So much for optimism.
NHL commissioner Gary Bettman stepped to the podium, and said he was "totally disappointed" with the NHLPA's "step backward" in CBA talks. Bettman said that all three of the proposals sent the league's way Thursday were variations of the union's initial offer back in the summer.
"We're nowhere close to what we have proposed," Bettman said. "I don't know what the next step is. I'm very discouraged."
Bettman noted that the NHLPA's proposals came "nowhere close" to a 50-50 split in revenues, despite earlier reportsthat the offers had called for a gradual decrease down from the current 57-43 split to a 50-50 split. He said that in the first year of the new CBA, the union proposals would have the owners pay more than they do now in revenues, according to various reports.
Bettman said that a 50-50 split is the "best" offer the league can produce.