SUNRISE (CBSMiami) – The National Hockey League and the NHL Players Association continued talking Tuesday to try and close the gap that remains between the two sides on a potential collective bargaining agreement.
The NHL owners have locked out the players for the past 65 days and canceled a total of 327 games. The cancelations included the annual Winter Classic outdoor game and if no deal is struck in the coming weeks, the All-Star game will likely be in the next round of cancellations.
The NHL is coming off a record setting season in terms of revenue, pulling in $3.3 billion. But every day the two sides remain on the sidelines instead of on the ice cuts into the total amount of revenue available this year.
The NHLPA was planning on working internally on a new CBA proposal for the owners. According to NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly, the union is “moving in our direction on economics.” However, Daly said a full proposal is needed because the NHL believes everything is tied together.
The players may be feeling a certain sense of urgency when it comes to the negotiations, according to TSN’s Darren Dreger. If that’s true, the NHLPA may be willing to budge more on economics if the NHL will pull back on some of the contract limitations it is seeking.
The NHL would like to see entry-level contracts reduced to two years, unrestricted free agency pushed back to age 28 or eight years of service and all deals limited to five years maximum. Still, neither side has been willing to make significant concessions to this point in the lockout.
The NHL has become the poster-child for its failure to be able to maintain labor peace with its players. The NHL previously canceled an entire season due to a labor dispute and has lost more than 2,000 games as a result of problems between the players and the league.
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