Ominous tone to bettman's lockout talk
Commissioner Gary Bettman's declaration Thursday that the NHL will lock out its players on Sept. 15 without a new collective bargaining agreement is "something you don't want to hear," Lightning right wing B.J. Crombeen said. Even so, he added, "We're confident there's still a lot of time left to get a deal done." The Players Association was unhappy with the owners' initial proposal to cut the players' share of league revenues from 57 to 43-46 percent and roll back salaries 22 percent. But union executive director Donald Fehr has said the players are willing to start the season under the current CBA if negotiations are ongoing. "But with Gary's comments, (the owners) feel strong enough they don't want to continue under this agreement and want further concessions from the players," said Crombeen, a member of the union's negotiating committee. "We're trying to make sense of what they need and what they want." The players are expected to make a counterproposal Tuesday.
Damian Cristodero, Times staff writer
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