x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

NHL: New 50-50 split deal offered in bid to end lockout

The new offer comes after stalled talks over how to split more than Dh11.7bn revenues and would allow a regular NHL season to get underway in early November.

NHL players' association head Donald Fehr
NHL players' association head Donald Fehr

The National Hockey League has made a new offer to the players' association in a bid to end the labour dispute which has left the current season in limbo.

The new deal would see owners splitting hockey-related devalue 50-50 with the players, allowing them to start a full 82-game season next month.

The proposal, by NHL commissioner Gary Bettman, comes more than a month after the league locked out players and less than two weeks after the NHL cancelled regular-season games scheduled for October 11-24.

Talks on a new collective bargaining agreement have been stalled on how to divide $3.2 billion in hockey-related revenues, leading to the lockout.

"We very much want to preserve a full 82-game season and in that light we made a proposal, an offer really," Bettman said.

"It is our best shot at preserving an 82-game regular season and playoffs.

"We're focused on getting the season started on November 2. That's what this offer was about."

A November 2 start date would extend the season well into June, but would allow the NHL to preserve some of its marquee events - such as the New Year's Day Winter Classic in Michigan.

"I don't want to get into the substance other than to say we believe that this was a fair offer for a long-term deal, and it's one that we hope gets a positive reaction," Bettman said. "We have about nine or ten days to get this all put to bed, signed, sealed and delivered, in order for this offer to be effective and for us to move forward."

The long-term deal takes steps to guarantee the players will get full value from their existing deals. And to pull off the logistics of the schedule, each team would have one additional game every five weeks to get a full season in.

"Gary indicated to me and I assume he indicated to you that they would like to get a full 82-game season in," Donald Fehr, executive director of the Players' Association, said.

"We, of course, share that view and would like to get a full 82-game season in. But, we are not in a position to make any comments about it beyond that at this point."

"I would like to believe that it will be an excellent starting point, and we can go forward and see if there is a deal to be made."

sports@thenational.ae

 

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