league presents counteroffer to players union
NEW YORK — The NHL issued a new proposal to the players association Tuesday as a lockout looms next month.
"We believe that we made a significant, meaningful step," commissioner Gary Bettman said.
Players association executive director Donald Fehr said the union will respond to the proposal. The sides were scheduled to meet again today at the league offices.
Bettman said the league made a "counterproposal" to the offer the players presented this month in which they offered to take 2, 4 and 6 percent reductions in hockey-related revenue for the first three years of a new collective bargaining agreement.
The current agreement expires Sept. 15. The NHL has said it will lock out the players if a new deal isn't reached by then.
"We felt in order to move the process along, we tried to address the fundamental issues," Bettman said.
Neither the league nor the players divulged specifics. Canadiens forward Mathieu Darche said he was encouraged. Darche said he received "20, 25 texts" from players asking for details.
Limiting the personnel at the bargaining table in the hope of making progress, only Fehr and his top assistant, his brother Steve Fehr, met with Bettman and deputy commissioner Bill Daly. Traditionally, several players have been present.
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