It appears that NHL commissioner Gary Bettman and NHLPA head Donald Fehr will get to fire up their barbecues this Labor Day Weekend, after all.
On Friday in New York, talks between the two sides regarding a new collective bargaining agreement broke down with no immediate plans to meet again. They are not much closer to a resolution now than they were when meetings first began earlier this month.
The current CBA expires on September 15, and if there is no agreement by then, the owners will lock out the players.
The NHLPA presented a counter-offer to the league on Friday afternoon, in response to the leagues proposal earlier this week. Fehr said that the offer did not bear fruit with the NHL, before adding there were no further meetings scheduled at this time.
The NHL would like to reduce its financial burden when it comes to player salaries, while the NHLPA would like to see increased revenue sharing from the leagues most profitable teams. Currently, players take home 57 percent of hockey related revenue, but the NHLs latest proposal sees the players share max out at 50 percent with a gradual increase over the life of the six-year deal.
The two sides, however, have yet to even agree on what constitutes hockey related revenue, as the league wants it to include other expenses that arent currently taken into consideration under the current agreement. The NHLPA unsurprisingly disagrees, and wants to leave the definition as is.
Rhetoric between the two sides also amped up on Friday, as Fehr said that it was the NHL that put a stop to the negotiations. Bettman replied later that it was the NHLPA that stonewalled the league.
Bettman also said that it would be harder to make a deal once the CBA expires, in a veiled threat to the union to lower its demands over the next two weeks.
I wish I had better news, said Bettman.
Hockey fans hoping for a full season surely agree.