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League, Union meet Monday to discuss CBA proposal

by Corey Masisak

Members of the NHL's bargaining committee met with representatives of the National Hockey League Players' Association at the League's office in New York on Monday to resume negotiations toward a new Collective Bargaining Agreement. Both sides expect to reconvene Tuesday.

The NHLPA presented a response to the League's offer, which was delivered Thursday, during a meeting that lasted approximately three hours.

"Their response was a comprehensive one, dealing with a full slate of issues that we raised in the proposal we put forth," NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said. "We're in the process of reviewing their response. We will do that tonight and our expectation is that we will contact them [Tuesday] morning to arrange to get back together -- hopefully certainly by mid-day."

Bettman confirmed previous reports that the "puck needs to drop" by Jan. 19 for the League to play a 48-game schedule this season. Games have been cancelled through Jan. 14, along with the 2013 NHL All-Star Game.

NHLPA Executive Director Donald Fehr was joined by six players for the negotiation session Monday -- Chris Campoli, Shane Doan, Rick DiPietro, Ron Hainsey, Jamal Mayers and Martin St. Louis.

According to numerous reports, the NHL's latest offer Thursday would set contract limits at a maximum of six years (seven for a team retaining its own player, provided the player has been with the club for the equivalent of a full season), allow teams one compliance buyout before the start of the 2013-14 season and cap the variance on year-to-year salaries in a contract at 10 percent.

The NHL's previous offer reportedly included contract limits of five years, no compliance buyouts and a maximum of five percent annual variance on salaries. Those reports said compliance buyouts would not count against the salary cap for the team initiating the buyout, but a portion of the buyout would be factored into the formula that determines the players' share of hockey-related revenue (HRR).

"We gave them a response today," Fehr said. "We met for a couple sessions that weren't terribly long and there was something to work on for both sides. ... This discussion was for us to respond and for them to ask questions and us to explain a number of the points we made. We expect to hear from them tomorrow."

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