NEW YORK (CBSMiami) – Hockey fans continue to sit and wait while ongoing NHL lockout of its players continues. There is some hope Friday because the NHL and National Hockey League Players Association are meeting for a fourth straight day of talks to reach a Collective Bargaining Agreement.
Negotiators for each side returned to the table Friday morning. The players union has quickly thrown cold water on the possibility of a deal being reached in the next few days.
According to NBCSports.com, the league and the union can’t come to an agreement on how to pay the players for the remainder of their current contracts, plus the NHL wants to immediately reset the revenue sharing to 50/50 while the players want it phased in over a couple of years.
The NHLPA said the quick switch to a 50/50 split would “significantly reduce the salary cap.” The players are not pleased with the NHL’s plans for contract length, unrestricted free agent eligibility, and the arbitration processes, according to NBCSports.com.
“In short, the concessions on future salary we have offered (at least $948 Million to $1.25 Billion over five years, depending on HRR [hockey-related revenue] growth) are not enough,” the NHLPA said in a letter to the players obtained by NBCSports.com.
Still, as long as the two sides are talking behind closed doors and not lobbing charges at each other in the media, there is always hope that a breakthrough may happen in the coming days.
The NHL has said it will be impossible to play a full 82 game season at this point. The league has considered following the model put together by the NBA last season to deal with the lockout-shortened season.
However, that might require back-to-back-to-back games, which may not put the best hockey on the ice and may increase the risk of injury to the players. But, both sides want as many games as possible in order to offset the losses being incurred during the current lockout.
This is the fifth time in seven days there have been negotiations. The 55-day lockout has forced the cancellation of 327 regular-season games. Since 1992, the NHL has lost more than 1,700 games to work stoppages.