Originally written on NESN.com  |  Last updated 11/20/14
Ice_hockey_f4d4
NEW YORK — NHL labor talks broke off soon after they resumed Wednesday, with players maintaining their new proposal was a huge economic concession and commissioner Gary Bettman pretty much saying the only deal he will agree to is the one management proposed last month. On the 67th day of a lockout that already has wiped out more than a quarter of the regular season, the sides headed home for Thanksgiving with no end in sight to the sport’s fourth work stoppage. The union’s negotiating committee planned to brief players and get back in touch with management on Friday. “When you’re dealing with a union that really isn’t trying to negotiate, make any deal that we can live with for the long-term health of this game, there isn’t much else you can do,” Bettman said outside the league’s Manhattan office when questioned by a fan, 41-year-old Jaymes Hall of Lancaster, Pa. “And we’re hoping that with the passage of time, the players’ association will come to realize that what we have proposed has been more than fair. And the fact that we’re keeping this proposal on the table, when it was contingent on an 82-game season, should be evidence of our desire to get this done the right way.” Informed of Bettman’s comments, union head Donald Fehr said, “My response is they seem to consider negotiating to be merely agreeing with them.” “We’ve identified what’s important to players, but they seem to be so far at least unwilling to treat those concerns in a serious way,” Fehr said in a phone interview. Players made what both sides called a comprehensive proposal. Fehr said the sides were $182 million apart in a five-year deal, which comes to $1.2 million annually for each of the 30 teams. “On the big things there was as of today no reciprocity in any meaningful sense, no movement on the players’ share, no movement on salary-arbitration eligibility, no movement on free agency eligibility, no agreement on a pension plan,” Fehr said as he left the talks. Management wants to increase eligibility for free agency to 28 years of age or eight seasons of NHL service, up from 27 or seven. Management also proposed Wednesday adding a year of service for salary arbitration eligibility, hiking it from 1-4 to 2-5 years of service, depending on the age a player signs, a person familiar with the bargaining said. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because that detail wasn’t announced. “There seems to be a lot of spinning and gamesmanship going on,” Bettman said. Winnipeg defenseman Ron Hainsey, among nine players at the bargaining, said the union was “disappointed with the response.” “There was no meaningful move in our direction on anything that we would consider,” he said. Fehr nearly said players found the day’s two bargaining sessions, which totaled 2 1/2 hours, to be a waste of time. “A lot of the people that were there today, given the response we got, thought they had a lot better things to do on the night before Thanksgiving than hear what we got,” he said. The NHL on Oct. 16 proposed a 50-50 split of hockey-related revenue, down from the players’ 57 percent portion of $3.3 billion last season. With guaranteed contracts likely to push the players’ share over the halfway mark at the start of the next deal, management wants that money to come out of future years to bring the overall percentage down to an even split over the length of an agreement. Players previously had proposed they receive a guaranteed amount of income each year. “Gary said we were $900 million or a $1 billion apart,” Fehr said, referring to the gap over a five-year deal. “At the moment we are exactly $182 million apart.” Fehr said players proposed they get $393 million over the length of the deal, while the NHL is at $211 million. Management wants a seven-year deal, which the union says is too long because less than half the current players will be active by the last season. “To expect our best economic proposal to get better as the damage continues to increase isn’t particularly realistic,” Bettman said. “From an economic standpoint, we’ve given what we have to give. It was our best offer. And again, put it in the context that the business is probably losing between $18 and $20 million a day and the players are losing between $8 and $10 million a day.” This is the league’s third lockout since 1994. The first settled on Jan. 11 and the last one led to Bettman announcing the cancellation of the 2004-05 season on Feb. 15. The league has canceled 326 games through Nov. 30 plus the Jan. 1 Winter Classic between Toronto and Detroit at Ann Arbor, Mich. More cancellations are coming. “That’s something that we’re going to have to look at on a daily basis,” Bettman said. “I think that becomes inevitable as time goes on.”
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Darrelle Revis, Ndamukong Suh exchange words after game

Curt Schilling's son causes scare at Logan Airport

Manziel's girlfriend tells Browns to put Johnny Football in

Scalpers in Detroit selling free Jets-Bills tickets for $125

Report: Redskins could bench Robert Griffin III

Broncos have meeting with scoreboard operator

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Report: Cowboys could still pursue Adrian Peterson

Manny Pacquiao: I'm ready to fight Floyd Mayweather Jr.

John Calipari gets daughter's birthday wrong

Carson: Hall of Fame career not worth concussion problems

Tiger hires new swing coach

Is Sting making his WWE debut at Survivor Series?

WATCH: Marshawn Lynch's awesome post game interview

WATCH: Odell Beckham Jr makes catch-of-the-year

Video: RG3 gets crushed, his linemen look unfazed

WATCH: Dominic Raiola tries to cheap-shot Patriots' lineman

WATCH: Janoris Jenkins returns interception for 99 yd TD

WATCH: TY Hilton chokes up in emotional postgame interview

WATCH: Chris Clemons accidentally knocks ref's hat off

WATCH: Aaron Rodgers throws nifty TD across his body

WATCH: LeGarrette Blount does Antonio Brown's end zone dance

WATCH: Eagles take opening kickoff 107 yards for TD

Western Carolina coach blasts Kirk Herbsreit

WATCH: Young reporter asks Helfrich funny question

Jets News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

Dominic Raiola admits to dirty play

WATCH: Revis, Suh exchange words

Manziel's GF wants her man to play

Cowboys to pursue Adrian Peterson?

Cal gets daughter's bday wrong

Carson: Career not worth concussions

Report: Gundy pursuing Florida job

Tiger hires new swing coach

WATCH: Jameis Winston shoves ref

Florida DL supports Will Muschamp with eye black

Jay Gruden: RG3 has been 'coddled'

LeBron: Love needs to 'demand' the ball

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.