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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.

et cetera

autos: IndyCar rookie Josef Newgarden had surgery on his left index finger and will miss this weekend's race at Baltimore. Newgarden will be replaced by Bruno Junqueira, who has run seven laps in IndyCar since 2008. Newgarden broke the finger in a crash with Sebastien Bourdais in Sunday's race at Sonoma.

golf: Officials expect to break ground on the Olympic course in Rio de Janeiro this fall, keeping it on schedule for the 2016 Summer Games and a "test event" beforehand, Royal & Ancient chief executive Peter Dawson said. What the test event will be hasn't been determined. … Annika Sorenstam and Carin Koch were appointed vice captains for the 2013 European Solheim Cup team by captain Liselotte Neumann.

nba: Clippers All-Star forward Blake Griffin said his left knee is healed after last month's surgery that forced him to miss the Olympics. … Former Hawks coach Bob Weiss is returning to Atlanta as an assistant coach and consultant on coach Larry Drew's staff. Weiss was the Hawks' coach from 1990-93. He was also the coach at San Antonio (1986-88), the Los Angeles Clippers (1993-94) and Seattle (2005-06).

wnba: League scoring leader Angel McCoughtry was suspended indefinitely by Atlanta coach-general manager Fred Williams for violating team rules. That came a day after Marynell Meadors was fired as coach-GM. McCoughtry, who averages 22.2 points per game, was openly critical of Meadors' game plan after a loss to Minnesota on Sunday. … Center Elizabeth Cambage, who this month became the first woman to dunk in an Olympic game, decided not to play the rest of the season with Tulsa. Cambage, a member of Australia's silver medal team, was the No. 2 overall pick in last year's draft.

boxing: An associate of Floyd Mayweather Jr. is going to prison for two to five years for shooting at two men in a car after one argued with the boxer at a Las Vegas skating rink. Ocie Harris pleaded an equivalent of no contest in April to two charges of assault with a deadly weapon and one of firing a weapon into a vehicle.

Times wires

Sports in brief 08/28/12 [Last modified: Tuesday, August 28, 2012 9:34pm]
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