In a span of less than 15 minutes Thursday night, the NHL labor negotiations went from a “quick solution” to complete rejection.
After spending most of the day in internal discussions, NHLPA executive director Don Fehr presented the owners with an eight-year proposal to end the lockout, saying the two sides agreed on several key issues, including the dollar amount of the league’s “make whole” provision.
Minutes later, Fehr returned to the podium and told reporters that his brother and NHLPA special counsel Steve Fehr had received a voicemail from Bill Daly stating the NHL had rejected the players’ offer.
NHL commissioner Gary Bettman and Daly are expected to address the media shortly.
“It looks like this is not going to be resolved in the immediate future,” Don Fehr said.
The owners called for a 10-year CBA with an opt-out after eight years. The players wanted an eight-year deal with an opt-out after six.
The other sticking points appear to be the maximum length of contracts – the NHL wants a five-year max – and the variance of contract amounts from year to year. The NHL wants a player’s salary to go no higher or lower than 5 percent from year to year. The players are seeking a 25 percent variance.
“The players have gone a very, very long way,” Fehr said. “(The players) made the lion’s share of movement.”