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NHL makes counterproposal to union

The National Hockey League issued a new proposal to the players association Tuesday.

"I'm encouraged because we're talking," said unrestricted free agent forward Mathieu Darche, who is part of the NHL Players Association negotiating group. "It's too early to characterize exactly what the offer is because depending on the wording. It obviously didn't take them five minutes to come up with it and it won't take us five minutes to analyze it."

The current CBA expires September 15, and Bettman has publicly stated the NHL will lock out the players if a new deal is not struck by then.

"It is a proposal we believe is significant and had meaningful movement," Bettman said. "It was also designed to address issues that they've raised with us, and to address the proposal that they last made to us in terms of structure and format."

Union head Donald Fehr seemed less optimistic.

"It's a proposal we intend to respond to," Fehr said. "I'm just going to leave it at that."

TSN of Canada reports the league's latest offer, which is a six-year collective bargaining agreement proposal, is meant to reduce the NHL's financial demands. Players would see a gradual reduction in revenue share percentage, according to the report.

The first proposal by the NHL was to decrease the players' revenue share from 57 percent to 43, but TSN reports the percentage would drop to as low as 49.6 in 2014-15 before coming up to 50 percent for the final three years of the deal.

"I'm trying to get us on the same page. I'm trying to get us into a common language. Hopefully this will do that," Bettman said.