from Katie Strang of ESPN New York, Commissioner Gary Bettman made the NHL’s intent very clear, saying the league plans to lock the players out if a new collective bargaining agreement cannot be reached by September 15, when the current CBA is set to expire.
Bettman said this stance was re-iterated to the NHLPA during Thursday’s bargaining session.
“I re-confirmed something that the union has been told multiple times over the last 9 to 12 months. Namely, that the time is getting short and the owners are not prepared to operate under this collective bargaining agreement for another season so we need to get to making a deal and doing it soon. And we believe there’s ample time for the parties to get together and make a deal and that’s what we’re going to be working towards,” Bettman said outside of league offices in midtown Manhattan.
The two sides, which have been engaged in labor talks for six weeks, have five weeks to broker a new deal and a significant divide on a number of issu...