NHL owners propose solution to player lockout

NHL players’ association head Donald Fehr speaks to reporters following collective bargaining talks in Toronto on Tuesday, Oct. 16, 2012. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Chris Young)

National Hockey League Commissioner Gary Bettman and Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly proposed a 50-50 split of hockey related revenue between players and team owners in a meeting with National Hockey League Players’ Association executive director Don Fehr Tuesday. The deal would settle a four-week player lockout if accepted.

“Beyond that, I don’t want to get into the substance other than to say we believe that this was a fair offer for a long-term deal, and it’s one that we hope gets a positive reaction so that we can drop the puck on November 2nd,” Bettman told press Tuesday.

Bettman did not divulge many details about the offer nor the discussions that took place on Tuesday. The decision to not discuss the proposal further is not a new concept, as neither side has been forthcoming with information about talks.

The lockout, which is now entering its fourth week, could be ended as soon as Thursday, the day Fehr said players will make an official response to the offer.

Bettman said he doesn’t expect an answer to come immediately, but a deal must be reached within the next ten days in order to keep a full 82-game season.

“We didn’t put this proposal, this offer, together overnight, and they’re going to need a little time to review it. I’m hoping that review will get us to a positive and constructive place,” he said.

The NHL cancelled regular season games through October 24. In order for the full season to be played the year would be extended into June, Bettman said.

“In terms of the schedule, so everybody understands, the compression that would be involved is one additional game every five weeks,” he said. “Beyond that, we don’t think it would be good for the players or for the game.”

Daly has estimated the NHL and NHLPA have lost $250 million in shared revenue since the lockout began in mid-September, when the players’ collective bargaining agreement expired.