The expiration date of the Collective Bargaining Agreement between the NHL and the NHL has passed, with the league officially locking out the players with no new agreement having been reached. Nearly 300 players were in New York City this past week, along with the NHL Board of Governors, yet no significant progress was made in negotiations as it became clear that neither side was willing to make any concessions at this time.
The fundamental differences lie in how the NHL and NHLPA view the core economics of the agreement. Under the old CBA the players received 57 percent of all Hockey Related Revenues; the NHL is wanting players to take a further cut to 47 percent with a new CBA, while the players are wanting a revamped revenue sharing agreement between teams before they'll consider further salary cuts.
With the deadline looming, there were no negotiations held between the two sides on Saturday. Both the NHL and NHLPA released separate statements, perhaps highlighting the fundamental differences that have allowed the league to reach this point yet again.
"We spoke today and determined that there was no point in convening a formal bargaining session in light of the fact that neither side is in a position to move off of its latest proposal," NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly said in a statement. "I'm sure we will keep in touch in the coming days and schedule meetings to the extent they might be useful or appropriate. We are sorry for where we are. Not what we hoped or expected.
The NHLPA's Steve Fehr felt otherwise, stating that the players were willing to talk.
"Today we suggested that the parties meet in advance of the owners' self-imposed deadline of midnight tonight. Don Fehr, myself and several players on the Negotiating Committee were in the city and prepared to meet. The NHL said it saw no purpose in having a formal meeting. There have been and continue to be private, informal discussions between representatives of both sides."
This is the third lockout under commissioner Gary Bettman and the second in seven years. The last lockout resulted in a lost season for the NHL; there's no indication how long this current lockout will last.