NHL delivers counter-proposal to union after late meeting
Published Tuesday, January 1, 2013 8:37AM EST
Last Updated Tuesday, January 1, 2013 10:14PM EST
The NHL delivered another counter-proposal to the NHL Players’ Association late Tuesday as the two sides resumed labour talks in an effort to salvage the hockey season.
The two sides met face-to-face in New York City after a conference call earlier in the day and expect to be at the bargaining table sometime on Wednesday.
NHLPA executive director Donald Fehr said the union will review the league’s counter-proposal, but refused to divulge details to reporters.
“It’s better to be meeting than not but I’m not saying anything else more about it,” he said.
Tuesday’s talks mark the biggest movement seen in the negotiations in recent weeks. They come after the players submitted a counter-proposal Monday in response to an offer put forward by the league last week.
Over the weekend, the NHL held discussions and so-called information sessions to explain the intricacies of the offer to players, which was presented on Thursday.
Monday marked the first time the two sides have gotten together since Dec. 13, when talks broke down as both sides walked away from the table.
NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman on Monday said the owners were in the process of reviewing the players' counter-proposal.
"Their response was a comprehensive one, dealing with the full slate of issues that we raised and proposals we put forth, and we're in the process of reviewing their response," Bettman said Monday.
Fehr said earlier that the informal discussions and information sessions allowed players to get a better handle on the offer and how it would play out.
Neither side offered details about what was offered in either proposal, nor about the tone of the talks, which Fehr said "weren't terribly long."
"There was an opportunity for the players to highlight the areas they thought we should focus on based on their response, and that's something we've got to look at very closely in addition to the myriad of other issues," Bettman said. "The process continues and we're anticipating getting back together."
Both sides are working on a deadline. In order to salvage a 48-game season -- the minimum that would be profitable for the league -- Bettman has said games would need to begin by Jan. 19, with players headed to training camp by Jan. 11
So far games have been cancelled through Jan. 14, with more than 50 per cent of the originally scheduled games already scrapped.
With files from The Canadian Press