As the NHL lockout enters its second week, attorneys and officials for the league and Players' Association are scheduled to meet Monday in Toronto to discuss matters related to revenue sharing from the recently expired collective bargaining agreement, a spokesman for the league said.
NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly and union special counsel Steve Fehr are expected to attend the meeting, which will not be a formal negotiating session, but will bring two of the significant parties in the dispute face to face.
The apportionment of hockey-related revenue is seen as the main obstacle in forging a new CBA. The league's last proposal before imposing the lockout offered the players a sliding percentage of revenue, starting at 49 percent and dropping to 47 in the final year of a proposed five-year deal. The players, who received 57 percent of annual revenues in the old agreement, want a guaranteed amount, estimated at $1.8 billion, in the first year. The league considers any guarantee of revenue a circumvention of the salary cap, which was instituted in the last agreement.
The league also has maintained that the union's projection for future revenue growth exceeds its own estimations. The league would consider a 50-50 split of hockey-related revenue, but would not guarantee a specific amount in any year of the deal. Players' Association executive director Donald Fehr has said it is up to the league to grow revenue, not the players. The NHL reported record revenues in excess of $3.1 billion last season.
The lockout has wiped out preseason games for this month and threatens to delay the start of the season Oct. 11. Several players have opted to play overseas, including Rick Nash of the Rangers, who scored a hat trick in his first game for Swiss team HC Davos. He was set up on all three goals by Joe Thornton of the Sharks.