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CBA negotiations break off Thursday

by Dan Rosen / Philadelphia Flyers

TORONTO -- The National Hockey League and National Hockey League Players' Association met for a little more than an hour Thursday in the latest attempt to negotiate a new Collective Bargaining Agreement.

At the conclusion of the meeting, at the Union's office, NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said that the Union responded to the League's proposal from Tuesday, but he said there was little to discuss from the proposal.

"The Players' Association came back and basically made three alternate proposals on the players' share, all variations, to some degree, of the one proposal that they made over the summer and really haven't deviated from since," Commissioner Bettman said. "And none of the three variations of players' share that they gave us even began to approach 50-50 (revenue split) either at all or for some long period of time and it's clear that we're not speaking the same language in terms of what they came back to us with.

"It is still my hope that we can accomplish my goal, the League's goal of getting an 82-game season, but I am concerned based on the proposal that was made today that things are not progressing. To the contrary, I think the proposal that was made by the Players' Association was in many ways a step backward."

Commissioner Bettman and Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly, along with four NHL owners, led the League's negotiating committee into the office shortly after 2:30 p.m. to begin the latest round of negotiations.

Commissioner Bettman and Daly submitted an offer to the NHLPA on Tuesday that would allow for a full 82-game season to begin on Nov. 2. The proposed CBA was for six years, with a mutual option for a seventh year, and included a 50-50 split of hockey-related revenues over the life of the deal.

Commissioner Bettman said after the hour-long meeting Tuesday that he was hopeful the League's offer gets a "positive reaction" from the NHLPA so the two sides can hammer out a deal and have the players in training camp for at least one week in advance of a Nov. 2 start to the season.

The NHL locked out the players on Sept. 16 due to the lack of an existing CBA.

The details of the offer the NHL submitted Tuesday were made public Wednesday.

The League did not ask for a rollback in current player contracts. It asked for entry-level contracts to be two years in length and for a five-year maximum length on all other contracts.

The NHL proposed players would be eligible to become unrestricted free agents after eight accrued NHL seasons or at 28 years of age.

The salary cap for the 2012-13 season under the NHL's offer would be $59.9 million, but transition rules would allow teams to go as high as $70.2 million for one year. The salary-cap floor would be $43.9 million.

The NHL also proposed to commit $200 million to the revenue sharing pool for the 2012-13 season that would be adjusted based on actual hockey-related revenue calculations following the season. The League's revenue sharing proposal would require the top 10 revenue-generating clubs to fund 50 percent of the pool.

Commissioner Bettman also stressed Tuesday that the League's proposal addressed the concerns the players have in how their salaries would be affected by going down from the 57 percent share of hockey-related revenue they earned in the final year of the previous CBA to the 50 percent share they'd earn in the NHL's proposal.

Follow Dan Rosen on Twitter at: @drosennhl

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