Bettman: 82-game NHL season unlikely

Gary Bettman doesn't like the chances of an 82-game NHL season in 2012-13.


NHLPA reportedly requests meeting with league

The NHLPA wants to meet with the league, but it seems unlikely that one will happen.


NHL looking to negotiate off last offer to union

The NHL owners are reportedly looking to end the lockout imminently, but want to negotiate off their last proposal to the union.


NHLPA displeased about 48-hour grace period

The NHL allowed its constituency to contact their players during a 48 hour grace period last week. However, they failed to notify the NHLPA, which has left them displeased.


Odds on when the lockout will end

Bovada has set the odds for when the NHL lockout will end.


Ovechkin may stay in Russia if CBA is unfavorable

Washington Capitals star Alex Ovechkin said over the weekend that he would consider staying in Russia if the new NHL CBA is too unfavorable for the players.


One side says NHL may have CBA frame in place

Nothing's been signed yet, but the NHL's deputy commissioner said the framework for a new CBA may be in place Sunday.


Winter Classic deadline set for Nov. 20

The NHL will have to determine by Nov. 20 whether they will hold the 2013 Winter Classic, according to a report.


NHL cancels more games, but is that a bad thing?

The NHL has canceled games through the month of October, but that's not necessarily a bad thing.


NHL officially cancels schedule through Nov. 1

The NHL officially announced on Friday afternoon that the league has cancelled the regular season schedule through Nov. 1 due to the ongoing collective bargaining negotiations with the NHL Players Association. A total of 135 games were scheduled over that span.

Despite the announcement, the league is reportedly still optimistic that a condensed 82-game schedule starting on Nov. 2 can still be played. According to previous reports, as long as a new collective bargaining agreement is ratified by Thursday, Oct. 25, the NHL could fit in the entirety of the 82-game schedule.

However, that would require for both the NHL and NHLPA to come to terms on an agreement within a week, which may be difficult based upon the quality of negotiations on Thursday. After the NHL presented a new proposal on Tuesday, which included a 50/50 split of hockey related revenue, the NHLPA countered with three separate proposals on Thursday that the NHL negatively responded to.

Despite the lack of optimism by both sides, there are still some who think the two sides are gradually getting closer to a new deal.

As of this time, no future meetings have been announced.


Ryan Miller optimistic about CBA

Ryan Miller is optimistic that the NHL and NHLPA are closer to a new CBA than they appear.


NHL to cancel more games, still hope for 82 games

The NHL is expected to cancel all games through Nov. 1, but is still hopeful that a condensed 82 game schedule can be played.


Crosby not optimistic after union offers rejected

The face of the NHL, Sidney Crosby, sharply criticized the league's owners for their quick rejection of three new proposed deals from the union.


Video: Donald Fehr talks about latest proposal

Negotiations between the NHL and the NHL Players' Association continued Thursday and despite the league making what it believes is its best proposal yet, NHLPA executive director Donald Fehr said the owners apparently don't want to make a deal.

Fehr, who spoke to the media for nearly a half hour following the negotiations, was critical of not only the latest offer, but also the NHL's negotiation tactics. During his press conference, which can be seen in its entirety below, Fehr said the owners don't analyze or discuss counter proposals and instead take less than 10 minutes to reject them entirely.

Fehr also criticized the owners for waiting until four weeks into the lockout to make their best proposal. Fehr said the owners are trying to take back any concessions the players received in the last negotiation and give off the vibe that unless the NHLPA is ready to agree to the current offer, with very few tweaks, they aren't interested in negotiating.

Fehr summed up the day's negotiations bluntly, saying, "today is not a good day."


League calls NHLPA's 50/50 deal into question

Deputy commissioner Bill Daly released a statement saying the NHL Players' Association's proposal for a 50-50 revenue split is not actually an even deal.


Bettman 'disappointed' with NHLPA offers

The NHL commissioner is disappointed with the proposals outlined by the NHLPA on Thursday.


NHLPA presents NHL with 4 CBA offers

The NHLPA has proposed four different CBA solutions Thursday, and all called for a "gradual" decrease to a 50/50 revenue split.


18 players on hand for Thursday lockout talks

The NHLPA will have 18 player on hand for Thursday's negotiations, which are expected to include a counter-proposal to the owners' latest offer.


Fate of more NHL games hinge on Thursday CBA talks

If CBA talks go south on Thursday, the optimism of the last several days will evaporate, and more hockey games will likely go with it.


NHL lockout 2012: NHLPA counter-proposal expected

The NHLPA is expected to make a counter-proposal to the league during a scheduled meeting on Thursday.


The remaining sticking points in NHL CBA talks

There are still a few big financial sticking points remaining in CBA talks between the league and the NHLPA.


Fehr: Owners' proposal still asks too much

Donald Fehr sent a letter to the NHLPA membership on Tuesday, outlining his take on the NHL's new CBA proposal.


NHL proposes new salary cap requirements

The newest salary cap offer would lower the current cap and set a floor below $44 million.


Further details on latest NHL proposal

Further details about the NHL's latest collective bargaining proposal were leaked by Darren Dreger and Bob McKenzie on Tuesday night.


The NHLPA hasn't responded to the NHL proposal

A response to the NHL's latest CBA proposal is expected from the players association within the next couple of days.


NHL will allow teams to spend up to $70 million

In a last-ditch attempt to preserve an 82-game season, the league has sweetened their 50-50 revenue split deal by allowing teams to spend up to $70 million in 2012 as a part of transition rules.


NHL fans don't care who wins lockout PR battle

It doesn't matter who wins the lockout PR battle. Not according to fans, at least.


Wade Redden rule part of owners proposal

The NHL reportedly included a clause in its most recent proposal that would eliminate teams burying bad contracts in the AHL.


NHL offer cuts contract length, keeps arbitration

Tuesday's offer from the NHL will cut long-term contracts, extend free agency and keep salary arbitration in tact.


Hope in NHL lockout talks as owners offer progress

The NHL offered progress in CBA talks Tuesday, offering a 50/50 split in revenues and hope for an 82-game season. The NHLPA will look over the offer and get back to the league in the coming days.


Frank Luntz responds after focus group leaks

Frank Luntz has issued a public statement in response to the leak of a NHL focus group that has set the hockey world on fire. Earlier on Monday Deadspin reported on a leak from a Luntz Global focus group that was spearheaded by the NHL and the owners, to better determine how to direct the league's public relations strategies moving forward.

The leak exposed what was an obvious attempt by the league to determine what the best method would be to sway public opinion away from the players and back on the side of the owners, by figuring out exactly what fans would like to hear from the league.

The NHL and NHLPA are currently locked in a stalemate in the current CBA negotations, with fan and media opinion firmly on the side of the players. Many see the NHL as unnecessarily proceeding with the lockout at a time when revenues were reported to be at an all-time high. The NHL, per the focus group, is apparently gearing up for an attempt to pull that opinion back onto the league's side by trying to paint the union, and not the players, as the reason the lockout continues.

Here is the statement from Frank Luntz, released via his Twitter feed:

Material from a focus group I conducted was made public earlier today in an attempt to discredit efforts by the NHL to reach an agreement with the players on a new Collective Bargaining Agreement.

The research was no different from what I and others in my field have done for sports steams, sports leagues, and players' unions for many, many years.

The objective: to understand exactly what fans think and precisely what they want. In this case, the fans were very clear: they want the teams and the union to reach an agreement quickly so that they can get the hockey they want and deserve.

The NHL and NHLPA are set to resume negotiations on Tuesday in Toronto, although it is not expected that core economic issues will be discussed.


NHL owners bring in PR strategist

The NHL's owners are trying to re-shape public opinion with the help of PR strategist Frank Luntz.


NHL could cancel larger block this week

The NHL is expected to cancel a much larger block of regular season games sometime this week, according to Darren Dreger of TSN. With the NHL and NHL Players Association still separated on several key issues, a resolution to the labor dispute does not appear to be coming in the near future. With their arenas left open during that time, owners will look to book other events in the place of missed games.

The league announced the cancellation of the first two weeks of the regular season on Oct. 4, which totaled 82 games lost. However, its unclear as to whether the games were cancelled or postponed, meaning that they potentially could be made up at a later date. According to NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly, the league has lost upwards of $240 million due to the cancellations. The players are also losing money as they were scheduled to receive the first of 13 paychecks on Monday.

If the league remains consistent with past actions, the cancellation could come on Thursday afternoon as both the cancellation of the preseason and first block of games came on Thursdays.


NHL, NHLPA to meet Tuesday

The NHL and NHLPA are scheduled to resume talks on Tuesday in Toronto.


Sergei Gonchar suggests players may stay in Russia

Sergei Gonchar thinks that Alex Ovechkin, Ilya Kovalchuk or Pavel Datsyuk might want to stay in Russia and play for the KHL, even when the NHL resumes play. For his part, Gonchar says he will return to the Senators.


Tournée des Joueurs has sparse crowd Thursday

The Tournée des Joueurs had a less-than-stellar turnout on Thursday night.


Secret deadline to end lockout?

Sidney Crosby addresses the rumor that the NHL has a secret deadline in November to end the lockout.


NHLPA steps up posturing as lockout continues

As the NHL lockout nears one full month there are growing concerns regarding an NHLPA special weapon, as well as whether some Russian players will return to the NHL once a CBA agreement is finally reached.


No progress made between NHL and NHLPA

The NHL and NHLPA met on Wednesday on two separate sessions, yet no significant progress was noted as neither side chose to discuss the key economic issues at the heart of the lockout.

While Donald Fehr, Gary Bettman and Bill Daly met briefly this morning, none of the three were present during the afternoon negotiations. With Steve Fehr leading the NHLPA, along with several player representatives, the two sides discussed further health and safety issues as well as improving ice conditions.

Earlier Wednesday, the Alberta Labour Relations Board had ruled that no decision could be made against the NHL, as the NHLPA sought to block the lockout of players under contract to the Calgary Flames and Edmonton Oilers.

Per TSN's Darren Dreger: "I'm told Alberta Labour board viewed this case as a distraction to ongoing negotiations."

Neither the NHL nor the NHLPA has made an actual proposal since the lockout began on Sept. 15, with both sides refusing to be the first to budge on the core economics that led to the work stoppage.

The NHL has canceled the NHL schedule through the end of October, with further cancellations expected soon.


Alberta Labour Relations Board rules for NHL

The Alberta Labour Relations Board has ruled in favor of the NHL and against the NHLPA on Wednesday, stating that the league's lockout is lawful in Alberta, according to an ALRB release.

The NHLPA had filed with the Alberta board under the claim that the lockout of players with the Calgary Flames and Edmonton Oilers violated Alberta labor laws, and that the players should be allowed to use team facilities and equipment. The NHL, meanwhile, claimed that the Relations Board has no jurisdiction to regulate between the league and the teams in Alberta and should not be allowed to intervene in the lockout.

The Board ruled in favor of the league, stating that the NHL and NHLPA never established which jurisdiction's laws apply to teams in Canada and that -- since both sides have mostly relied on US legislation -- the board decided it could not intervene in this case.

The NHL's deputy commissioner praised the decision in a released statement Wednesday afternoon.

"We are pleased with the Alberta Labour Board's ruling today that the lockout of Players is effective on a League-wide basis, including in Alberta, and we are extremely appreciative of the decisive manner in which the matter was handled.

"We are hopeful that this ruling will enable both the League and the NHL Players' Association to focus all of our efforts and energies on negotiating a new Collective Bargaining Agreement in order to get our game and our Players back on the ice."

This is the second failed attempt by the NHLPA to use Canadian jurisdiction to block the lockout. The union had previously filed in Quebec.


NHL, NHLPA meet on how to take more of your money

The NHL is viewing these CBA negotiations in selfish terms. The NHLPA is viewing them in selfish terms. It's high time you do the same.


NHL season could reportedly start by mid-November

According to a report by Rob Simpson, the NHL season could begin as early as mid-November. According to a source that Simpson says is close to the owners, negotiations could move quickly after "a little grandstanding for show, thrown in for another 2 weeks or so."

The NHL has been in a lockout since mid-September, and announced recently that the first two weeks of the season have been cancelled. The league and the NHLPA will hold discussions on Wednesday and Thursday of this week, though revenue split issues are not expected to be a topic of conversation.

A whole host of NHL players -- including stars like Joe Thornton and active union members like Henrik Zetterberg -- have signed with teams across Europe to stay fresh and employed as the lockout drags on.

The big date on the horizon for the NHL is the Winter Classic on New Year's Day, which is annually one of the biggest events in the league. This year, the Winter Classic is slated to be played in Ann Arbor, Mich. with the Detroit Red Wings facing the Toronto Maple Leafs, but there has been growing concern recently that the league will not resume in time to play the game.


Fehr: Players could fight salary cap

The NHLPA might fight the idea of a salary cap in the NHL, according to their chief, Donald Fehr.


Many fearing 2013 Winter Classic now in jeopardy

NHL staff have no future plans to visit Ann Arbor, making many fearful that the ongoing NHL lockout is threatening the 2013 Winter Classic.


Zetterberg: 'Russians will probably stay (in KHL)'

Detroit Red Wings center Henrik Zetterberg thinks Russian players will remain in their home country for at least the remainder of the season, even if the NHL lockout ends before that, according to MLive's Ansar Khan.

Zetterberg, who recently signed with Swiss club Ev Zug, has every intention of returning to the NHL once the lockout is over. However, he wouldn't say the same of the Russian players, who seem to be more welcomed in the KHL.

"I know for a fact Russians will probably stay. I can't blame them either. The Russian league treats players a different way. For them to play in their home country and not have these disputes every other year ... and they honor the contracts over there. If you sign a deal, that's the deal you get.''

The Red Wings star went on to say that players won't hesitate to look for other places to play if the NHL doesn't want them. It could be only a matter of time before that happens, as a settlement between the league and the NHLPA does not appear likely to happen anytime in the near future.

Zetterberg is the second notable player to recently comment on the possibility of the Russian players staying in the KHL, as Philadelphia Flyers goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov uttered similar remarks over the weekend.


Ilya Bryzgalov says players could remain in KHL

Ilya Bryzgalov says that many players could decide to remain playing in front of their friends and families in the KHL, even after the NHL lockout is resolved.


NHL, NHLPA meet in Toronto

The NHL and NHL Players Association held an unannounced meeting in Toronto on Friday afternoon, according to John Shannon of SportsNet.

NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly confirmed the meeting occurred but declined further comment. The meeting reportedly took place between Daly, NHL commissioner Gary Bettman, NHLPA executive director Donald Fehr and his brother Steve. According to Pierre LeBrun of ESPN, the two sides are expected to be in contact over the weekend.

This meeting comes only one day after the NHL announced the cancelation of all regular season games from Oct. 11 to Oct. 24. The cancellation of games was described as necessary by the league because of the absence of a new collective bargaining agreement with the NHLPA. However, Fehr contends that games did not have to be cancelled, as the players are willing to play while the two sides continue to negotiate.

As of this time, the two sides remain at odds over key issues such as core economics and the definition of hockey related revenue.


NHL lockout gets real

There may have been no urgency before, but now owners are missing significant revenue, and the players will soon be missing paychecks. Let's hope that makes them actually try.


Donald Fehr: Games did not have to be missed

Following the announcement on Thursday by the NHL that all regular season games scheduled from Oct. 11 to Oct. 24 had been cancelled, NHLPA executive director Donald Fehr released a statement.

Fehr contended that games did not have to be cancelled and that if the owners cared about the fans, they would lift the lockout during the course of the negotiation so that games could still be played. He continued by asserting that the players were still interested in playing hockey during the negotiations and that the lockout was a tactic to gain massive concessions from the NHLPA.

Here is the press release in its entirety, via The Tennessean:

"The decision to cancel the first two weeks of the NHL season is the unilateral choice of the NHL owners. If the owners truly cared about the game and the fans, they would lift the lockout and allow the season to begin on time while negotiations continue. A lockout should be the last resort in bargaining, not the strategy of first resort. For nearly 20 years, the owners have elected to lock-out the players in an effort to secure massive concessions. Nevertheless, the players remain committed to playing hockey while the parties work to reach a deal that is fair for both sides. We hope we will soon have a willing negotiating partner."

As of this time, the two sides are not expected to meet again until next week. The last round of negotiations failed to bridge the gap on key issues such as core economics and defining hockey-related revenue.


NHL games canceled, or just the schedule?

Has the NHL canceled 82 games, or have they just canceled the schedule? Could those games still be played?


NHL cancels schedule through October 24

The NHL announced the cancellation of their 2011-13 regular season schedule through Oct. 24.


NHL yet to cancel games

The NHL has yet to schedule an announcement regarding the cancellation of regular season games.


No progress, no hope in NHL CBA talks

The NHL and NHLPA continue to meet with no progress, making one wonder exactly how long we'll be beating our heads into a wall over this.


NHL lost $100 million by canceling preseason

NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly stated on Tuesday afternoon that the NHL had lost $100 million by canceling the entirety of the preseason last Thursday. This is the first time since the lockout of the NHL Players Association was enacted on Sept. 15 that the league has quantified its losses.

Those losses should grow exponentially though, as Daly also reported that discussions between the NHL and NHLPA have failed to progress. This means that the next set of cancelations will be in the form of regular-season games, which were originally scheduled to begin on Oct. 11.

Considering the amount of time it would take for players to travel to North America, as well as the grace period they would require to train, the first set of games would likely have to be canceled regardless of how the talks were going. According to a report filed on Monday afternoon, the league is expected to start canceling games sometime this week.


NHL, NHLPA make no progress

The NHL and NHLPA met again Tuesday morning in the hopes of finding common ground in negotiations for a new collective bargaining agreement but ultimately failed to make any progress. As of this time, the two sides will remain in contact but have yet to schedule any future meetings.

NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly plainly stated after the negotiations let out that the talks weren't overly encouraging and that there would be no progressive movement unless the Players Association was willing to compromise on some issues. Daly also stated that the possibility of bringing in a federal mediator was a potential course of action the two sides may pursue in the future.

In addition, Daly announced that the NHL lost $100 million when they were forced to cancel the preseason last Thursday. One can only imagine how much more money the league stands to lose when they are forced to cancel regular-season games, which is expected to happen some time this week.


NHL to cancel games starting Wednesday: report

The NHL could begin canceling regular season games as early as this Wednesday.


NHL's league wide pay-cuts begin

Four-day workweeks and a corresponding 20 percent reduction in pay began for NHL staffers Monday as the NHL lockout has no end in sight.


NHL, NHLPA agree on definition of HRR

The NHL and the NHLPA have reportedly agreed on how to define hockey-related revenue in the next CBA.


NHL regular season at risk, says Daly

NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly admitted on Friday that the regular-season games could be at risk for cancellation if the NHL Players' Association and National Hockey League cannot come to terms on several core issues in CBA talks.

"We really need to hear from the Players' Association on those," Daly said, according to, when asked why the sides can't get to a discussion on those issues. "Again, we need some kind of sign that they're prepared to compromise their economic position because we haven't had that since Aug. 14. We'll see if we get there."

NHLPA rep Steve Fehr, the brother of Executive Director Donald Fehr, stated the same sort of frustration with the current stalemate, even if he appeared more optimistic regarding the current status of talks. The sides spent much of Friday discussing smaller issues such as drug testing policy.

"We had hoped we could have dealt with the more critical fundamental issues," Fehr said, "and we actually thought that would put us in a better position to compromise a lot of these sub issues, for lack of a better term, but it didn't happen that way. The calendar is ticking away and we might as well use our time somehow."

The league locked out the players on Sep. 16 following the expiration of the previous CBA. On Thursday, the league announced that it was canceling the remainder of the preseason. The regular season is scheduled to begin on Oct. 11.

Further talks have been scheduled between the two sides for Saturday and Sunday. According to Daly, the conversation will involve hockey-related revenue issues.

"I don't think it can be any more urgent than where we are now," he said.


NHL, players settle on minor issues Friday

The NHL and the players' union returned to the negotiating table Friday and were able to agree on issues regarding player safety and drug testing. NHL commissioner Gary Bettman participated in the discussions, though union leader Donald Fehr was not in attendance. The money issue was not broached, but NHLPA special assistant Mathieu Schneider is hopeful that the progress made Friday will lead to bigger things:

"In general, when you're dealing with collective bargaining, when you start to have agreements on smaller issues, it can lead to bigger issues, but it's still too early to say."

This was the first time the two sides had met since Sept. 16. They are also expected to meet on Saturday and Sunday, when they will discuss other health and safety issues, among other non-economic topics. Fehr is expected to join the meetings at some point.

The NHL has canceled all preseason games, while the regular season -- intact for now -- is scheduled to begin on Oct. 11.


Latest NHL-NHLPA meetings avoid real issues

NHL CBA negotiations won't move anywhere until the two sides address their philosophical differences about who carries the burden of keeping the league healthy.


NHL, NHLPA to hold three days of weekend meetings

The two sides will meet to discuss "non-core economic issues," which means that the most pressing issue in the disagreement – the hockey-related revenue split – is not on the agenda.


Canceled: NHL eliminates entire 2012 preseason

The NHL canceled the remainder of its 2012 preseason on Thursday.


NHL, NHLPA to resume talks Friday

The NHL and NHL Players Association will resume negotiations for a new collective bargaining agreement on Friday, according to multiple reports. A location for the meeting has yet to be determined at this time.

This will be the first formal meeting between the two sides since Sept. 12, three days before commissioner Gary Bettman locked out the players for the third time in 18 years on the job. The discussions are reportedly not going to focus on core economic issues.

Last week, Pierre LeBrun of reported that many believed it was crucial for the two sides to get back to the table within a week's span or the lockout could be prolonged as it was in 2004-05, when the two sides went three months without speaking. Now, it's believed that the quality of these discussions will be the litmus test for how long this lockout will last.

For more on the NHL lockout, check in with our StoryStream and our network of hockey blogs.


NHL Lockout 2012: Red Wings Executive Says Owners Won't Let Players 'Push Them Around'

Is there a chance that NHL owners will cave in the ongoing CBA negotiations with the NHLPA? Not a chance, says one high-ranking team executive.

In a candid interview with Island News Sports, Detroit Red Wings vice president Jim Devellano said that there's no chance the owners cede ground to the players in the current lockout -- the third lockout of Gary Bettman's 20-year tenure as league commissioner. He shared a worldview that seems common of many that run NHL teams: That the players are nothing without the billionaire owners who employ them and, in many cases, lose money on employing them.

From the interview with ISN's Scott Harrigan, which is worth a full read:

"Now [NHLPA director] Donald Fehr would have you believe by getting rid of the cap, the owners would make more money and that the sky is the limit, but trust me Scott, the owners would lose their asses. We've tried that. It doesn't work. There is just too much cost involved in running and owning a team.

"It's very complicated and way too much for the average Joe to understand, but having said that, I will tell you this: The owners can basically be viewed as the ranch, and the players, and me included, are the cattle. The owners own the ranch and allow the players to eat there. That's the way its always been and that the way it will be forever. And the owners simply aren't going to let a union push them around. It's not going to happen."

Devellano also remarked that Gary Bettman doesn't deserve the scorn of hockey fans, as he's simply doing the work of the 30 team owners from across the league. He said that Bettman does care about his public persona, but that in the end, he only needs to answer to those 30 owners and not the fans. A harsh truth.

If Devellano is correct and those 30 team owners fail to give in even the slightest bit to the players' union in these talks, the cancellation of another season is certainly in play. If that happens, the blame from the fans is undoubtedly going to fall on Bettman harder than ever before. But as long as the owners are happy when all is said and done, Bettman doesn't really need to answer to us.


NHL Lockout 2012: Frölunda Reportedly Negotiating With Henrik Lundqvist, Erik Karlsson, Loui Eriksson

Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist, Senators defenseman Erik Karlsson and Stars forward Loui Eriksson could all be heading home to the club that turned them into some of the NHL's top Swedish-born stars.

According to a report from Swedish publication SVT, Frölunda is in talks with the three players who could be set on joining the their top-level club in the Swedish Elite League during the ongoing NHL lockout. Deals have yet to be signed, but the signings would make sense: Lundqvist, Karlsson and Eriksson all have ties with Frölunda.

Lundqvist, last season's Vezina Trophy winner, played with the club from 1999 through his move to the Rangers in 2005. During his most recent SEL season in 2004-05, Lundqvist compiled a .936 save percentage and a 1.79 goals-against average in 44 regular season games.

Eriksson played with the club beginning in 2000. He played two SEL seasons -- 2003-04 and 2004-05 -- scoring 13 goals and 14 assists in 85 total regular season game. Karlsson joined Frölunda in 2007. He played 45 SEL games in 2008-09 before making the jump to the Senators the following year.

For more on Swedish Elite League signings during the NHL lockout, stick with our StoryStream. also has complete coverage of the 2012 NHL lockout.


NHL Lockout 2012: Displaced Players Can Now Join Swedish Elite League Teams

An anti-trust ruling in Sweden will allow NHL stars to sign with Swedish Elite League clubs.


Lockout turns KHL from laughing stock to hot bed

The KHL is suddenly a hot destination for NHL players thanks to Gary Bettman's lockout.


NHL Cancels Preseason Games Through Sept. 30

On Wednesday, the NHL cancelled all preseason games through Sept. 30.


IIHF Transfer Card Issue Much Ado About Nothing

The IIHF is reportedly denying transfer cards to NHL players looking to play overseas. Could this have an impact on the lockout? Likely not.


Players Or Owners To Blame For NHL Lockout?

SB Nation's Dominik Jansky and Dave Strehle go point-counterpoint on the issues surrounding the 2012 NHL lockout. Who's to blame?


Pessimism Reigns During Bettman's 3rd Lockout

After accepting a hard salary cap, a 24 percent salary rollback and being told they were in a partnership with owners following a lost season eight years ago, NHL players are being told once again it's time to give back.


NHL Lockout 2012: Spin Machine Hits Full Gear

With the NHL lockout now hours away, the league and NHLPA are each spinning hard about "growing the game" and "stability," which are each wonderful euphemisms for "We want more money."


As NHL Lockout Nears, 'Greatest Fans On Earth' Prepare For Battle

With CBA negotiations never really reaching the level of anything meaningful, NHL owners and the NHLPA are preparing their respective game plans for a lockout, scheduled to take affect Saturday. Hockey fans are similarly gathering their troops together.


NHL Lockout 2012: It's Not About Blame

We know the NHL lockout is coming, and it really doesn't matter who's to blame.


NHLPA Hopes Lockout Challenges In Quebec, Alberta Put Pressure Owners

The NHLPA doesn't seem to think that legal challenges against the NHL lockout in Quebec and Alberta will actually prevent a work stoppage Saturday, but they do hope that a legal win in those Canadian provinces could put pressure on NHL owners to come to a deal more quickly.

In Quebec, the NHLPA says that the Canadiens cannot lock out union members because the Quebec Labour Board does not recognize the union. The union has threatened to file a grievance with the QLB this week if the league does not rescind the threat of a lockout. In Alberta, a similar issue could lead to a lockout challenge with the Alberta Labour Relations Board.

Speaking on a conference call Monday afternoon, Montreal Canadiens defenseman Josh Gorges spoke on behalf of both his Habs teammates and the rest of the union membership on the pending legal challenges.

"Even though there may only be three teams that are involved in this," Gorges said, "it may put pressure on other teams to say, 'You know what? These guys are getting ready, they're practicing, they're getting themselves ready to play. Maybe we should have our players doing the same sort of things.'

"It's unfortunate that it's not the same sort of laws in every city, but I think it gives us an opportunity to put pressure on the owners to try and get a deal done so other teams can join us and we can start playing on time."

The NHLPA doesn't expect the challenges to fully stop a lockout, even if successful. After all, only three teams -- the Canadiens in Quebec, the Calgary Flames and Edmonton Oilers in Alberta -- would be affected if each respective labor board rules in favor of the union.

But Gorges' point is still strong. If the two labor boards rule that Canadiens, Flames and Oilers players can use practice facilities, meet with coaches and carry on in preparation for the season, other owners might feel that those teams are getting an unfair advantage. Theoretically, it could put pressure on the owners and the league to get a deal done faster.

That's the NHLPA's hope, anyway.


NHL Lockout 2012: Could Canadian Labor Law Prevent Work Stoppage In Quebec, Alberta?

Efforts are underway in two Canadian provinces to prevent the upcoming NHL lockout, as NHL Players' Association members attempt to use labor law to block the league from locking out union members.

In Quebec, the challenge hinges on the NHLPA's status as a union. The PA says that they're not recognized as a union by the Quebec Labour Board, and according to the Montreal Gazette, an employer "cannot lock out employees unless they are represented by a union certified by the QLB." Should the law agree with the NHLPA's case, the NHL would not be allowed to lock out players who play in the province -- members of the Montreal Canadiens.

Habs players plan to make an application to the Quebec Labour Board this week, according to the Gazette, should the NHL "cease their threats" to lock out its players. The QLB could then order the NHL and the Canadiens to stop or end a lockout.

It's a bit different in Alberta, but the NHLPA's goal is still the same: Block a lockout. The union argues, according to the Calgary Herald, that the NHL should not be able to hold a lockout vote in Alberta because they rushed through a legally-required mediation progress. The NHLPA says that because of this, the Alberta Labour Relations Board should rule that the NHL cannot lock out Calgary Flames and Edmonton Oilers players.

The Herald writes that a similar challenge was recent denied in Ontario.

There's no way to know at this point whether or not these legal challenges will work, or what impact they'll have in the United States or in other Canadian provinces. But there is one pretty glaring question: Why didn't the NHLPA try this back in 2004 when the NHL went through with a lockout?

The NHLPA attempted to get certified by the Quebec Labour Board in 2004, a move that would have stopped the Canadiens from using replacement players, but at the conclusion of that lockout in July 2005, the Gazette writes that the NHLPA withdrew their application.

The NHL at the time "formally opposed" the union's attempt to gain recognized status by the QLB, which is pretty ironic in hindsight. The shoe is now on the other foot for both sides this time as the NHLPA looks to use their lack of recognition by the QLB as a weapon against the owners' planned lockout.

For more on the impending NHL lockout and the ongoing CBA talks between the league and the NHLPA, stick with out StoryStream. For more on the Canadiens, Flames, Oilers or any other NHL club, check with our network of hockey blogs.


NHL, NHLPA Call Off CBA Talks: Sides Suddenly Retreat To Square 1

15 days before the expiration of the collective bargaining agreement, talks have broken off between the NHL and NHLPA while optimism has been thrown out the window.

"At this point, talks are off," NHLPA executive director Donald Fehr said at NHL headquarters in Manhattan Friday after a meeting that lasted approximately 90 minutes. He noted that it was the owners who opted to call off talks and that the players are ready to resume at any time. NHL commissioner Gary Bettman called that claim inaccurate.

The union made a counter-proposal Friday based on a proposal submitted by the league earlier in the week, and cautious optimism had filtered through the hockey world due to the simple fact that the two sides were at least discussing the same proposal.

But Friday's news seemingly brings us back to square one: The owners want more money -- whether that's from a direct roll back in salaries or increased escrow -- and the players do not want to give it to them. The players are sticking by their initial CBA proposal, one from which the league is not prepared to work, saying that the players are not willing to budge on the "core financials."

The NHLPA's initial offer two weeks ago called for a reduction in player salaries for the next three seasons after which the deal would "snap back" to again give the players a 57 percent share of hockey-related revenue, the same terms under the current CBA. Fehr called the give back in the first three years meaningful, but Bettman called the fourth year a non-starter.

The PA's initial proposal also called for greater revenue sharing -- the NHLPA believes that larger-market teams should spread wealth around to smaller-market teams, and he praised the idea of an "industry growth fund" similar to one he negotiated as head of the MLB Players' Association that would help struggling clubs.

The owners want a longer-term deal, and Bettman cited the 10-year agreements reached in both the NBA and the NFL a summer ago. The players disagree, citing an uncertain economic future and high player turnover rates as reasons to stick to a three or four year agreement.

All in all, it seems as though the two sides are back to the beginning and no real progress has been made.


NHL CBA Talks: Sides Disagree On Difference Between Salary Roll Back, Escrow

The NHLPA intends to respond directly to the owners' CBA proposal by Friday at the latest, and while it is progress that the NHL and its players' union are at least discussing the same proposal, differences clearly remain regarding core economic issues.

While the owners' proposal doesn't call for a direct roll back in player salaries, it does call for more dollars in escrow. Fehr and the NHLPA don't see much of a difference.

"From a players' standpoint," Fehr said, "it doesn't make much difference. If the player doesn't get the dollar value of his contract because of a roll back in the contract, or whether he doesn't get an amount because there's escrow, he still doesn't get it. It amounts to the same thing. That's obviously one of the issues which has occurred in the other cap sports and it's going to have to be, in some fashion, addressed as we go forward here."

Gary Bettman doesn't necessarily agree with that, calling a roll back "different than escrow" in that it changes contract terms for the life of the deal while, in escrow, a contract's value can fluctuate.

Fehr talked at length about the different calculations of hockey-related revenue, and how the current NHL proposal would cut the players' share to 46 percent of revenues, amounting to somewhere near $360 milllion in total losses for the players. That's an increase from the 43 percent proposed by the league in their first proposal.

Bettman, meanwhile, doubled down on the league's latest offer, echoing the sentiment expressed Tuesday that it was a significant proposal made in good faith.

"Our counter-proposal was more significant that the NHLPA proposal," Bettman said. "The counter-proposal moved more money than the initial proposal made by the players' association."

The new proposal, according to Bettman, reduces the players' share of hockey-related revenue by 11.5 percent in Year 1, 8.5 percent in Year 2 and 5.5 percent in Year 3. The league believes that their offer will result in a rise in the players' share in Years 4 and beyond.

SB Nation's Steve Lepore was in New York and has audio of Fehr's session with the media. You can hear it below.

For all the news surrounding the NHL's collective bargaining agreement and the ongoing quest to replace it, stick with this StoryStream.


Zach Parise Says Gary Bettman's 'Pretty Adamant' About Another NHL Lockout

If you're one of those NHL hockey fans hoping that a new collective bargaining agreement can be reached before the start of the 2012-13 season, new Minnesota Wild forward Zach Parise probably would tell you not to get your hopes up.

"I think the '04-'05 season is still pretty fresh in everyone's minds, and now we find ourselves in the same position," Parise said after a workout in St. Louis Park on Tuesday, Aug. 26. "It's not good for the game. It's not good for anyone. We're ready to play. We want to play. But (NHL commissioner) Gary (Bettman)'s pretty adamant about his third lockout of his tenure."

Parise's comments were picked from a feature done by The Pioneers Press' Ben Goessling that focused on the winger and his new Wild teammates, including Cal Clutterbuck, who're willing to wait on a new deal.

"We want to play in a system that's fair for both sides," Clutterbuck said. "We're not asking to get 100 percent of everything. We're just trying to make a compromise. As long as we're in the right system, I think it's important for us to get it right this time, so we don't have to be in this situation ever again."

For all the news surrounding the NHL's collective bargaining agreement and the ongoing quest to replace it, stick with this StoryStream.


NHL Lockout: Evgeni Malkin Plans To Join KHL; Could Sidney Crosby, Too?

Evgeni Malkin has stated he plans to play in the KHL in the event of a lockout, but he also indicated that teammate Sidney Crosby might join him overseas.


Teemu Selanne Could Play For Finland's Jokerit During NHL Lockout

Teemu Selanne is considering playing in his home country of Finland if a new CBA can't be reached.


NHL CBA Talks: League Makes 'Meaningful Movement' With New Proposal; NHLPA To Respond Wednesday

Good news on the NHL CBA front? Gary Bettman, Donald Fehr and other bigwigs from the NHL and the NHL Players' Association met on two separate occasions Tuesday in New York, where the league submitted a modified proposal to the union and the overall tone of talks seemed much more optimistic than in weeks prior.

Neither Fehr or Bettman would comment on the proposal in detail, but the NHL commissioner did say that there was "significant and meaningful movement" on the league's side involving core economic issues. He also noted that the sides are "not far apart on revenue sharing." We'll have to wait and see whether or not the union agrees, but unlike the NHL's prior offer, one that was viewed as a slap in the face from the owners to the players, this one could at least begin the discussion.

"It's a proposal we intend to respond to," Fehr said.

The NHLPA will take the evening to fully review the proposal. The sides will again meet at the NHL's offices in Manhattan on Wednesday. Talks are currently scheduled each day through Friday.

For all the news surrounding the NHL's collective bargaining agreement and the ongoing quest to replace it, stick with this StoryStream.


KHL's Dynamo Moscow Luring Alex Ovechkin In Event Of NHL Lockout

KHL Champions Dynamo Moscow will approach Washington Capitals star Alex Ovechkin if there is an NHL lockout this season.


NHL, NHLPA Remain Far Apart On Economic Issues After Thursday Meetings

Another week of precisely zero optimism and zero progress in NHL CBA talks has passed, and we're now just 23 days ahead of Sept. 15, the date that will yield the third NHL lockout in 17 years if the two sides can't reach an agreement before then.

Representatives from the NHL and the NHL Players' Association met again at NHLPA headquarters in Toronto Thursday. Thirteen players joined various executives from both sides in attending the bargaining session, which hinged mostly on economic issues and player contract rules. A split of hockey-related revenues remains the major sticking point.

"We believe we are paying the players more than we should be," commissioner Gary Bettman told the media following the day's meetings. Bettman also attempted to shift the blame to the players, saying that the NHL's side was ready to begin talks "in January" while Fehr took time to meet with players in preparation for negotiations.

The owners' initial proposal called for a sharp 24 percent roll back in current salaries in addition to a giving just 43 percent of HRR to the players. The players' initial proposal called for 54 percent of HRR to their side without a salary rollback. The current CBA gives players 57 percent of HRR, but NHLPA chief Donald Fehr says that his side believes the split is closer to 50/50 based on total, not just hockey-related, revenue.

Taking the podium after Bettman, Fehr expressed that the owners' current position is not all that surprising, saying the desire of employers to pay their employees less is a natural one.

"We want more flexibility and the league doesn't want that," Fehr said.

The league's initial proposal had severely limited the players' options with regards to contract rules. It would push unrestricted free agency eligibility to 10 years instead of the current seven, would limit all contracts to a five-year maximum length, would end salary arbitration all together. The owners seem unwilling to budge on those issues and the players seem unwilling to compromise

Bettman noted that revenue sharing is not much of an issue between the two sides and that they're closer on that than previously believed. The sides will meet again on Tuesday at the NHL's offices in New York City.

For all the news surrounding the NHL's collective bargaining agreement and the ongoing quest to replace it, stick with this StoryStream.


Swedish Elite League Won't Allow Temporary Contracts For Locked Out NHL Players

NHL players looking for a reprieve from a potential lockout in 2012-13 might not have the ability to run off to Sweden's top league. Elitserien (or the Swedish Elite League) officials will not allow NHL players to sign short-term contracts with their teams for the upcoming season, according to a report from, a Finnish hockey publication.

Only full-season contracts will be allowed, a stipulation that could scare off NHL players who believe the impending lockout may not force the cancellation of the entire 2012-13 NHL year. On the flip side, several prominent Swedish-born players have already voiced their intentions on playing in Elitserien during a potential lockout. If players like the Sedin twins follow through with those plans, the NHL could lose some of its top talent whenever play does begin in 2012-13.

During the NHL lockout in 2004-05, roughly 70 or 80 NHL players made their way over to Sweden to play hockey, but the majority of those contracts featured out-clauses that would have allowed players to leave in the event the lockout was resolved midseason. It wasn't, as we all know, and those players wound up playing the entire year in Sweden.

Most of the NHL talent playing in Elitserien that season were of Swedish decent, but several North American-born players ended up in there as well. American-born NHL veteran Mike Knuble led the league that season with 26 goals while Canadian-born Shawn Horcoff and Brendan Morrison also found their way onto the leaderboard.

Detroit Red Wings forward (and Swede) Henrik Zetterberg led the league in overall scoring with 19 goals and 31 assists in 50 games.

For all the news surrounding the NHL's collective bargaining agreement and the ongoing quest to replace it, stick with this StoryStream.


NHL CBA Talks Cancelled Wednesday After Bettman, Fehr Discuss Financial Issues

All the principals in NHL collective bargaining agreement negotiations met for an informal meeting at the NHLPA's Toronto offices Wednesday morning before more formal, fully-attended meetings scheduled for 1 p.m. ET were cancelled. The two sides are expected to meet again Thursday morning in Toronto.

NHLPA Executive Director Donald Fehr was joined by his brother and NHLPA advisor Steve Fehr for talks with NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman and Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly. Other parties did not attend. Daly said the two sides attempted to "chart a way forward in talks" before the NHLPA asked to delay further discussions until Thursday.

"We spent some time talking about the core economics issues," Fehr told the media at NHLPA headquarters, according to RDS.

The two sides entered the week seemingly miles apart on those economic issues. They're still split on how to divide up hockey-related revenue -- or perhaps even how to define it -- and they're still far apart on revenue sharing and rules governing player contracts.

For all the news surrounding the NHL's collective bargaining agreement and the ongoing quest to replace it, stick with this StoryStream.


8 Points To A Compromise: A New Model For The NHL's CBA

The NHL and NHLPA proposals are far apart, but here are eight points that can bring them together into a compromise solution.


NHL CBA Talks: Donald Fehr Drops Gloves On 50/50 Revenue Split, Players' Market Value

The NHL and the NHLPA have not met face-to-face for CBA negotiations since Wednesday, and since the break-up of talks, much of the debate has been around a so-called 50/50 split in of hockey-related revenue between the two sides. Why don't they just split it and sign on the dotted line?

The owners' initial CBA proposal outlined a 57/43 split of HRR in favor of their side. The players' proposal outlined a 54/46 split in favor of their side, down from the 57/43 split they see under the current CBA. Roughly a 50/50 split was negotiated in both the NBA and the NFL a year ago, and at face value, that makes the NHL's current split seem like a huge win for the players.

But speaking on a conference call Friday afternoon, NHLPA head Donald Fehr went on the offensive, explaining in great detail the union view that the two sides actually have a 50/50 split of revenues already.

"Let me caution you when you start taling about 50/50 splits," Fehr said. "If you start talking about all revenue as opposed to hockey-related revenue, the way we calculate it the players are already at just about 50/50. Hockey-related revenue begins by subtracting some amounts of revenue. They don't count. What I'm saying is that if you add those things back in and then take what the players get, we calculate that to be about 51 percent."

Fehr said that the players are compromising directly off the start based on the fact that the league has a salary cap.

"Suppose the players came in -- as we have not done -- and we said, 'This is what we want. We'll have no salary cap, have a minimum salary and benefits, which will be a small fraction of the salary bill, and all the owners can pay whatever it is they want to pay. They can adjust their salaries up and down based on what they think is best for them. Whatever the free market produces, in a real free market, the players will take.'"

He continued.

"The reason we have a salary cap is because the owners believe -- and they are correct -- that the salary cap we have now pays the players less than what the free market would pay them. That's the starting point from the players' analysis, but the players are willing to live with that if we can work out an agreement."

The argument from the owners' side of things when it comes to a 50/50 split of revenues is that the two sides are partners in building and growing the NHL as a business. But Fehr rejects that idea whole-heartedly.

"If we are partners, do we have joint control?" Fehr asked. "Do we get to have an equal say on how the marketing is done, how the promotion is done, where the money is invested, where the franchises are located? Do we have an equal say on when teams are sold, where the money goes? Do we get part of that? Do we have an equal say on how the television arrangements are done?

"Do we have an equal say on anything? That's what a partnership normally implies."

We'll go out on a limb and assume that NHL owners don't share this view, but Fehr's remarks were a truly fascinating view of how the NHLPA sees the world. He reiterated that the players do not want a work stoppage and that if a stoppage does occur, it'll be because the owners dictate it. In other words, there will be no player strike this year.

The ball is in Gary Bettman's court now. Fehr expects the two to speak over the weekend before meeting again face-to-face for meetings next Wednesday.

For all the news surrounding the NHL's collective bargaining agreement and the ongoing quest to replace it, stick with this StoryStream.


AHL Schedule 2012-13 To Be Released Friday; NHL Lockout Could Flood League With Talent

The NHL is in danger of yet another lockout, but the AHL is prepared to keep going as planned, and could serve as a haven for younger NHL talent without a place to play.


NHL Lockout Would Hurt Kings, Panthers Most

The NHL's collective bargaining agreement has exactly one month left before its no longer relevant. If the players were to be locked out by their owners on September 15, the defending Stanley Cup champion Los Angeles Kings and the Florida Panthers would be the two franchises most hurt, a report by Forbes Magazine said Wednesday.

A lockout would push away the thousands of new fans who helped inject more than $3 billion into the league last season, and the NHL’s 30 teams would feel the financial repercussions for years to come. But it’s doubtful that any teams would be hit harder both on the ice and in the wallet than the Florida Panthers and Los Angeles Kings.

According to Forbes' Chris Smith, both L.A. and Florida would be hurt mainly because they would lose a majority of the fans gained during the 2011-12 season. A loss of fans means a major loss of mainstream appeal and new revenue.

The defending Stanley Cup champions ought to be one of the NHL’s top stories heading into next year, but the team may be forgotten in its own hometown if next season is cancelled or even delayed.

Currently, talks between the owners and players have stalled, as the owners want a radical change in the way things work when it comes to revenue, length of contracts and unrestricted free-agent rules. Meanwhile, the players want an adjustment in overall economics, including less player salaries if more revenue sharing takes place in return.

Regardless of what comes out of the situation, it is clear that the Kings and Panthers want a resolution, and soon.

For all the news surrounding the NHL's collective bargaining agreement and the ongoing quest to replace it, stick with our StoryStream. Check with Kings blog Jewels From The Crown for more on Los Angeles hockey and Litter Box Cats for more on the Panthers.


NHL CBA: Illustrating The 'Meaningful Gulf' Between League, NHLPA

The NHLPA's CBA proposal, made public in bits on Tuesday afternoon, was heralded as a compromise that could save hockey from another painful lockout next month. The players are willing to give back money to the league and they're willing to do it in a substantial way over the next three seasons.

They're also asking that the league throw a bone to the 18 to 20 "poor" teams in the league -- the teams that operated at losses in 2011 -- via a more robust revenue sharing program. The catch is that in Year 4 of this collective bargaining agreement, the players would have the opportunity to revert back to the current CBA in which they earn 57 percent of hockey-related revenue. It's a compromise, right?

Well, maybe not. In the smartest bit of writing that's hit the series of tubes since details of the players' proposal came to light, Michael Grange at illustrates the still-meaningful gulf -- to use Donald Fehr's own term from a week ago -- between the league and its players' union.

The players' proposal calls for small raises above the $1.87 billion the players' received last season -- two percent next year, four percent in 2013-14 and six percent in 2014-15. But with league revenues projected to continue growing at a much higher rate -- at least seven percent per year over the next three years, if not more -- the owners will pull in a ton of money that they'd otherwise owe the players under the current system.

But as Grange describes, the players are still going to get a considerable amount of money under their proposal, even though it seems like they're giving up a ton of cash. That's where the gulf between the owners' initial proposal and the players' Tuesday proposal floats.

Put another way, the owners' plan would give the players 43.3 per cent of HRR, rolling salaries back by 24 per cent immediately. The players' proposal would get the players about 54.4 per cent of HRR and allow them to keep every cent that's in their current contracts.

The NHLPA's proposal is clever and it's outside-the-box and it's an absolute public relations win, but the league and its players are still very far off in terms of how they see their share of revenue being broken up. Will we end up at around a 50/50 split when all things are said and done? Perhaps. After all, this is just a proposal, and we don't expect the league to accept it without amendment.

For all the news surrounding the NHL's collective bargaining agreement and the ongoing quest to replace it, stick with this StoryStream.


NHL CBA Talks: Players' Proposal Would Trim Salaries, Add Luxury Tax, Increase Revenue Sharing

NHLPA chief Donald Fehr announced details of his group's CBA proposal Tuesday, saying that the players are ready to give up part of their share of hockey-related revenue in order to get to work on time this season.

It's unclear exactly how much of the current 57 percent share of HRR the players would be willing to give back to the owners in the proposed three-year agreement, but Fehr told the assembled media in Toronto that reduced compensation could reach as much as $455 million if league revenues continue to grow in the same way they have since the 2005 CBA was established. The proposal would allow for an optional fourth year at the end of the term.

Fehr said that up to $250 million could be entered into revenue sharing under the PA's proposal. The league's current system is quite benign, with various limits on which teams are eligible for revenue sharing. Only 10 teams were eligible a year ago while 18, according to Forbes, operated at a loss. Full details of the NHLPA's revenue sharing ideas were not initially available.

While a hard salary cap would remain, the Canadian Press reports that the PA's proposal calls for a luxury tax that would allow big-spending teams to exceed the cap by a certain number. If the luxury tax were to work like in other leagues, the money spent over the set limit would be distributed amongst teams that do not spend over the limit.

Player contracts would stay largely the same under the proposal. The NHL had proposed changes to free agency, contract term, entry-level deal structure and salary arbitration. The NHLPA's proposal would leave those virtually untouched, according to Fehr.

The current CBA expires on Sept. 15 and Gary Bettman has said that the league will lockout the players without a new deal by that date. The league is expected to give their response to the NHLPA's proposal on Wednesday.

For all the news surrounding the NHL's collective bargaining agreement and the ongoing quest to replace it, stick with this StoryStream.


NHLPA Won't Propose Elimination Of Salary Cap, According To Report

The institution of a salary cap was the major point of contention during NHL CBA negotiations in 2004 and 2005. The owners' insistance on a cap and the players' initial refusal of one led to a lengthy work stoppage that eliminated an entire NHL season from the history books, a time that's still fresh in the minds of all of us as we sit through another round of CBA talks here in 2012.

But there's a bit of good news: Even despite the NHL's radical initial CBA proposal in July, the NHL Players' Association will not attempt to go back on the salary cap issue in these negotiations, according to RDS. It wasn't originally expected that the NHLPA would look to get rid of the cap, but after the NHL made such drastic changes in their first proposal, it was tough to be sure on how the players would respond.

Major League Baseball operates under a luxury tax system without a salary cap, a system negotiated when current NHLPA head Donald Fehr was in charge of the MLBPA. Both the NHL and NFL operate currently under hard salary caps, in which team payrolls cannot exceed the set number.

The NHLPA could still propose something similar to the NBA's soft salary cap and luxury tax system, in which teams must pay a tax based on how much they go over a set threshold. The taxed money is then distributed amongst the teams that remain under that limit, theoretically corralling how much money is spent on salaries by the wealthiest of teams.

For all the news surrounding the NHL's collective bargaining agreement and the ongoing quest to replace it, stick with this StoryStream.


NHLPA Presents 'Alternative' CBA Proposal; NHL To Respond Wednesday Morning

The NHL Players' Association presented their alternative CBA proposal to the league on Tuesday in Toronto, but it's unlikely that we learn the owners' position on that proposal until Wednesday at the earliest.

The two sides are set to meet at NHLPA Headquarters in Toronto again on Wednesday and Thursday as they continue to work out their differences, hopefully culminating in a new collective bargaining agreement before a potential work stoppage begins Sept. 15.

Commissioner Gary Bettman spoke with the media after the meetings, implying that the offer from the union is a complex one.

"It's clear to me they didn't put it together in an hour or two," Bettman said, according to the Canadian Press.

Even still, one day seems like a limited amount of time to pour over what's clearly a complicated proposal. If the league truly is prepared to respond in less than 24 hours, it's likely that the NHLPA's points were at least somewhat predictable.

Several big stars were on hand for the meetings, including Sidney Crosby, Alex Ovechkin, Steven Stamkos and many others. 27 total players joined the negotiations Tuesday, a much larger number than we've seen in the past and an indication that talks are getting much more in-depth.

Before speaking, Bettman made sure the blue NHLPA backdrop in the media staging area was removed from view.

For all the news surrounding the NHL's collective bargaining agreement and the ongoing quest to replace it, stick with this StoryStream.


NHL CBA Battle Should Pit Owners Vs. Owners, Not Vs. Players

The owners want to turn the current CBA battle into a repeat of the 2005 fight, in which their players gave back a huge share of the pie. But that's not the fight we should be talking about.


NHL CBA Talks: League Will Lockout Players On Sept. 15 Without New Deal

NHLPA Executive Director Donald Fehr has said all along that his union would be willing to continue on under the current collective bargaining agreement should they not be able to come to a new deal with the league by its Sept. 15 expiration date, but that's always seemed like a far-fetched possibility.

NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman left little room for doubt on that Thursday, telling the assembled media after a short bargaining session in New York that the league will not play another season under the current agreement. If Sept. 15 comes and there's no deal in place, we're heading to a lockout.

According to the Sporting News, Fehr remarked that the Players' Association will finally send a counter-proposal to the league on Tuesday, after which it's expected that negotiations will really get serious. Fehr said that revenue sharing continues to be a hot topic and that there's a "meaningful gulf" separating the league and the union on that issue.

For all the news surrounding the NHL's collective bargaining agreement and the ongoing quest to replace it, stick with this StoryStream.


NHL CBA Negotiations Get Serious As League Makes Radical Initial Offer

The NHL made its first official offer to the NHL Players' Association on Friday, and it essentially amounts to a slap in the face.

The offer, as reported by RDS, would drastically trim the players' share of hockey-related revenue from the current 57 percent to 46 percent. Players would also have to wait 10 seasons before hitting unrestricted free agency, a jump from the current standard of seven seasons. Contracts would also be limited to just five years in length, salary arbitration would be completely eliminated and team-friendly entry-level contracts would be extended from three years in length to five.

The New York Post also reports that the league has proposed eliminating signing bonuses, that they would alter the definition of hockey-related revenue to reduce the players' ultimate share and that the range between the salary cap and the salary floor would be $12 million, not the current $16 million.

Dirk Hoag at SB Nation's On the Forecheck has a fantastic breakdown of all these points, but in essence, this proposal is worrying for those afraid of another lockout or strike. It may just be the posturing of an initial offer, but it's a wild offer, and we have to assume that the NHLPA would come back just as hard with their counteroffer.

For all the news surrounding the NHL's collective bargaining agreement and the ongoing quest to replace it, stick with this StoryStream.


NHL, NHLPA Conclude Day 1 Of 'Cordial' CBA Negotiation

The NHL and the NHL Players' Association sat down around a table in New York City Friday afternoon for the first of what could be many sessions of collective bargaining. The current agreement between the two parties expires on Sept. 15 and the 2012-13 season is in jeopardy as long as a new deal isn't in place.

The first day of meetings was more procedural than productive, as should be expected in such a complicated process.

"Members of our league office staff and several of our owners met today with the NHLPA and various members of the players' negotiating committee at the league office in New York," NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly said in a statement. "The meeting was very cordial and we hope it was constructive."

According to Daly, the two sides discussed follow-up steps after the meeting and have confirmed plans for future meetings. The details of those plans were not released.


NHL Salary Cap To Be Set At $70.2 Million For 2012 Offseason; Lower Limit Set At

The NHL and the NHL Players' Association announced Thursday that the salary cap for the 2012 offseason will be set at $70.2 million, down from an original estimate of $70.3 million set back during the 2012 Stanley Cup Playoffs.

The lower limit is set at $54.2 million, a number all teams must meet in order to ice a team for the 2012-13 season.

But of course, there's a catch. The rules governing this cap are set by the current collective bargaining agreement, a deal that expires Sept. 15. A work stoppage is expected to begin the 2012-13 season if the NHL and its players cannot agree to a new deal by that date. After negotiations are completed, new terms may be put in place to govern the salary cap and the salary floor, meaning these numbers could and likely will change for the 2012-13 season.

In the meantime, these are the numbers that will govern league business until mid-September. That means free agency, which opens Sun., July 1, will operate under this team payroll range.

For all the news surrounding the NHL's collective bargaining agreement and the ongoing quest to replace it, stick with this StoryStream.


NHL, NHLPA To Meet Friday For First Face-To-Face CBA Talks

The NHLPA wrapped up three days of meetings this week in Chicago in preparation for negotiations with the league on a new collective bargaining agreement. The players have refused to divulge exactly what they're after in these negotiations, but we do know they will begin Friday in New York City.

The NHLPA announced Wednesday a 31-player committee that will play the largest role in negotiations.

"It's great to see that so many players have chosen to participate in bargaining and get involved in the important work ahead for their Association," said Donald Fehr, NHLPA Executive Director, in a press release. "I'm certain this group of players and all players who will be attending bargaining sessions will do a great job."

All bargaining sessions are open to all players, but this group of 31 players will do much of the work on behalf of the entire union membership.

A list:

For all the news surrounding the NHL's collective bargaining agreement and the ongoing quest to replace it, stick with this StoryStream.


NHL Salary Cap Temporarily Set At $70.3 Million For 2012 Offseason, According To Report

The NHL's salary cap will be temporarily set at $70.3 million for the 2012 offseason, but that could change for the 2012-13 season depending on collective bargaining agreement negotiations.


NHL CBA Talks Set To Begin In Coming Weeks

NHL commissioner Gary Bettman and NHLPA director Donald Fehr each confirmed Wednesday that they're set to begin talks on a new CBA and that those talks will begin in the coming weeks.


NHL Lockout Fears Shouldn't Consume You Just Yet

The NHL and NHLPA went through a formality this week, as the league told the union that it wishes to modify the current CBA. You can allow lockout fears to consume you if you want, but it's really not time for that just yet.


NHL CBA Negotiations: League Formally Informs NHLPA It Wants New Deal

It was a foregone conclusion, but as required by the current collective bargaining agreement between the NHL and the NHL Players' Association, the league has informed the union that it wishes to "terminate or modify" the current deal, according to a report from Sports Business Journal. It officially expires on Sept. 15, 2012.

Either the league or the NHLPA had to notify the other side of their desire to renegotiate the deal by May 15, 2012, or 120 days before the scheduled expiration. Had neither party taken that action, the current CBA would have been extended for another season.

It's just a formality, really. We've known for some time that the NHL and its players had planned on negotiating a new deal, and the league has said it's been ready to begin those talks for months. The Players Association, meanwhile, has been busy getting organized under new director Donald Fehr, and it appears as though talks will finally begin after the current season ends in late June.

For more on the pending drama involving the NHL's collective bargaining agreement, stick with our StoryStream.


NHL CBA Negotiations: Gary Bettman Says Offseason Will Be 'Business As Usual'

We don't know what the NHL collective bargaining agreement will look like next season. In the worst case scenario, we don't even know if there will be a season next year thanks to the lack of a CBA between the league and the NHL Players' Association.

That shouldn't stop teams around the league from operating normally this summer, however. At least, that's what Gary Bettman says. Via Yahoo! Sports:

"I'm not going to comment as to what the next CBA may look like," NHL commissioner Gary Bettman said as the GM meetings concluded at the Boca Beach Club. "But the CBA that we currently have is in effect until Sept. 15, and we told clubs to continue to operate under the CBA. Business as usual."

Technically functioning under the current CBA and actually acting as though the current CBA is not expiring are two different things, and it's unclear if it will truly be business as usual throughout the summer. There's still the big question of the salary cap and where it will sit, plus whatever other changes could come in a new collective bargaining agreement.

Bettman may say it's business as usual, but if there's CBA uncertainty, it's hard to imagine that will be the reality.

For all the news surrounding the NHL's collective bargaining agreement and the ongoing quest to replace it, stick with this StoryStream.


NHL Labor: CBA Talks Have No Scheduled Start Date, But Parties Not Concerned

The collective bargaining agreement between the NHL and the NHLPA expires in September, and as the 2011-12 season winds down, worries of a potential labor stoppage increase. Months back, NHL commissioner Gary Bettman claimed that labor talks would begin with the union at some point around the 2012 All-Star Game.

The All-Star Game has come and gone, and labor talks have yet to begin. Why not, and should we be concerned? Via USA Today:

"I'm not prepared to tell you when we'll begin formal negotiations," [Bettman] said. "That's a call that we pretty much left up to the players association. We're ready and we have been ready, but the union has some work to do."

So what about it, union? Here's Donald Fehr, NHLPA executive director, via the same USA Today story:

"There is this view that somehow to have a big formal meeting you ... have to have a dozen or two, or six dozen people sitting around a table like the auto workers used to do," Fehr said. "That's largely untrue. We'll get to that at the appropriate time."

The biggest worry comes at the foot of Fehr, who presided over the MLB Players Association and that league's 1994 lockout. The NHLPA's rejected of the league's proposed realignment plan seemed like the first salvo in these labor talks, but everything said publicly by the two parties thus far has been rather cordial.

There's no reason to panic or worry just yet, but that doesn't mean it'd be nice to have formal talks take place sooner than later.

For all the news surrounding the NHL's collective bargaining agreement and the ongoing quest to replace it, stick with this StoryStream.


NHL Team Values Rise, But So Do Player Costs, Heightening Labor Dispute Fears

The value of NHL teams has risen over the last calendar year, but rising player costs are still a concern that could lead to contentious labor negotiations between the league and the NHL Players Association. The current collective bargaining agreement between the groups expires after the current season, and new talks are expected to begin early in 2012. 

According to Forbes' Magazine, the average NHL team is now worth $240 million, up 5 percent from a year ago. That's thanks in part to the NHL's new American television deal with NBC, which helped along a 5 percent increase in average revenue per team. 

Since the NHL lockout in 2005, according to Forbes, the average NHL team has seen a 47 percent rise in their value, which signals that the changes made during that lockout are certainly working. It's evident that things are not quite perfect though, with the few huge market teams in the league still controlling the pie, and with player salaries still out of whack in comparison to other professional leagues in North America.

Via the Forbes report:

The league's salary cap, set at 57% of revenue, is too high for some teams to be profitable. As a result, expect the National Hockey League to undergo a cantankerous labor negotiations when the owners and players union begin to hammer our a new collective bargaining agreement to replace the current six-year deal that expires in September.

During their lockout prior to the current season, NFL players agreed to 48 percent of revenue. In the NBA deal reached the other day, owners and players agreed to a 50-50 split.

NHL players aren't likely to back down from the 57 percent that they're currently receiving for obvious reasons, but it is evident that many NHL teams can't compete under the current model. This is the foundation of NHL labor negotiations that will take place in the coming year, and the hope is that no games are missed because of this. 

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