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NHL takes 'meaningful step' in counter proposal

By By The Sports Xchange
Published On: Aug 29 2012 09:10:11 AM CDT
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The NHL made what the commissioner called a "a significant, meaningful step" in its counter proposal on Tuesday to the NHL Players' Association proposal of two weeks ago, NHL.com reported.

The current Collective Bargaining Agreement ends Sept. 15, and Tuesday's counter proposal was meant to get negotiations moving toward an agreement.

Commissioner Gary Bettman said the NHL's latest proposal targeted some of the union's chief economic concerns.

"We need to get on the same page on the economics," Bettman said, according to NHL.com, "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. We believe we've made a significant, meaningful step."

Owners view the distribution of hockey-related revenue as the major economic component of the new CBA.

Under the expiring CBA, the players receive 57 percent of that revenue. The NHL's July 13 proposal called for the players' percentage to be reduced to 46 percent.

The union did not respond to the owners' original proposal, instead issuing its own proposal on Aug. 14.

Bettman did not specify details of Tuesday's counter proposal and said only that it was "a significant proposal with meaningful movement."

NHLPA Executive Director Donald Fehr said the union would spend Tuesday evening analyzing the counter proposal, then return to negotiations Wednesday afternoon.

A few players joined the union's negotiating group on Tuesday and more are expected to be involved on Wednesday.

The owners are hoping for a response from the players union on Wednesday.