Union gives response to NHL in hopes of salvaging season
The NHL Monday night was reviewing what commissioner Gary Bettman called a "comprehensive" players' response to the league's amended proposal for a new collective-bargaining agreement, and it is expected that talks between the two sides will continue Tuesday in Manhattan in an effort to salvage the season, now nearly three months into a lockout of the players.
On Monday, league negotiators met in two sessions with NHLPA executive director Donald Fehr, his staff and five players, including Islanders goalie Rick DiPietro. They hope to conclude a deal in order to play a 48-game season beginning Jan. 19. That means a pact must be reached by Jan. 11 to provide a week for training camp.
"There was an opportunity for the players to highlight the areas they thought we should focus on based on their response, and that's something we've got to look at very closely in addition to the myriad of other issues," Bettman said. "The process continues and we're anticipating getting back together [Tuesday]. We really need the time to get through it so we can turn this around overnight."
Fehr said the union made some movement off its last offer, but he did not provide details. On Thursday night, the league offered a 290-page proposal that included a softening of stances on individual contract term limits and buyouts. Of that proposal, Fehr said, "They requested that we give them a response all at once on everything rather than discuss issues on an ongoing basis, so we accommodated them on that."