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NHL, players to resume CBA negotiations Wednesday

Wednesday, 08.29.2012 / 1:17 PM / News

By Dan Rosen - Senior Writer

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NHL, players to resume CBA negotiations Wednesday
Negotiating committees from the National Hockey League and the National Hockey League Players' Association are expected to resume negotiations Wednesday afternoon.

NEW YORK -- Negotiating committees from the National Hockey League and the National Hockey League Players' Association are expected to resume negotiations Wednesday afternoon.

The Union is expected to return to the League office at around 2 p.m. ET, according to a Union spokesman. At that time, the NHLPA is expected to offer up its thoughts on the counter-proposal tabled by the League on Tuesday morning, a proposal that NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman called "a significant and meaningful step."

According to NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman, the proposal Tuesday focused on answering some of the Union's concerns about the core economic issues.

The current CBA is set to expire Sept. 15.

"We need to get on the same page on the economics," Commissioner Bettman said, "and we're hoping that by virtue of the proposal we made today that there will be some traction and that there will be a framework for the negotiation."

Commissioner Bettman has said previously the owners view the distribution of hockey-related revenue as the most important part of the economic component of the new CBA.

Under the expiring CBA, the players receive 57 percent of the hockey-related revenues. The NHL's initial proposal, made on July 13, called for the players' share of HRR to be reduced to 46 percent.

While Commissioner Bettman would not reveal the details of the proposal Tuesday, he said it was "a significant proposal with meaningful movement."

NHLPA Executive Director Donald Fehr said after the session Tuesday that the Union would spend the evening analyzing the counter proposal. Fehr said at the time that the plan was for the Union to work into Wednesday morning before coming back to the NHL offices for further negotiations Wednesday afternoon.

"It takes some time to review proposals, to analyze them, to make sure you understand them and to formulate an appropriate response to the proposal that's made," Fehr said. "Certainly, at this stage of the negotiations, you don't want to do that before you're ready and before you're sure that you understand it. But, I do expect, as of today at least, that we'll be meeting again [Wednesday] afternoon."

Fehr also said the Union intends to respond to the proposal made Tuesday.

Instead of responding to the owners' initial proposal in mid-July, the Union made what it called an "alternative proposal" on Aug. 14.

"[The counter proposal on Tuesday] is different in some respects from what [the owners] did before, but I don't want to characterize it at this stage before we've had an opportunity to really go through it and make sure we understand it and come up what we think is an appropriate response," Fehr said.

Negotiating sessions are scheduled through Friday.

Commissioner Bettman said Tuesday evening that the owners were "hopeful and anticipating there will be a response" from the Union on Wednesday.

"We felt in order to move the process along and hopefully engage the Union in a way that would bring a negotiation that had traction we tried to address what we thought the fundamental issues were that they were raising in a way that was structured to hopefully address the way they're looking at the world," Commissioner Bettman said. "I'm trying to get us onto the same page. I'm trying to get us into a common language and hopefully this will do that."

Follow Dan Rosen on Twitter at: @drosennhl

Quote of the Day

I have been blessed to play for 16 years in the NHL; it has been an amazing ride. I would like to thank the Tampa Bay Lightning and New York Rangers organizations and owners for providing me the opportunity to play the sport I love for so many years. I could have never played for so long or accomplished all that I have without the unwavering love and support from my wife, Heather, our three sons, Ryan, Lucas, and Mason, and my parents.

— Martin St. Louis after announcing his retirement from the NHL on Thursday